It's Come 2 This
Mindspiral is back! In the latest stage of a career spanning nearly 30 years, three decades filled with amazing music, community building, acerbic commentary, pioneering Internet collaborations, stunning live shows and music festivals... and did we mention the amazing music?... Mike Metlay, the "man from Atomic City", is happily tickling ears and blowing minds with the creations of his latest project, Mindspiral. As Mike himself puts it: "Mindspiral is me, plus anyone who picks up the phone, hears my voice saying 'I have this great new idea...', and doesn't hang up." This revolving-door series of collaborations in electronic music spans the gamut from sweet and soothing ambient space symphonies to rhythmic trance to scary experimental noise, and is being released and promoted all over the world in a variety of formats and forums, from the live-net-concert archives of StillStream.com to the dark and vaguely sinister halls of Just Not Normal Records. But the true centerpieces of Mindspiral's large and growing catalog are it's CDs of live space-music concerts recorded every spring at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, Colorado. The first Mindspiral CD, the 1 is silent (available here on CD Baby), was hailed as "Stunning musicality combined with fresh original direction". That concert, in April of 2005, signaled the start of Mindspiral's amazing trip, and while net-based releases have been coming out in a steady stream, audiences have been eagerly awaiting the release of another album. Wait no more... it's come 2 this. This live show, from April 2006, showcases Mike Metlay and the three musicians who joined him to form the collaboration tagged as "mind2Spiral". Mike's dearest musical friend and near-20-year collaborator, Nick Rothwell a.k.a. CASSIEL, whose marvelous solo album Listen/Move is available on CD Baby, flew over from London to provide the computerized rhythmic/textural framework for many of the pieces performed in the show. Nick's counterpart in anchoring and framing the musical material via sequencers and virtual modular synthesizers was Greg Waltzer, a fixture in the Philadelphia electronic scene whose solo project Cranial Mythos and various group collaborations (Mutation Vector, Holosphere, Xeroid Entity, and especially Fringe Element, of which Mike is an honorary member) served as part of Mike's inspiration for Mindspiral. And rounding out the quartet on lead synths, melodies, odd sounds, and a bit of theremin, was Paul Vnuk Jr., acclaimed solo artist and member of Ma Ja Le, whose career spans work with everyone from Giles Reaves, Dave Fulton, and John DuVal, to Vir Unis and even (shhh!) Steve Roach. While each piece is a collaboration between all four members, each of the three guest musicians gets a chance to soar here: Nick's precise and intricate compositional style is showcased on pieces like "Fleeing Ibiza" and "Glockengerate", Greg provides his unique compositional imprint on "Abacus" and "Pendulum", and Paul soars into space and delves into the mysteries of found sound on "Lonely Asteroid" and "The Magnitude Of The Crisis". (For his part, Mike likes to say that he'll take credit for all the wrong notes.) Lovers of traditional space music will go crazy over this concert recording, which gives props to the Berlin and Dusseldorf schools of electronic composition while adding a sly nod to modern electronica and trance music, melding a much-loved style with fresh and vital elements. It's an amazing hour-plus of deep and involving music, a delight for the ears and mind... and it's merely the second step in the long and fascinating journey that is Mindspiral.