Lilacs & Champagne, Lilacs and Champagne

Ian Cohen

By Ian Cohen

on 01.31.12 in Reviews

Lilacs & Champagne

Lilacs & Champagne
An act of deconstruction and rebuilding

Alex Hall and Emil Amos are the personalities behind Grails, a Portland instrumental rock collective that’s happily traversed so much sonic terrain over the past decade and a half that they’d seemingly make side projects unnecessary. But where Grails absorbs and perverts genres, Hall and Amos’s self-titled debut as Lilacs & Champagne is an act of deconstruction and rebuilding: The duo were inspired by Madlib’s dank crate-digging and sample-stitching technique, and they also share a love for similar source material. Unquestionably stoned in demeanor, L&C leans heavy on underground hip-hop, Krautrock, ’70s psych and even an occasion Jayne Mansfield recording to create ambient music for the kind of people who find the idea of ambient music boring, or a solution for anyone who wished the sample-happy travelogues of Avalanches or Quiet Village transported them to somewhere darker.