While many would agree that lilacs and champagne make great accompaniments to any romantic evening, many suitors and suitresses might hesitate to put on the sounds of Lilacs & Champagne during a first date, unless they were dining in a haunted outhouse floating in a polluted swamp. Or on a date with the guy from Peeping Tom.

In trying to formulate the perfect description of the Lilacs & Champagne sound, I realized my efforts were futile, as I came across a band bio that described it as a marriage between J Dilla and Nurse with Wound; presumably taking the form of Dilla through the smooth sampling it employs, and Nurse through the dark, unnerving soundscapes it creates.

But instead of turning to Shuggie Otis or the Jackson Five, L&C plunge into the depths of shabby thrift store record bins for their samples, armed with an MPC, and a leaf blower to expunge the many layers of dust. Library production music, stock sound effects, B Movie sound clips, noise, and forgotten records from the Middle East to Eastern Europe are weaved into eerie instrumental beats waiting in the shadows for the grimiest of freestylers to spit over. However, the vocal-heavy “Battling in the City,” which features the hazy hook: “I ain’t got time for breakin’ my mind/And doin’ battling in the city,” has to be my favorite. Take a listen, perhaps as you head to battle in the city today.

But also make sure to listen to the whole album from start to finish, as one isolated thread of this multicolored, aural tapestry does not do it justice. And after that, throw on their new album Danish and Blue, which apparently incorporates samples from 1970s Scandinavian erotica. Vidunderlige!

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