This record is for Ty Brinneman. “Despite distance and season.”
First and foremost, this new re-imagining of Metavari’s 2009 debut Be One of Us and Hear No Noise is a tribute to original band member Ty Brinneman. Bassist Ty Brinneman was diagnosed with a very rare but extremely dangerous form of cancer called pleural mesothelioma in 2018 and it’s been an uphill climb ever since. Nate Utesch saw an opportunity to both mark Metavari’s beginning, as well as pay tribute to his friend and band member. All original members of Metavari took part in re-recording their debut, but in a much more minimal way. Re-imagining the record as an ambient “shadow” of the original, Soft Continuum stands as both connective musical tissue to Be One of Us as well as its own artistic statement. The results are a mere 26-minutes, but stand as a wondrous musical world all its own.
Soft Continuum marks the first time that Utesch and Brinneman have worked together in this capacity since 2015. They wrote over half the record together, and as Utesch explained “Experimentation in the recording process utilizes MIDI Bass software to perform hardware synthesizers in real time in addition to typical bass guitar tracking.” This allowed a freedom to explore lighter sonic structures, using the original compositions are starting off points but taking the sound to new and exciting heights.
Each track on Soft Continuum shimmers with an excitement of growth, while still paying homage to what came originally. “Kings Die Like Other Men(Rediscovery)” opens like static melody coming thru an old transistor radio. Boards of Canada come to mind before the track comes to life with live drums and bright synth structures. “Arc(The Priest, The Shore, and the Wait)” has an almost music box quality to it. Acoustic guitar and piano shimmer and wobble like an old cassette tape as the track starts to glitch towards the end. One of the most beautiful tracks is “Collapse(Story for a Song Without End)”. Subtle electronics and piano coalesce into a gorgeous and melancholy piece. Bits of ambient noise and a lilting melody make this a song you’ll play over and over again.
What better reason to revisit a decade-old album than to reconnect with old friends and bandmates. Even more so, to pay tribute to one of those old friends and bandmates. Soft Continuum does both, with heartfelt vibrancy and a breathless urgency.
Buy Soft Continuum here. Order the commemorative book and get the digital album automatically.