Will Preston

Lilies On Mars

by on May.15, 2009, under Albums, Music, Review

Macabre melodies. A descent into dark obscurity. Floating into uncertainty. Many things came to mind upon immersing yourself in the new and unfamiliar sound of Lilies On Mars; an experimental duo claiming, quite rightly, to be “based on another world.”

The self-titled debut album had a sense of mystery from the name alone, as if beckoning with my curiosity to become audience to the unknown and cosmic sound. A journey into madness, if you will, except far more enlightening.

“Maori Legend” opens up the album, a track with a sensation comparable to staring into an abyss so long, that not only the abyss has had a long look at you, it now has you locked in a perpetual staring contest and the only way to leave was to forfeit your sanity and plunge in. Closing my eyes as the music shrouded over my consciousness, I could almost envision the dark journey that awaited my ears.

The only aspects reminding me that I was still on Earth was the guitar laying thoughtfully in the background, right next to an Italian narrator. If you knew what she was saying, you could be one step closer to uncovering any secret messages in this CD.

Next in the journey comes the more forgiving “Passing By”. A more relaxed approach with a sound similar to that of a cyber version of Portishead. I couldn’t help but free myself to be swept by the hummable chorus and alien drum beats. But watch out for the off beat guitar in the background; it gets me every time.

By this point, I was accustomed to the authorship of the duo. Lisa Dply Masia and Marina Cristofalo come together to find new ways of musically expressing themselves, with new sounds being experimented.

The hard part about listening to this album is trying to find a similar artist to compare it to. Musically, it’s so abstract that I’m actually convinced it came from another world. Could it be? Could it be that a music act has come along which isn’t a diluted version of a band that have already been going for 20 years? Such a scary concept, if you’ll pardon the shaking.

Continuing with the album, you are spoon-fed a gallery of obscure effects that would feel in place in either an experimental perfume advert, or a stylish psychological horror film. With this analogy in mind, it’s not hard to believe that these girls created a tribute show for bizarre filmmaker, David Lynch.

After the terrifying techno trip that is “No U Turn”, the journey begins to cross calmer ground with “Insane” and “Hey, What’s Wrong? Wake Up!” The former can only be described at future jazz, whilst the latter fills the atmosphere with dream state acoustic guitar melodies and lullaby vocals. These tracks gave a nice intermission quality to the album experience; a more familiar sound to gather my mind together.

I wondered where the album could possibly turn next. Then came the comfortably Indy sound of “Electric Fits”, Sounding almost like an alien hymn to an almighty being made of physical joy and inexpensive wonder.

Bringing the focus to more folk guitar playing comes “Et Voila”. It’s not long into the song before this peaceful ancient instrument is swallowed by the modern dominating synthesisers. Surviving the onslaught, the guitar rises triumphantly, almost uninterrupted.

Planting the flag at the end of this expedition is the oddly named “x2”. A breezy epilogue to a mindful journey through sound and music itself, I felt accomplished and enlightened come the end of this track.

The album experience as a whole keeps a very concise style that never risks stepping over its creative borders. And why should it? Lilies On Mars have managed to establish a sound that is experimental to the extent of causing unseen images to drunkenly wander into your head and take your mind on a spiritual journey.

While not being the most easy album to listen to, it is still nice to be treated to a sound like this; Scary, soothing and sexy. If you’re after a new sound that’ll scare you as well as open your mind, “Lilies On Mars” are the mistresses who will make your dreams come true and real.

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