Friday, May 29, 2020

Vinyl Williams' kaleidoscopic rocker "Mithras" is a beautiful life affirming exhaustion

"Is it the mouth of the eternal maze?"

From the upcoming "Azure" album, Vinyl Williams' kaleidoscopic rocker Mithras has a particularly dense universe of sounds. Williams (aka Lionel Williams) crafts what he calls Celestial pop or space rock and both descriptors fit. Mithras moves on fast paced shifting drums, guitars lines / patterns that seem to be sparring with each other, counter punching while the bass deftly twists and turns in between and through them. It is progressively wrought while Williams vocals do the opposite, he sings in long hushed sustains, mantra like, hypnotic pearls of wisdom:

"Let the acting be divine / Let parallels collide / In eternal lines divine / An everlasting vexation / Back stabbing the world" 

The music tussles while he sings. The drummer pulling off spiraling fills. But after the lyrical bed which moves linear without any verse / chorus pattern, the song shifts once more into a series of swelling down beats as guitars attack but mellow ways. Then a slightly ramping tempo and more divergent shifts in tone, in sounds swirling about and lyrics this time at a faster pace like Williams' universe is in expansion and then the drum rolls to a final crash. 

In the end, Mithras is a beautiful life affirming exhaustion.

-Robb Donker Curtius


Music & Art of Vinyl Williams

Interactive portal:

Vinyl Williams’ anticipated LP Azure is set to release June 5th 2020 on Requiem Pour Un Twister. After collaging hundreds of paintings together in a string of new artwork, Williams combined over 25 paintings just to create the album art for Azure; attempting to equally represent the complexly organic & decadent music apparent on the record.

It's a good on-ramp to exactly what's going on with the new record. As a whole, it is an invocation of paradise upon Earth, represented in sound. With homages to The Free Design & Arthur Verocai, the harmony attempted on this album is a delicate tension, floating on an opaque surface between inner & outer worlds. It was recorded from 2018-2020 in Los Angeles, at three locations of Non Plus Ultra (Los Angeles venue).

The first single "LA Egypt" is a wild harmonious odyssey, and out toady. Check out the track and immersive interactive world created by Williams for it here. Pre-order the album in North America and all other territories.

Vinyl Williams says: "Allow this album to act as mobile architecture & to be a beautiful space you can exist within, to worship your own talents. You continue on the possibilities of harmony that are already at the blueprint of the manifest world."

Azure marks a point of higher equilibrium for songwriter Lionel Williams, employing far more restraint & rapidity than his earlier releases, as well as a concentration of unifying paradoxical qualities. The last record, Opal (2018) received critical acclaim by Pitchfork and was listed on NME’s best of 2018 list. Vinyl Williams’ earlier releases are cult favorites for their incessant bliss & driving rhythms, such as Brunei (2016) & Trance Zen Dental Spa (2015 - collaboration with Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi).

Williams is equally known for his interactive video worlds, 360ยบ videos, web art, and downloadable environments, inhabited by hyper dimensional palaces you might find in an ultimate future. Azure will be accompanied by a fully-interactive website, where the audience can discover secret symbols hidden in the world, to advance and get to each next song. Vinyl Williams’ live show is a spectacle of pearlescent sights & sounds, with all of Williams’ work combined & sync’d together in rapturous hyper-dimensional moments. He has created virtual music videos for Tears For Fears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Spaceface, Morgan Delt, & several other artists.

Full list of painters & artists collaged for the art of “Azure”: James McCarthy, Gilbert Williams, Wojtek Siudmak, Raffaelo Ossola, Gustave Moreau, Bruce Pennington, Aec Interesni Kazki, Jim Shaw, David Chewing Lee, David Hardy, Adrian Kenyon, Dustin Yellin, Neo Rauch, Marty Morales, Kate Klingbeil, Shane Moulton, Jordan Speer, Kay Nielsen, Ton Haring, Tuco Amalfi, Mario Martinez, Derek Carpenter, Luke Schroeder, Jonathen Solter, Toshio Matsumoto, James Sienna, Yoshi Sodeoka, Adolph Schaller, Remedios Varo, Roger Dean, Marcelo Germana, Henry Hudson, Sergio Macedo, Waldemar Borowski, Micah Ofstedahl, Christian Riese Lassen, Tokyo Aoyama, Carlos Ochagavia, Derek Sabiston, Brian Cooper, Sam Balfus, Michael Macari, Elvis Barlow Smith, Hiro Isono, Tsunehisa Kimura, Jacquelyn Blair, Rodeny Matthews, Robert McCall, Vangel Naumovski.

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