Lycia: Empty Space (CD)

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Product Description

  1. Not Here, Not Anywhere
  2. You Can Never Go Home Again
  3. Persephone
  4. Fur & Thistle
  5. Hope Is Here
  6. Violent Violet
  7. Bloody Basin
  8. The Long Drive
  9. This Is The End | MP3 |

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From late 1999

Silber Records Press Release:
When we started Silber, we were inspired by Lycia, a band from the desert in Arizona, one that was changing the way we felt about & listened to experimental music. Lycia combined ambient & sometimes harsh soundscapes with a punk aesthetic in a way that no one had ever done before. Their unique sound became a part of who we were & remain to be today. We are pleased to present the final release by our long time mentors. – Brian John Mitchell & Jon DeRosa

Lycia – Empty Space

Empty Space is a work of dark, atmospheric, post-punk, comprised entirely of treated guitars, bass, & drum machines. It is perhaps Lycia’s closest brush with making a pop-oriented album, though the cold rhythms of the vintage drum machine are just pieces of a much larger picture. Mike’s whispered, desert-parched musings duel with Tara’s more ethereal vocals & land atop shimmering, melodic, treble-boosted guitar lines. The result is a sound that’s more Durutti Column than Cabaret Voltaire, & more Chameleons than Joy Division, but always recognizable as Lycia.

In this way, Empty Space is a return to the original atmospheric post-punk style Lycia helped birth back in the late-80’s, before 1991’s groundbreaking Ionia & 1993’s apocalyptic A Day In The Stark Corner. The return to form was made authentic by the involvement of original member John Fair (drum programs) & longtime member David Galas (bass), who once again teamed up with Mike VanPortfleet & Tara VanFlower to create what would be this, the final Lycia album.

Unfortunately, work was stopped on the release and Lycia actually broke up before it was completely finished. The result is a work more minimal than planned, but still boiling with the beautiful chemistry Lycia always had & always will have. SIL94912

A review from
Lycia has traveled a long way in their career. Not only have they made increasingly cold and introspective works becoming darker despite the filtered sunlight permeating their sound but they have also traveled literal miles. They have crawled the landscape from Arizona to Ohio and back again and their music has changed because of it. By the time of Tripping back…, Lycia has explored every dust-filled corner of our psyche and has filled our minds with melodies that were both frightening and comforting at the same time.

Comprised largely of Mike VanPortfleet and Tara Vanflower, who have become the heart and soul of Lycia, this band’s original sound was never duplicated because, quite simply, music this complex cannot be duplicated without being torn apart at the seams and inspected by the children of our souls. What Lycia could do in terms of misted introspection requires an immensity of effort, an effort that even worked at the fabric of Lycia.

With VanPortfleet’s grasp and control of the eerie components of his instruments and Tara’s incredibly floating ethereal voice, Lycia becomes a whole creature that knows the clothed and hidden parts of our lives because it has lived them.

The work of Empty Space is embryonic because it is a return to the genesis of Lycia, a back pedal to the rhythmed pulse of a heart that refuses to die and yet won’t wake up. Called the final release from Lycia, Empty Space reveals a yearning to become a happier entity if even for fleeting moments. Its rawness is exhilarating despite the fact that it is an unfinished work.

With cascading guitars and whispered lyrics, Empty Space explores the past with stop-overs for Estrella and Cold. Where Cold was iced fear in a limitless and vast artic spread, Empty Space is a thawing place with shafts of sunlight breaking through the battleship grey clouds. The tap, tap, tap that begins “Not Here, Not Anywhere” lurches into a fast and happy merge of a trip that culminates in extinction. It has the feel of a knowledgeable run to a void that subtracts. Perhaps fitting in that Lycia plans no more music as Lycia thus a run into an unknowing void.

I’m especially intrigued by “You Can Never Go Home Again” as the title suggests, rightfully so, that once you’re away, the home you return to has indelibly changed and is no longer home. You’re relegated to grasping at wispy remembrances that are almost there but can never be intimately held and cherished again.

Tara is first heard in a beautifully sung song that is amongst their best short song efforts. “Persephone” offers the signature Lycia sound while her vocals explore pop styled tones. Her ability to effectively capture a moment as heard on “Persephone” is talent. The song is extraordinary in its presentation.

The album ends with “This is the End”, a deliberate finish to a great band who would finish on their own terms. The song itself is nicely structured work with the haunting “I remember…” The rest of Empty Space is pure Lycia with its hands dipped into the heart of Estrella as can be heard by “Bloody Basin” as compared to Estrella‘s “El Diablo”. Lycia’s music is the soundtrack of the spirit. Lycia’s ability to explore the full psychology of our hope, dreams, depressions, and disappointments is extraordinary. Lycia itself is the unexplored beauty of humanity and its frightened child. And while Empty Space may not represent their best work, it nevertheless is a necessary visitation of their existence and a glimpse into their own hopes and dreams.

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Weight .3 lbs

Silber Records

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