A tribute to Tony Allen, by Emma-Jean Thackray
Vinyl Williams first appeared on our radars towards the beginning of this year with his BandCamp album ‘Lemniscate’. It sounded like a combination of Aphrodite’s Child and NERD, and, we hurriedly found out more. It turns out it’s the project of a divinely inspired artist and musician from LA called Lionel Williams.
Funnily enough, his granddad is film composer John Williams, but his musical chops don’t end there – the LA-bred musician spent the first portion of the year working on a series of art shows with Einsturzende Neubaten, Verity Susman of Electrelane, Machinedrum and Anika and supporting Toro Y Moi across south east Asia. His music is fun, instinctive and global in focus, and we are sure will find the audience it deserves this year. Warmest Chord will release his ‘Ultimate World’ EP, recorded in the high peaks of Utah, next month, and you can listen to his wonderfully spacey Dummy mix below.
We’d like to leave you with a quote by the guy: “The intuitive side of the human spectrum, opposite being rationale, is at a weak state in the modern age. As an artist, I realise my imbalance. I’m strictly intuitive, dedicated to the forces beyond our human perception. My devotion remains functional, it provides the world with another world, realms of simultaneity, harmoniousness, supra-conscious, lands of magic. It exists without making demands, without telling you what to think, without guiding you through itself – it is an open field to be wandered through, to be encountered and to interact with. The thing itself (the visual or the audio) can rarely be rationalized or explained. The sensation is the art.”
Hi Vinyl Williams, how’s your world right now?
Mind-alteringly amazing, thanks for asking.
Really, really feeling your spacey mix. Please could you tell us a bit about it?
James Lake (current drummer of Vinyl Williams, 1 of 2) had the grand revelation thru hearing one of Gong’s old roadies – Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound – collaborate with the kraut fantasy act Stereolab. Far from the acid-jam art brut Gong, leaders of early space rock, Nurse With Wound has some kind of inescapable surrealist dark chamber vibes happening…it’s really quite scary. Scary caverave over Stereolab’s everlasting kraut sequence. NWW seems to be mixing it all as well…might have even been on the fly. It was done in 1997…perfect song in of itself…but I had to ruin it with my obsession of pollinating krautrock with melodic ecstasy. Tim Hecker (ambient dream wizard), Steve Roach (ambient dream alien wizard), and Good Amount (Holy Page Records lo-fi act) are sporadically laid over the main track, sometimes interfering, more-so just floating over it…intermittently affecting its vibrancy. Then, after the main track is complete, Pure X and Spacemen 3 copulate…resembling each other’s 20-year-apart decade fantasy, strangely similar they are. Finishes out with ambient minimalist conjurer Wolfgang Voigt (Gas) and his hypnotism, and a satirical kiss by John Maus (Arch Bishop of Planet Ariel Pink). To sum it all up though I’d say it’s space cruisin’ music.
What draws you to the idea of space?
Space itself draws me in, gravity lies in space within our perception, and so gravity draws me into other gravities. Sometimes I attach my figurative imagination to space age themes. They seduce me just as raw forms do – symbols, colors and sound waves. But my spacial expression, or science of the imaginary is sometimes not figurative, it’s very disoriented and paradoxical. This has been a current defining aspect thus far of sensations of the universe.
What drives your own music?
Improvisation, essentially intuition, subtly qualities and variations, actually I find myself surprised coming upon forces that seem to naturally embellish tonal voices, musical coincidence based on chance.
When can we hear more of it?
April 9th !!!!! less than 2 weeks away – 4 track EP being released by Warmest Chord. A couple new ones on there…more destined to come this summer of course.
What’s the best thing you’ve heard this year?
Discovering The Aura Will Prevail by George Duke (1974) after hearing Thundercat’s authentic cover of “For Love (I Come Your Friend) … I played that track 500 times in a row. I’m never that compulsive.
And finally, any LA recommendations, musical or otherwise, for Dummy readers?
The Belle Brigade! / Dream Trees! / Fynndlit / Deep Tapes! / I like that one Body Parts song a lot! (Doing Things) / I like that other song by Gardens & Villa! (Black Hills) / My favorite soul group formed in Watts 1964, The Whispers! / Topaz Rags, cool new Not Not Fun act! / Wet Hair! (for those mystery drives) / Aaron Morse! (LA visual collage master) / SUN ARAW live! / Matrix Metals! (James Ferraro on more shrooms) / James Ferraro, if you don’t know him!