Lilac’s first of 2021 is utopic with a core of warring motion.
Inspired for years by the balance between intensity and beauty, sound shaper Lilac has searched tirelessly for the point of fusion. In the process the helix tears insider has periodically come close to perfection – “nosebleeddd”, from 2019, is as spontaneous a remix as possible, and last year’s “2nitee” allows its pieces to fall and shatter like links in a glass chain. In years gone by these manipulations were gems from one of the more lowkey artists around, but in 2021 Lilac is determined to be unignorable; “fate will bind us forevermore” is a magnificent start to the year, expanding Malibu’s song of a similar name.
Trading any semblance of trap convention for tsunamic pulses of sound, Lilac takes an almost telekinetic grip on “fate”, compounding complex layers of music and noise with striking subtlety. Whispered vocal samples dance in rainfall as the initial surge falls and rises, eventually spiking in an orchestral crescendo as sparse drums hit with maximal velocity. On listening the piece is slightly overwhelming, which, alongside a heavily processed timbral palette, masks the idea that a human being had any hand in this. The fusion Lilac seeks is achieved in two-faced parts, and in the merging of their new perspective and Malibu’s original pieces. There’s no telling whether a violin is sampled, or synthesised, whether the sustain on a piano note is real or digital. Such is the immersion of this song that listeners may forget the labour that went into it, being too lost inside its prism of sound. This is a shame to some degree but mostly speaks to Lilac’s profound ability as an ambient composer, one that rearranges the meaning of the genre, proving that bliss doesn’t have to come at the expense of energy (similar to Aphex Twin, or, more presently, blackwinterwells). Artistic touches are felt in the way sounds and samples are arranged – Lilac bolsters the undeniable legitimacy in the art of sound collage In this unwelcome winter the utopia of “fate” has a spectacular tendency to stop the world’s orbit, and refocus all that motion on a pair of speakers.
Lilac unveils another ace with the last moments of “fate will bind us forevermore”, which is decidedly more restful than the main composition. Following the expansion of the song’s first half, Lilac doesn’t lose faith. A loose collection of strings settle the mood as tension evaporates. The power of context brings stirring messages out of existing works; voices return, no longer in conversation but singing atop yet more whispers, separate but somehow together, bound by something unseen. In a year of insular beginnings, “fate” is a commitment to togetherness.
Listen to “fate will bind us forevermore” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)