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Metalycee - Expat Blues


Expat Blues


Released: 19th May 2014 | 7 track ambient album

Massive synthesizer sounds, unconditionally charging forward alongside untethered grooves and striking bass lines with vocals that blend spoken word with acerbic lyrics that ponder the perils of existence and the fragility of the biographies.

Such is life and such is the effect of Metalycée's newest effort, Expat Blues. We loosely based the music on hip hop aesthetics proclaims the band itself. Gospel was also on our minds at the time.

This makes for an adventurous compound to say the least; an organisation of tones that refuses to adhere to the idea of a combo and the concept that the repetition of said tones has lead to the tiring out of once distinct ideas that have now found their sweet spot in the group's equitable sound.

The topography of Metalycée's music is not decipherable by way of clichés as the band circumscribes. Certain connecting factors between the individual band members were forged over a love of fine arts and their ongoing discourse that more often than not manages to eclipse their inner-musical conversations. One thing we constantly discuss is the idea of how a tribal-type groove can be sustained throughout our sonic experiments. This prompted the band to not confine their recordings to a studio environment (a move that distinguishes the Expat Blues process from its predecessors Another White Album, It Is Not and Tell Me) but to separate the live tracking process from extensive sample work. The sessions were also the first without Armin Steiner and Matija Schellander, who left the band prior to that. A link to the past is provided by Nik Hummer's use of the Trautonium, a machine that Friedrich Trautwein (1888 – 1956) once intended and manufactured for Paul Hindemith. Oscar Sala was the Trautonium's sole operator for a long period of time until he moved to the United States where he refined Trautwein's invention and famously created the sound design for Hitchcock's The Birds.

One of Metalycée's precursors was the analogue synth trio Thilges 3 who had been experimenting with their sound as well as the performative elements of their show since the beginning. Nik Hummer and Armin Steiner were soon joined by drummer Bernhard Breuer (Elektro Guzzi, Tumido, No Business for Dogs) and bassist Matija Schellander, who is currently a prominent figure in improvised music (Rdeča Raketa, Low Frequency Orchestra). Melita Jurisic, an actress who is celebrated in her home country of Australia and is on the brink of deportation in Austria, joined the fold a little ways down the road. A social genre picture. Melita plays all the classics on stage and stars in TV shows and movies like Mad Max 4. She commands Shakespeare with the same fluency as she would the dirtiest slang. Jurisic embodies a female image that refuses to keep with the market and strikes fear into the hearts of chauvinists. She has proven herself to be a tough pill to swallow for men who choose to degrade and objectify women.

Upshot: Expat Blues engulfs the listener like an avalanche. Certain people might think that it's too dark, the band adds for consideration. But the whole thing is essentially about radically thinking about things in a different way than one is used to. This of course requires stability of the mind and character as well as the aspiration to consciously do things differently every time one is confronted with a corresponding scenario. Metalycée are willing to take that chance and perhaps gloriously fail at doing so, but do not intend to keep their mouths shut about it.