As the producing-team behind Grails, Alex Hall and Emil Amos have hybridized and warped various culture’s versions of psych music over the past decade.
With their project Lilacs and Champagne, they’ve created another umbrella under which to tweak hip-hop, tape-collage and the darkest creases of 70′s film-soundtracks with their lysergic and perverse style of head-music.
The project’s name and imagery evoke a strange thrift-store mystery LP you might come across, unsure if you’ve discovered an exotic dub record, a flowery Bacharach AM radio classic or something by an obscure duo of Swedish avant-techno producers.
“Midnight Features” is their new series of “fantasy records”. Inspired by the classic Marvel comic series What If?, L & C seek to place themselves into various musical eras, expanding and perverting each new stylistic context they land in.
The first volume, Shower Scene, was inspired by the background music from 1970s TV shows – the frenetic solos, sleazy funk lines and jazz-influenced sounds that subtly lurk behind the tales of crime, drama and passion. The band scratch beneath the soft-focus surface of this era, discovering a darker, more realized territory.
The clever stylistic hybridity that marked their earlier releases remains intact, with new sonic palettes explored and experimented with on every track. On “Sensations” the band sound like a blazing, psych-jazz imagination of The Soft Machine, whereas “Maple Street” approximates the avant-jazz Moondog might have made if he’d lived into the era of sampling.
Watter is a new trio made up of close friends and collaborators whose collective pedigree reads like a desert island list of must-haves in experimental rock musicians. Multi-instrumentalists Zak Riles (Grails) and Tyler Trotter are anchored by legendary drummer Britt Walford (Slint, Evergreen) to perform monolithic mood music.
Holy Sons is Emil Amos, a musician whose chameleonic tendencies and technical versatility has lead to him becoming an in demand multi-instrumentalist as a founding member of Grails and Lilacs & Champagne, as well as a member of Om and a hired gun for Jandek, to name a few.
Holy Sons is at the center of his many musical personalities and is his longest standing project, acting as an outlet for some of his most personal and direct songs. In Holy Sons, Amos puts his restless imagination to work using a variety of inventive home recording methods to turn melodic slow-burners into multi-layered, atmospheric missives.
While his methods and prolificacy provide a kinship with Sebadoh, Ariel Pink and other musicians who have offered countless transmissions from their bedroom floor, Holy Sons comes from the mind of someone who has internalized the minutia of 70s rock music and eschews the stereotypical lo-fi sound for a much deeper and more varied palate.
Lilacs & Champagne + Watter + Holy Sons
Sunday, 01st February 2015 | 20:30 CET
Roter Salon in der Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte