There’s something unique about the sound that emanates from a Lycia composition. Built from every ingredient that makes up an ambient soundscape of despair, the music of Lycia creates an atmosphere that is unrelenting in its darkness.
Lycia began as a means to express bleak concepts. Standing tall amid the several highly respected Lycia recordings is the chilling album, Cold. Cold is, without question, one of those impossible to achieve ambient classics, crafted from Mike VanPortfleet’s frightening vision of endless desperation and loneliness, made all the more chilling by Tara Vanflower’s lingering, ghost-like voice, and David Galas’ precision bass work, drum, and synth contributions. Using a landscape of endless snow and ice, banshee-wailing winds, and a jolt of perpetual fear, Cold becomes a walk into someone’s unending nightmare.
Originally released in 1996, this haunting soundtrack has set a standard for vocal/ambient music that proves that created sounds can explore the depth and expanse of human emotion — in this case, total abject fear. One of the more superior tracks, “Baltica,” is beyond description. When Vanflower begins her eerie vocals, the song takes on a new life and personifies the album. Cold has to be heard to be experienced and appreciated.
This spring, on a date yet to be announced, Handmade Bird will be reissuing Cold as a limited edition vinyl LP. For these editions, there will be a short run of 300 featuring classic black vinyl, and a second run of 300 with transparent milky white vinyl with a brown haze. The album will feature the original Projekt Records mastering by Kevin Gray and Ryan Lum with new vinyl mastering by James Plotkin.
The set will house two LPs (two songs per side, except side four, which will have three songs) in gatefold sleeves featuring the artwork from the 2007 Silber Records CD reissue. All albums will be pressed on audiophile grade 180g weight vinyl.
Cold is largely for ambient fans, although many have professed a love for this work. Cold has even been used in film because it lends itself so well to an atmospheric storyline. Timeless works are defined by their ability to be revisited over time. Lycia’s Cold is absolutely one of these.
In the summer of 2013, Lycia will release their newest full-length album since 2002’s Tripping Back Into the Broken Days. Watch for more details on Quiet Moments in an upcoming post.