If you gaze closely at the cover art for Brunei, you will notice the impression of a worn LP cover. That’s right. Amidst the roads circling the’heady” pyramids you see the manufactured indentations of a record beneath. Giving the impression that actual vinyl has worn its spherical imprint into the sleeve. Giving way to the assumption, this record has been played repeatedly. Joyously. In full 11 song, uninterrupted sequence.
Lionel”Vinyl” Williams, grandson of film composer John Williams, could load a U-Haul truck full of labels that fans, critics and inconsistent listeners have come up with to describe the type of music he creates. His latest release, Brunei, is an exacting work, staying in the shoe gazer lane, that carries the patina of an artist just on the verge reaching a larger demographic. Williams, thank goodness, stays distinct. And sometimes just plain out there. But always original and warm.
The record, released by Chaz Bundick’s Company Records label last month, will keep newcomers scratching their devices to conjure new words and hashtags to describe Williams creations.
All the while the nervous Talking Heads type funk of “Feedback Delicates,” the warm swath of keyboard melodics in”L’Quasar” and”Celestial Gold,” the modal tweaks and aggressive atmospherics in “Emerald Isle” or the meditative punch drive of “Voidless,” which Bundick aka Toro y Moi plays on, keeps a steady pace for the headphone-nodding devotees. Who have come to understand that sometimes”good” is the only description needed.
Listen to “Riddles of the Sphinx” by Vinyl Williams: