What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
the Lexica record was a coming together of lelis, laroi, and krieger after years of all three of us being part of the columbia university music scene in the 90s. lelis and laroi had performed and recorded together in the band closer, and krieger was doing the sampling and production for the experimental electronica outfit the freight elevator quartet. our work together as lexica was a shift into dreamy but sonically complex pop music. recorded and mixed from 2002-2004, we always loved this record and are thrilled it’s finally going to be heard 15 years later!
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Lexica was a studio creation, recorded in large part during late-night sessions at the columbia university electronic music center. each song took on its own character and the lexica sound came together organically. lorraine’s ethereal voice and lyrics was the one constant that unified and elevated the whole album.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
from a production standpoint, krieger was steeped in the electronic music of the era, with production influences from the trip-hop, ambient, and later drum ’n bass styles of the time, and where his collaborations with dj spooky (“file under futurism”) and others pushed the experimental envelope, the lexica record saw these influences informing more accessible song craft.
laroi was heavily influenced by the guitar work of slowdive and my bloody valentine during the recording of the album.
lelis looks to female shoegaze vocalists as strong influences, but also drew from bands like seefeel when writing for lexica.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound
two parts of the shoegaze bands of the 90’s, one part classic trip hop and gitchy electronica, and a hint of ambient experimentation. lush, dreamy songs are punctuated by the occasional burst of thick distorted guitars, and a touch of bossanova. throughout, lelis’ ethereal, enigmatic vocals are the mesmerizing focal point.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
brian eno “music for airports”
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
while krieger’s band the freight elevator quartet played innumerable live shows (captured in the album “fix it in post” in 2001), and lelis and laroi had performed extensively as closer, lexica’s one album was always a studio record — meticulously assembled, every detail obsessed over, debated, and refined. there was something magical about creating such an evocative set of songs in what was almost a laboratory environment.
lelis performed live with various bands for 12 years and finds great joy in playing shows – so long as the music translates in that environment.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
what’s funny is how life happens to a music ‘career’… it’s probably worth noting that krieger went on to become a neurologist. the lexica record was recorded on nights and weekends in between shifts during his residency!
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
we each have a different answer to that one…
for krieger, it would have to be “crystalline” — a 6 minute epic drone-poem that managed to combine brian eno-esque ambience with the crescendo brute-force wall of sound of a vintage nine inch nails track. oh, and the beat was played with two wooden sticks and an up-turned water cooler bottle.
for laroi, it would have to be “these expanses” — a mesmerizing pop electronica track that was initially started as a repetitive guitar arpeggio riff, then sampled and sonically manipulated into its final trance-like form.
for lelis, it would have to be “breathe” — written about the 80s, recorded in the 90s, re-imagined in the 00s and re-released in 2019 – it’s an introspective song that is accompanying us as we grow older.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
laroi & krieger went on to take their sound in an even more stripped down, pop/rock direction as the formalist. more on that coming soon…
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
“what’s most different culturally in 2019 than when the lexica record was completed back in 2004?”
the shortening of attention spans. 15 years ago albums were listened to as a whole — and you could hold them in your hand! what’s changed is how brief attention is now, people listening to one song at best, or a part of a song, or a moment from a song — so it’ll be interesting to see if the lexica album, which was so carefully sequenced to be consumed start-to-finish, still rewards such patient listening today.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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