Instrumental music (for context, let’s limit the conversation to the world of “beat tapes,” which always seemed like a bit of a derogatory and limiting designation to me) can be a tough sell. Unless it is exceedingly abrasive, it almost always runs the risk of becoming background noise, a problem all too familiar to anyone who spends time on Bandcamp and Soundcloud sifting through the sea of Dilla clones and derivatives.
Lilacs and Champagne (producers Alex Hall and Emil Amos) understand that producers like Dilla and Madlib are better served as inspiration for an attitude towards sampling and production than a strict template for how to make beats. Taking the disjoint sample haze of Dilla and Madlib’s signature work and marrying it with a bit more reverb and 808 thump than their stylistic forebears. It’s a winning combination for fans of instrumental music and one that forces a bit more attention than the average soul-jazz cut-and-paster.
Turn up the bass for greatest effect and listen below.