Last year was off to a tragic start for Malta’s electronic music scene when, on the 26th of February, it was announced that 24-year-old Rhys Celeste had died in a traffic accident in Mosta. Now, as the one year anniversary of that fateful day inches closer, a community of Maltese artists are set to release a collaborative album honouring the memory of Rhys, or as he was known, Microlith.
The album, In Memory of Microlith, has been in the works for months now, but it’s finally set to be launched online next month, one year after Rhys’ death. “We decided to wait a bit longer and have the release coincide with the anniversary,” electronic music producer Justin Meli told Lovin Malta. “We all agreed that the best thing to do was to wait.”
Justin Meli, who goes by Sonitus Eco, will be hosting the album on his own record label, Haar Records. He shared the news of the completed project last night in a Facebook post, going on to explain why Rhys’ death was such a shock to the island. “As a small community of music producers, this tragic news was deeply felt,” Meli said. “Rhys’ dedication towards his music was an inspiration to all of us, and he will forever live through his music. This is our tribute to him.”
26 different local producers were given absolute musical freedom to channel their own tribute to the young Maltese artist. “Each track would represent what Rhys meant to each producer, their own personal homage,” Meli said. Even the album’s artwork itself was done by Maltese visual artist Introwerks.
The list of artists includes a number of heavyweights from across various scenes, from Acidulant and Fabricka to Owen Jay and Wayne Works. And of course, Justin’s very own Sonitus Eco is also featured in the track list. The final product, launching in a month’s time, will feature 28 different tracks. The first track from the project, Acidulant’s Sybranksiet (featuring Brandon), has now been released as a teaser of what’s to come.
All proceeds from this Various Artists release will go towards Electronic Music Malta, a community of which Rhys was a very active member. This money will in turn be reinvested into community projects which have been agreed upon among all the producers involved in the project.