Release Date: Apr 23, 2013
Record label: Kemado
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Trip-Hop, Electronica, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Electronic, Left-Field Hip-Hop
“Danish & Blue” refers to a propaganda film that demanded pornography’s legalization in its home country. One year after Danish Blue (1968) dropped, the randiest Danes were free to fuck on film. And although pitting distorted guitars against sample-logged grooves may not be the sexiest musical notion, Lilacs & Champagne are quite successful in setting the mood on their second post-Grails record.
Lilacs & Champagne is an all-or-nothing type of experiment. As evidenced by the pervasive mood and bizarro samples of their excellent self-titled debut, the duo—comprised of Grails members Alex Hall and Emil Amos—have from the get-go established their sound as one of a kind. It’s not particularly hard to find good trip-hop that cleverly incorporates out-of-context quotes and spliced beats into diverse sonic collages; with an example like Entroducing… set not too long ago, aspiring DJs have followed suit.
Lilacs & Champagne's self-titled debut might have been a little too indebted to the greats of instrumental hip-hop, but it was clear that Alex Hall and Emil Amos were learning how to put their own stamp on a style that has had so many distinctive forerunners. With Danish & Blue, they deliver songs that are at once more streamlined and more expansive. As the title implies, this time their sampling sources included music from the soundtracks to B-movies and X-rated Scandinavian movies.
The second album from Lilacs & Champagne takes the provocation of yesteryear and softens it at the corners, offering a form of easy-on-the-ear radicalism. It's not an overtly political work, although it is one that illustrates how just about anything can retreat into the margins and become a form of background noise. Lilacs & Champagne are the sample-happy duo of Alex Hall and Emil Amos, who craft this stuff away from their main focus in the instrumental rock act Grails.