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Lilacs & Champagne is a side project begun in the early 2010s by Alex Hall and Emil Amos, founding members of Portland, Oregon experimental instrumentalists Grails. Working primarily with an Akai MPC sampler, they forged their sound with a base of eclectic samples from off-kilter sources such as thrift store records and radio static. The duo cited the production styles of hip-hop legends J-Dilla and Madlib as their main inspirations for the project. True to their instrumental work with Grails, these sample-heavy collages were filled out with live instrumentation and the processing of combined sounds. Lilacs & Champagne worked diligently on these studio recordings, which culminated in their self-titled debut album on indie imprint Mexican Summer in early 2012. Danish & Blue, which aptly enough drew from Scandinavian porn films and late-'60s cult films, arrived a year later. Working quickly, Lilacs & Champagne returned in early 2015 with third album Midnight Features, Vol. 2: Made Flesh, a more refined collection of their increasingly distinctive pastiche of hip-hop influences and psychedelic found sounds. ~ Fred Thomas