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©2017 Mike Metlay - All Rights Reserved

Available For Sale

Metlay!: fade

Fade: six tracks of somber beauty, driving energy, meditative repose, and soaring triumph. 

Released 2016

Aural Films

  • fade to white (glimpse)

  • fade to silver

  • fade to purple

  • fade to blue (live edit)

  • fade to green

  • fade to gold

fade to white (glimpse) - metlay!
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In 2016, I was investigating a new way of composing music, one that provided a way around many of the irritations and distractions that made solo work so unpleasant for me most of the time. For the first time in many years, I found that I was creating really worthwhile music at an unheard of pace... and the fruition of this burst of creativity was the album fade, now available on CD and download from the Aural Films net label. I think you'll really enjoy it.

mindSpiral: it's come 2 this

Live ambient space music from an acclaimed planetarium concert -- an international quartet ranges from celestial meditation to rocket-propelled rhythmic trance.

Released 2007

Atomic City

dusty bin - mindSpiral
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  • Broken China

  • Lonely Asteroid

  • The Screaming Reds

  • Fleeing Ibiza

  • A Classic Case

  • Abacus

  • The Magnitude of the Crisis

  • Dusty Bin

  • Glockengerate

  • Pendulum

mindSpiral is back! 

In the latest stage of a career spanning nearly 30 years, three decades filled with amazing music, community building, acerbic commentary, pioneering Internet collaborations, stunning live shows and music festivals... and did we mention the amazing music?... Mike Metlay, the “man from Atomic City”, is happily tickling ears and blowing minds with the creations of his latest project, mindSpiral. 

As Mike himself puts it: “mindSpiral is me, plus anyone who picks up the phone, hears my voice saying ‘I have this great new idea...’, and doesn’t hang up.” 

This revolving-door series of collaborations in electronic music spans the gamut from sweet and soothing ambient space symphonies to rhythmic trance to scary experimental noise, and is being released and promoted all over the world in a variety of formats and forums, from the live-net-concert archives of StillStream.com to the dark and vaguely sinister halls of Just Not Normal Records. But the true centerpieces of mindSpiral’s large and growing catalog are its CDs of live space-music concerts recorded every spring at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, Colorado. 

The first mindSpiral CD, the 1 is silent (available here on CD Baby), was hailed as “Stunning musicality combined with fresh original direction”. That concert, in April of 2005, signaled the start of mindSpiral’s amazing trip, and while net-based releases have been coming out in a steady stream, audiences have been eagerly awaiting the release of another album. 

Wait no more... it’s come 2 this. 

This live show, from April 2006, showcases Mike Metlay and the three musicians who joined him to form the collaboration tagged as “mind2Spiral”. Mike’s dearest musical friend and near-20-year collaborator, Nick Rothwell a.k.a. CASSIEL, whose marvelous solo album Listen/Move is available on CD Baby, flew over from London to provide the computerized rhythmic/textural framework for many of the pieces performed in the show. Nick’s counterpart in anchoring and framing the musical material via sequencers and virtual modular synthesizers was Greg Waltzer, a fixture in the Philadelphia electronic scene whose solo project Cranial Mythos and various group collaborations (Mutation Vector, Holosphere, Xeroid Entity, and especially Fringe Element, of which Mike is an honorary member) served as part of Mike’s inspiration for mindSpiral. And rounding out the quartet on lead synths, melodies, odd sounds, and a bit of theremin, was Paul Vnuk Jr., acclaimed solo artist and member of Ma Ja Le, whose career spans work with everyone from Giles Reaves, Dave Fulton, and John DuVal, to Vir Unis and even (shhh!) Steve Roach. 

While each piece is a collaboration between all four members, each of the three guest musicians gets a chance to soar here: Nick’s precise and intricate compositional style is showcased on pieces like “Fleeing Ibiza” and “Glockengerate”, Greg provides his unique compositional imprint on “Abacus” and “Pendulum”, and Paul soars into space and delves into the mysteries of found sound on “Lonely Asteroid” and “The Magnitude Of The Crisis”. (For his part, Mike likes to say that he’ll take credit for all the wrong notes.) 

Lovers of traditional space music will go crazy over this concert recording, which gives props to the Berlin and Dusseldorf schools of electronic composition while adding a sly nod to modern electronica and trance music, melding a much-loved style with fresh and vital elements. It’s an amazing hour-plus of deep and involving music, a delight for the ears and mind... and its merely the second step in the long and fascinating journey that is mindSpiral.

mindSpiral: the 1 is silent

Live electronic space music, from melodic to noisy, from dreamy to nightmarish.

  • fist of god 1 / bigfoot

  • purple fuzzy monkeys taking over the moon

  • we alone

  • fist of god 3 / calling tokyo / fist of god 4

  • the snowflake and the star

  • squid cinema

  • ecliptic

We Alone - mindSpiral
00:00 / 00:00

Released 2006

Atomic City

And then there was mindSpiral... 

A famous Hollywood pro audio type once said, "Mike Metlay is not famous. He's notorious. There's a difference." And as far as Mike is concerned, notoriety isn't all bad. 

For over 25 years he's been a fixture in the world electronic music scene, releasing over a dozen albums of solo and group work (many of them available here on CD Baby), promoting the efforts of many up-and-coming artists, writing reams of educational material in print and on the Internet, and generally getting in people's faces. But of all his endeavours in the music world, he's best known as a community builder, bringing together diverse groups of electronic musicians to create new and exciting music. 

It started with the three Team Metlay albums recorded in the 1990s, all of which are still available here: 1990's Bandwidth, 1994's Ballistic, and 1999's Beneath Stars. Then, in 2003, Mike launched Different Skies, an annual electronic music festival at Arcosanti in Arizona, which has met every year since then and released one album and DVD (both entitled Arcs & Angles) since then. With a trilogy of acclaimed albums and a fantastically successful music festival established as an annual get-together, what's left? 

mindSpiral, that's what. 

So what IS mindSpiral, precisely? 

It's a description of the cramped, chaotic headspace where Metlay's music originates, fulminates, ferments, and finally blooms into being. It's a state of mind where new music goes from "I wish I could" to "I know I can". It's what happens when Mike Metlay picks up the phone, calls a few friends, and says, "Hey, I have this new idea...." 

mindSpiral is Mike Metlay and anyone silly enough to not hang up when he calls. Every incarnation is different, every project is unique, every bit is magical, every chance taken to expose new and experienced talents to the world is worthwhile in the end. mindSpiral is madness, careening nearly out of control but somehow coming up roses in the end. mindSpiral is deep, silly, fun, meaningful, and well worth hearing. 

And in this case, mindSpiral is now on CD in its first incarnation. Witness the carnage of mind1Spiral's album: the 1 is silent. 

Mike launched mindSpiral in the spring of 2005 with two live shows at the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The Fiske is a classic old-school star theatre, with fantastic visuals, a huge laser light show system, inventive and talented visual artists on staff, and the star of the show, Fritz, a genuine "giant bug rising out of the pit" Zeiss star projector. This was the venue for Team Metlay's farewell performance in 1999, recorded for Beneath Stars, and Mike finally got to scratch the itch that was drawing him back there, for a splendid evening of new music and phenomenal visuals. 

Joining Mike on stage for mind1Spiral were three diverse and well-known talents in their own right. Darwin Grosse of creativesynth.com is a famous name in his own right, with his fingers in the music business from software creation to standup comedy and everything in between, and a stint in Team Metlay he's still trying to live down. John DuVal is a member of Dweller At The Threshold, a synthesist who's turned back to his first love, the guitar, for the first time in many years for this show. And Giles Reaves has a list of New Age album successes as long as your arm, including his solo album Wunjo, that went to #11 on the Billboard New Age charts. 

The four musicians came together on a Tuesday, got to work on Wednesday, and were live on stage by Saturday, with all the music written and rehearsed in that time frame. It's raw, spontaneous, exciting, beautiful in places and scary in others, left unedited except for length to preserve its freshness... and it's a fitting start to the ongoing saga of mindSpiral. 

mind2Spiral has already performed a live show that's on its way to CD, and lots of other projects are now in the works, many of which will find their way here in time. But for now, here's the first step on a long and VERY strange trip. You won't want to miss it.

Different Skies: arcs & angles

Electronic and Experimental Space Music from the Different Skies Festival.

Released 2005

Atomic City

  • She Calls

  • Carnivore One

  • First Crocus

  • Vapor Trails

  • Marionette Patrol

  • Circle For Position

  • Snap To Focus

She Calls - Different Skies
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Different Skies is an annual electronic and experimental space music festival that takes place in Arcosanti, the urban laboratory on a cliffside in central Arizona. For one week, electronic artists from around the globe gather to make friends, network, compose, and perform an evening of entirely new music for an appreciative audience. 

In 2004, the performance was divided into two types of music. One was a collection of short pieces by established groups and collaborations between those groups; these may be released by those groups in the future. The other was what the artists called "all-star jams", completely improvised and spontaneous compositions involving only a few people or all twenty of the participants. Over 90 minutes of these jams were culled from the week's audio recordings and released with David Tristram's amazing visuals as the DVD "Arcs & Angles", now available on Filmbaby.com. See the link at left, "Check out the Different Skies website", to order the DVD. (If you want to see the actual Different Skies site, please surf to www.differentskies.com.) 

This CD was a limited-edition promotional disc that accompanied the release of the DVD; unlike the DVD it was an extremely limited edition and is now out of print. The CD contained high-quality audio-only versions of six of the DVD's eight tracks, as well as "Circle For Position," a track that appears nowhere else. 

Fans of electronic and experimental music, live composition and improvisation, and intensely absorbing and powerful music will want to obtain the Arcs & Angles DVD for their collections. It captures the magic of Different Skies 2004 in a very special way. And if you insist on getting the audio from the CD, check out your favorite online music download service, like the iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody... if these songs aren't available there yet, they will be soon.

Team Metlay: Beneath Stars

The final album in the Team Metlay trilogy combines studio and live-concert electronic soundscapes ranging from the primal rhythms of a poisoned earth to the chilled expanses of space. Music to move and meditate by, in the inimitable Team Metlay style... 

  • I, Assimilator

  • Unbroken

  • Meta (Zap 26)

  • rethink/Pemungkah

  • Chiba!

  • To Depart, At Last

  • [curtain]

  • Prologue: Gloria Speaks

  • RSL

  • Fritz Ascending

  • Wiard on ACID

  • False Dawn

  • Loremarie

  • Coming Through 1999

  • A Time For Heroes

  • The Man With The World In His Head

  • The Wheel Of Stars

  • Epilogue: Gloria Speaks

  • [discusion con la maquina]

Released 2004

Atomic City

Madeira - Team Metlay
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Team Metlay... those two words inspire laughter, or a shake of the head. The first of the great Internet electronic superbands, launched at the dawn of the Net era, before the World Wide Web, before most people even had computers in their homes, it gathered musicians from around the world and brought them together in one place to create music of power, madness, and majesty. 

Every two years, the Team would reunite, putting human faces on the sterile dealings of the Net, gathering in a studio and writing, playing, mixing, and completing an entire album in one or two marathon sessions. In 1990 it was Bandwidth. From 1992 and 1994 came the megalithic double album Ballistic. 

And then... silence. 

Word filtered out onto the Internet about something that happened in 1996. A session gone wrong. Fights. Death threats. The band broken up, with members fighting over precious tapes of the last few days in the studio before things went to Hell. Then more silence. Then a flurry of activity in 1998, word of a reunion concert, a possible rebirth of the band in a live setting... and then, more silence. 

Seven years since it was begun, the last Team Metlay album is here, and it's been well worth the wait. Beneath Stars is a CD in two wonderfully-matched parts: the first half, Badlands, is a careful compositing of tracks from the 1996-1997 sessions rescued from the dumpster, remastered and stripped of years of noise and crud, and the second half, Beneath Electric Stars, is an edit of the Team's farewell concert in January of 1999 at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, Colorado. 

Critics call it the best work the Team's ever done, an absolutely essential conclusion to the decade-long love/hate story that was Team Metlay. If you have any interest in the history of electronic music, if you love chilled ambient spacescapes with a hint of insanity bubbling below the surface, if you want to hear how the story came out... you must come with the Team and have a seat Beneath Stars.

Metlay!: After Silence

Rhythmic and atmospheric electronic ambiences coexist in this solo concert recording.

Released 2002

Atomic City

SPECIAL NOTE: THIS ALBUM IS NOW OUT OF PRINT - but you can purchase it in downloadable form.

  • The Stars Look Down

  • Annapurna 2k2

  • Descent/substrata

  • Necrocosm [Lenticular Three]

  • Those Who Wait For Morning

Annapurna 2k2 - Metlay!
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Ozma: a huge and silent place

Ozma's electronics explore the darkest and coldest of dark ambient soundscapes--not the sound of being IN space, but of actually BEING space. Music for dark nights full of stars.

Released 1998

Atomic City

  • Actualia 1

  • Lalande 21185

  • Actualia 0

  • 61 Cygni

  • Actualia 2

  • Circumstellar

  • Actualia 4

  • B Hydri

  • Actualia 3

  • Transatmospheric

Ozma was the brainchild of electronic artists Mike Metlay and DAC Crowell, recorded in two frantic weeks at the Towers Of Duh in Tallahassee, Florida, one steamy autumn in 1995. Delayed by label and production hassles, the long-awaited disc has finally been released to an eager public on Metlay's own Atomic City imprint. 

The tracks on A HUGE AND SILENT PLACE were improvised live on analog and digital electronics and recorded live to 2-track. Overdubs were kept to a mininum, and there are no edits. The ten tracks--five long sequences often named for small and nearly-unknown stars near our own solar system, and five transitional pieces called "actualia"--have been sequenced and crossfaded to provide an encompassing hour-long audio excursion into the cold of deep space, populated by the dim red stars and passing clouds of dark matter that surround our world. 

We recommend listening to this CD as an immersive experience, in a darkened room or under a starry sky while wearing headphones. The album rewards repeated listenings, works well looped in the background as the listener sleeps and dreams, and should not be absorbed hastily or in a haphazard fashion. 

We have mostly chosen the Actualia to represent Ozma's music here, despite the fact that they make up less than a fifth of the record's running time, due to the time constraints of the playable samples. 

A HUGE AND SILENT PLACE is the latest release in the Atomic City roster, and a powerful and involving listening experience that fans of ambient electronic soundscapes will not want to miss. This is not "space music" in the sense of being IN space... this is "space music" in the sense of BEING Space itself.

CASSIEL: Listen/Move

Electronics for listening, electronics for moving: a creator of soundscapes for installation and modern dance companies across europe, and atomic city is proud to offer a collection of their finest moments through CD baby.

  • Dragon's Domain

  • The Cathcart Circle (Part 1)

  • Insidious Sedation

  • The Cathcart Circle (Part 2)

  • Zero X

  • Nijinsky (Red Axis)

  • Tramway 4

  • Laban's Swastika

  • Chaodai

  • New Moves

  • Sabine/Luna

  • 1919/21 (Green Axis)

  • Zoo Station Transit

  • Spinning Reserve (Silver Axis)

  • Traquair (Yellow Axis)

  • Plate 21

  • The Mad Hatter's Last Moondance

Dragon's Domain - CASSIEL
00:00 / 00:00

Released 1998

Atomic City

Atomic City is the Internet's first electronic music production company, having been formed well over a decade ago. Their early experiments in collaborative emusic, given the nickname "Team Metlay" after founder Mike Metlay, have been released on a series of CDs that are now available through CD Baby. 

Nick Rothwell, also known as CASSIEL, is one of the founding members of the Team, and is a proponent of computer-based structures for creating and manipulating music that is fluid and moldable in real time. Forsaking the traditional "analog rules" methods of creating improvisational music, he controls digital synthesizers with complex programming structures to create living, breathing sound engines that change their very nature with a gesture, a touch, a word. 

LISTEN/MOVE was his first solo outing, originally a limited edition CD on Atomic City that was issued to the UK dance community as a sort of audio calling card. In response to a flood of requests from electronic music listeners, who had been waiting to hear Nick's work and were unable to obtain the CD, Atomic City re-released it with new packaging and artwork the following year. 

The sound examples provide a taste of the strange and wonderful biologies growing here and there on the scattered landscape of LISTEN/MOVE, and we invite you to explore deeper: this CD rewards repeated and careful listening by opening ever-deeper layers of subtle detail. Music for the wise. 

After you've given CASSIEL a try, we invite you to check out the other Atomic City releases available on CD Baby.

Team Metlay: Ballistic

Atomic City's eclectic hypergroup Team Metlay released this double CD in 1995, assembling everything from jazz to industrial noise into a soaring, bizarre electronic landscape. A feast for the ears and mind, and definitely not for fans of the predictable. 

  • Thousands Of Years

  • Into The Aether

  • Fragment G

  • To Gather Again

  • Spamming The Globe

  • The Essential Menace

  • I Can See The City From Here

  • Erratica

  • Collateral Damage

  • Liquid Murder

  • Hot Tub Party In The Gene Pool

  • Let's Go Tease The Fire Ants!

  • Aqua Regia

  • [ . . . ]

  • Until Next Time

  • 0500

  • A Gathering Of The Mighty

  • ...organisms...

  • Frost On The Steel Viola

  • Beijingplatz

  • Transpacific State Radio, 0310

  • I'm Worth More Than That

  • Exosphere/Intercept

  • 666 Bpm

  • Paradigm Shift

  • Trajectory

  • Zibbelon

  • Quantum Sleep

  • Enter The Helix

Released 1995

Atomic City

I'm Worth More Than That - Team Metlay
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Ballistic was the second Team Metlay album, a double CD featuring over two hours of eclectic, shattering, altogether strange and wonderful music from four different sessions assembling seventeen musicians from around the world over four years. Six years after its inception, it continues to thrill and challenge audiences around the world. 

With as many different influences and styles as there were creative talents, the album's two CDs (Trajectory and Impact) form a roller coaster ride through the wild, weird, stirring, and often hilarious--a gathering of electronic styles ranging from cool jazz to industrial noisescapes, dance rhythms, and improvisational space music. Ranging from precious miniatures under a minute in length to the half-hour set piece "Aqua Regia", Ballistic is filled to overflowing with ideas snapping sparks at one another and straining to be free. 

Press Play, kick back, and be transported to the mysterious yet somehow familiar world of Atomic City, where emerging technologies strive to meld with human hopes and dreams under a glowing sky that sizzles with the constant hum of information travelling across the globe and beyond. 

Experience the wonders of Convective Synthesis, Z-Plane surfing, Drum Fu, and Bleen. Learn the nature of the Essential Menace, search the Exosphere for fragments of data, and tune in to Transpacific State Radio for the late-night bootleg broadcast. Meet Digital Dorothy and Gloria, thrill to the Atomic City World Service, stroll across Beijingplatz in the dead of night, and learn to tease the Fire Ants. It's all here, in one form or another, and it's waiting for you to dive in. 

There has never been an electronic music album like this before, and the world may not be able to handle another one like it again. So why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose but your boundaries. 

Ballistic is one of many Atomic City releases from the past ten years that are now available on CD Baby. Please check out our other titles, and absorb the wonders we have to offer.

Metlay!: Band Of Fire

Atomic City is proud to offer a limited edition of one of the rarest and most influential singles of the electronic music movement. Mastered with 3D sound processing, this 17-minute ambient excursion is designed to play in an infinite spiralling loop.

Released 1995

Atomic City

  • Band Of Fire

       (17:49)

Atomic City is the Internet's first electronic music production company, having been formed well over a decade ago. Their early experiments in collaborative emusic, given the nickname "Team Metlay" after founder Mike Metlay, have been released on a series of CDs that are now available through CD Baby. 

Band Of Fire was originally released on Facets, a compilation sampler from the Synkronos electronic music label, in 1991. It was solo electronic artist and Atomic City founder Mike Metlay's first foray into work with a larger label. Years later, Metlay got permission from Synkronos to remaster the 17-minute soundscape with the SRS Labs 3D Sound system to give it an eerie sense of space unlike any electronic music before it, and released it on Atomic City as a CD single. 

Some copies of this numbered limited edition are still available, featuring the original packaging and art by famous independent comic artist Matt Howarth. The soundclip only features the opening two minutes of this complex, evolving sonic loop, which is designed to play forever.... 

Check out this remarkable bit of electronic history at a bargain price, and please have a look at the other Atomic City titles available from CD Baby!

Joe McMahon: Shatterday

Atomic City presents solo electronic music from a gentle genius, ranging from jazz to the outer reaches of human sanity. A small miracle of electronica, an ambient gem.

The Empty Sky - Joe McMahon
00:00 / 00:00

Released 1995

Atomic City

  • DB

  • Fossil Rain

  • The Empty Sky

  • NC 12 North

  • The Lamps Of Avernus

  • Approaching Thunder

  • On In Five

  • Lights Out

  • Primum Mobile

  • Aztec Polyethylene

  • Shatterday

  • An Even Million Miles

Atomic City is the Internet's first electronic music production company, having been formed well over a decade ago. Their early experiments in collaborative emusic, given the nickname "Team Metlay" after founder Mike Metlay, have been released on a series of CDs that are now available through CD Baby. 

One of the Team's quieter members, Bay-area-based electronic experimentalist Joe McMahon, has been prodded into the limelight with Shatterday, his first solo CD. Released to critical acclaim in 1995, this electronic outing combines traditional jazz and classical themes with the wilder elements of traditional electroacoustic music to create a virtual diary of a dreamer's ideas. 

There's uptempo and downtempo music, jazz and pop themes, uncompromising noise, all linked together by a startlingly clear sensibility that fuses the collection into a coherent whole. The audio examples are only a small selection of the wide range of styles and sounds to be heard here. 

All you gearheads out there, be prepared to be freaked out-- this album was performed live to 2-track on only one synthesizer, no matter what your ears tell you. 

Meet Joe McMahon and take a spin through his world. And having done so, check out the other Atomic City releases now available on CD Baby.

Team Metlay: Bandwidth

The legendary debut album is now available here! Many electronic music careers officially began with this eclectic melange of ambient, rhythmic, emotional and chill-out styles. Electronics that are as exciting as they are innovative. 

 

  • The Hinge Of Fate

  • Netstrophonie

  • Oxygen Feed

  • March Of The Plastic Ants

  • Killing Chrome

  • Madeira

  • Loremarie

Loremarie - Team Metlay
00:00 / 00:00

Released 1993

Atomic City

Atomic City is the Internet's first electronic music production company, having been formed well over a decade ago. Their early experiments in collaborative emusic, given the nickname "Team Metlay" after founder Mike Metlay, have been released on a series of CDs that are now available through CD Baby. 

Bandwidth is where it all began.