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Nate Utesch continues to evolve and move the sound of Metavari into new territory.
Starting back in 2008 as a post-rock band with electronic flourishes strewn about, the band is now Utesch working alone both with software and increasingly hardware.
His commissioned work back in 2016 for Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center, the exquisite and sublime rescoring of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, turned out to be an overwhelming success and a sought-after vinyl release for Record Store Day 2017.
Metavari’s newest release, Absurda, sees Utesch taking on another master: David Lynch. The album sees Metavari reimagining the soundtracks to 10 of David Lynch’s short films. The results are the best work Nate Utesch has created. It’s sublime, chaotic, menacing, and quite beautiful.
“Six Figures Getting Sick (Six Times)” is the opener and the pinnacle of audaciousness. Noises crackle and wheeze with a kind of neurotic pantomime. Metavari truly captures the absurdity Lynch created. Imagine ’80s Jan Hammer being swallowed by a garbage disposal and you’re close to what’s happening.
“The Alphabet” comes very close to something you’d expect to hear on a Metavari album, part Metavari and part elements of Wendy Carlos. This is one of Lynch’s best known short films, and Nate Utesch captures the visuals to near perfection.
Elsewhere, the title track “Absurda” is absolutely stunning. What Metavari does to the work of David Lynch is ground in a reality that is relatable. Lynch’s work is polarizing, to say the least, and Utesch works to bring it into sharper focus with his deft compositions.
“Premonitions Following an Evil Deed” is one of the more restrained pieces, more engaged with emotions like longing and trepidation. At just a little over a minute it’s the shortest as well. Absurda ends on “Ballerina Parts 1 & 2.” These are the lightest and most ambient works on the record, showing the true depth and range Metavari cover.
You may think you’re not a fan of David Lynch, but after listening to Absurda, Nate Utesch and Metavari could very well change your mind. —