Lycia – Compilation Appearances Vol. 2 – Review


Compilation Appearances Vol. 2 (Projekt)
by DJ Arcanus

This is the second installment of Lycia‘s work from sources other than their albums, and listeners are treated to a little bit of everything. There are Christmas songs, songs from compilations and soundtracks, a cover, and – the important selling point – unreleased tracks. For more than a decade, Lycia has cranked out album after album of quality dark ambient music, but with so many projects that never came to fruition, there’s a lot of material fans have never heard – until now.

Lycia is not known for songs that fill the dancefloor, but the new track, “Defective,” may have a chance of attracting club-goers to spin and twirl. It has a similar beat to “Pray” (their other dancey song), dark whispers from Mike VanPortfleet, vocal melodies from Tara Vanflower, and birds chattering to drive away the darkness. Christmas tracks and a Joy Division cover show they can breathe new life into other people’s work, demonstrating the sound and feel that has made Lycia unique. This exotic aural blend is made from two parts coldness, one part desolation, and a healthy dose of Mike VanPortfleet’s droning guitar. The distant vocals, sung by Mike in the past and more recently by Tara, augment the sounds of despair and create a world of gray bleakness not unlike our own. Perhaps this is why people are so drawn to their music, which shows the world is not as black and white as many people think.

The question everyone asks about compilations is “Is it worth buying?” In this case, the answer is a definite “yes.” The songs already available give fans more of what they like, while previously unreleased material adds a hint of what may be in store for the future if Lycia continues to release older material. For those who have never heard Lycia, this release represents much of the band’s history and gives the new listener an idea of what to expect from a full-length album.