Back in 2010, a friend of mine had asked if I'd ever listened to an Australian drum n' bass outfit called Pendulum. I hadn't, yet. "Oh, do," he'd winked, proceeding to mention that on their then-latest studio album, Immersion, they'd collaborated with not only the likes of Steven Wilson (an incredible solo artist, frontman of Porcupine Tree, and renowned producer of several Opeth records), but also a delightfully heavy number called "Self Vs Self", featuring one of my all-time favourite Scandinavian melodic metal bands -- In Flames.
I'd voraciously devoured the album immediately thereafter, particularly enjoying the tasteful blend of distorted guitars with hyper-processed electronic elements, and the energetic pacing of the drum and bass genre as a whole. This was my first introduction thereto, and admittedly, I was hooked. It was an instant firestorm that blew apart my notions, as a songwriter, about staying within the parameters of any given genre, and arguably one of the keys that’d unlocked my inherent drive to push the colloquially accepted boundaries; to draw from and combine a broad range of eclectic elements that are seldom found meshing together, yet despite being potentially seen as musically quixotic, can actually be made to do so in surprisingly cohesive and interesting ways.
Over a half-decade later, after seriously committing to spinning up the Alyag moniker, I began experimenting with my own rendered fusion of walls of metal guitar riffs atop punchy drum n' bass rhythms -- an ongoing theme most prevalent in tracks of mine such as, "Public Restroom Justice Warrior", "Your Beloved Scapeghost", "Watertrash Disaster", and the just-released-today, "OptiMystic".
The original idea for OptiMystic formed in its first release in 2017, in the most fledgling phase of the Alyag project. All of the key elements were there — the drums, the lead synths, synthesized growls, the wall of guitars, and the chunky bass lines. Although my electronic production chops were hardly up to snuff, I recall banging out the track in one really intensive 16-plus-hour day of production. When I began taking the project to the stage, it’d played an integral part within my early live sets, and began to slowly evolve and integrate new elements. And now, almost three years later, it felt right to resurrect the since-pulled-from-the-web release, and breathe new life into it by way of the production techniques I'd learned and honed in the years since, along with added instrumental layers, rerecorded guitars, and so much more.
So, lo and behold, the remixed, remastered, rereleased OptiMystic, version dos, available for streams or downloads via the preferred platform of your choice.
As well as revamping the track, I've pieced together a nifty release package exclusively for my mailing list members.
This package includes free downloadable content, such as original artwork by my dear friend Totem Baranova aka Novaboros, who'd one day surprised me with a hand-drawn rendition of myself as a mystical Elder Scrolls -esque warlock; as well as several full studio-quality alternate versions of the tune (the original 2017 version, the new official release, and a synth-only version thereof). In addition, there is a two-part mini-documentary with in-studio footage of the making of the track, as well as a breakdown of the gear and setup I'd used to film the promotional performance video.
All of this exclusive bonus content is available only to those subscribed to the Alyag mailing list, accessible here.
Thank you again for your continued support, and enjoy!