Exposé Online banner

Team Metlay — Ballistic
(Atomic City ATOM CD 09, 1995, 2CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 1993-12-31

Ballistic Cover art

In 1990 a group of musicians from across the USA, previously known to each other only through e-mail, met in a Pennsylvania studio under the leadership of one Mike Metlay. During these sessions, this group (AKA Team Metlay) recorded Bandwidth. While Bandwidth contains a couple of musical gems, it is an uneven release and is appropriately viewed by the team as its alpha test. Having learned a lot from this experience, the team reconvened in January and August 1992 for their beta test and finally in December 1994 - January 1995 to record, mix, and master their current double CD, Ballistic. Over the intervening years the team has matured and added one or two members and now consists of Carl Brenner (Pelog [but no slendra] and ersatz lead synths), DAC Crowell (conventional synthesis, scientific instruments, beats, thrown gear), Eirikur Hallgrimsson (chromatic handstands and post production words of wisdom), Joe McMahon (one lousy box (ha), Badalamenti channeling), Mike Metlay (loops, pads, vectors, noises, bleen, panic, handwaving), John 3 Rossi (zap launcher, digital sample mangling, and Drum Fu), Nick Rothwell (MIDI difference engine, cube navigation, and out-of-range errors), Adam Schabtach (algorhythmics and four-handed Theremin), David Turner (technocrat, 6-op), and Steve Verity (virtual) (core dumps). You can tell just be reading this smorgasbord of credits that these guys had fun with this release.

The first disc, Trajectory, contains 17 tracks while the second disc, Impact, contains 12 somewhat longer tracks. Trajectory opens with short wave radio sounds and a female voice giving the news and weather for "Atomic City." You then begin a two and a half hour musical journey across both discs paying homage to such diverse artists as Vangelis, Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Zoviet France, and Richard Pinhas. And just to provide that touchstone to remind you where you came from are the occasional news updates from Atomic City radio. This mixed bag of finely crafted electronic music culminates with "Aqua Regia;" 30 minutes of slow moving searing guitars and electronics that rivals Heldon. Ballistic is a monumental release and a testament to the hard work and dedication of these fine musicians. Highly recommended!


Filed under: New releases, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Mike Metlay / Team Metlay, Steve Verity, Joe McMahon

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Frogg Café - The Safenzee Diaries – First things first. This is one of the absolute best sounding live albums this writer has heard, made even more surprising because nearly every track across the 2CD set was recorded at a different...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues