Before Metavari became a one man operation, the Midwest band was a full-on post-rock outfit that consisted of five members. In 2009 the band released their debut Be One of Us and Hear No Noise, played SXSW, and shared the stage with bands as diverse as The Appleseed Cast, Maserati, This Will Destroy You, Tortoise, Bear in Heaven, and Titus Andronicus. As the years went on the band became a one man electronic project with Nate Utesch as its sole member, with original bassist Ty Brinneman helping out on 2015s Moonless and playing live with Utesch when he could.
Early last year original Metavari bassist Ty Brinneman was diagnosed with an extremely rare and serious form of cancer called pleural mesothelioma. As both to mark the ten year anniversary of Metavari’s debut release, and as a tribute to friend and band member Brinneman, Nate Utesch reassembled the original Metavari line up to record a new interpretation of their debut release. With Utesch and Brinneman writing a lot of the record together(for the first time since 2015), along with some long distance collaborations that reached to Michigan and New York, we now have Soft Continuum.
According to Metavari regarding Soft Continuum:
Soft Continuum is the 10th anniversary edition of 2009’s Be One of Us and Hear No Noise. This is an exercise in rediscovery; a 26-minute reinterpretation of themes from the original recordings. Minimally composed, but proudly featuring every member who has ever been involved in the project.
Experimentation in the recording process utilizes MIDI Bass software to perform hardware synthesizers in real time in addition to typical bass guitar tracking.
On December 11, 2019 Soft Continuum will be released via Vital Shores Electronic Music Company. Physical format is a 48-page book containing the original Rapa Nui photographs from Be One of Us, experimental photography by Anni Roenkae and Amber Lamoreaux for Soft Continuum, and liner notes comparing the 2009 vs. 2019 records.
I’ve listened to Soft Continuum and what Utesch, Brinneman, and the rest of the OG Metavari crew have created is a stripped down, ambient reflection of what was. An ethereal, fragmented bit of electronic beauty that shows a decade past was one of personal and artistic growth, and that time and distance hasn’t dampened that creative connection that began in a Midwest town all those years ago. Soft Continuum shows a musical partnership blossoming once more, and for a beautiful, urgent, and significant cause.
Soft Continuum is a welcome addition to the Metavari discography, as well as being an open-hearted re-connection of musical friends.
This record is for Ty Brinneman. “Despite distance and season.”
Listen to “Kings Die Like Other Men(Rediscovery)” below. Preorder Soft Continuum here. And if you would like to help Ty Brinneman and his family out with his medical bills, please give to his Gofundme page here. Every little bit helps.