Thursday, 28 July 2016

Lycia - Wake (Free Download/Pay What You Want)

This is a great album, get it while you can.
Wake is often referred to as Lycia's first official release. A better description would be a local slightly distributed demo. In early 1989 Mike VanPortfleet and John Fair approached Orphanage Records, a local Phoenix based label specializing in dark and experimental styles, with a few recently recorded Lycia demo songs. Orphanage agreed to put something out and even suggested putting out the demo songs themselves. Lycia decided instead to re-record and approach it as an official release. The initial plan was to re-record some of the earlier written stronger songs. The idea of actually recording an albums' worth of material was even toyed with. But during the recording process issues arose. In retrospect these issues should have been easy to identify, but with only a few months of home recording experience these issues derailed the sessions. Moving ahead in the way they worked best, four new songs were recorded instead (Nothing, Wake, The Bells and Down There). From Foam was reworked and an old unfinished song (This Decline) was recorded. In March of 1989 Orphanage released Wake on cassette. 50 copies were hand duplicated by Lycia, half going to Orphanage for local distribution and the other half kept by the band (a good portion of which were recorded over in the coming years). Wake went unnoticed until re-released on CD by Projekt in 1993. This version was restored by Sam Rosenthal and also included three additional quick mix outtakes from the original Wake sessions (Sing Like Sirens, Incinerate and Time). In the late 1990s Wake went out of print.

On numerous occasions in the 2000s the idea of a re-mastered/restored Wake was considered and even attempted. But the end results never were satisfying and the idea was abandoned. The restored Projekt version used a source cassette that was in rough condition, with numerous glitches and warbles. Sam did a wonderful job with a sub par source cassette, but by 1993 that is all that remained.

In the spring of 2016 Mike VanPortfleet received of box of his Mother's belongings. She passed away in 1997. A saved box of Lycia related items, including an original Wake cassette, sat in storage for years. This long lost copy of Wake was in near perfect condition and appeared to have never been played. It was quickly digitized and the numerous technical issues that plagued the earlier released CD version were not present. A professional re-master was considered but the decision was made instead to re-release 'as is'. So what you hear here is the original Wake cassette as released by Orphanage.

For this reissue Lycia decided to go with the Projekt cover, which was hand painted by Susan Jennings especially for Wake. A given since it is the best Lycia album image ever.


released March 31, 1989

The original credits are as follows:



Mike VanPortfleet: guitars, vocals
John Fair: bass, rhythm programs
Will Welch: effects**

all songs by VanPortfleet/Fair

Recorded in The Cave***
March 1989

*The name Down was also used for another song that appeared on the Projekt compilation CD From Across This Gray Land No. 2 in 1990. At that point Wake was still seen as a demo so the duplicate use of the name was not seen as an issue. For that reason the original Wake song Down was renamed Down There on the 1993 Projekt reissue.

**Will Welch was an on again off again member of Lycia at various times from 1988 to 1993. He was not directly involved in the writing or performance of Wake. He assisted with the final mix and loaned equipment, including a rack-mount Roland effects units that was used on every song.

***The Cave was name given to Mike VanPortfleet’s small studio apartment in Tempe Arizona by a since forgotten person who was put off by the dimly lit cigarette smoke filled small space.

Official Lycia Merch:

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