Lionel Williams is a Utah-born, Los Angeles-based, internationally exhibited visual artist and musician, who over the past fe years has released music under the moniker Vinyl Williams. Largely influenced by his childhood in Utah, growing up experiencing both religious and cultural dissonance, Williams has developed a reputation for crafting dream worlds of religious and cultural harmony in metaphysical dream worlds with ancient, mystical symbols, exotic locales, utopian architecture and a dreamy psychedelia. His recently released, third full-length effort Brunei was influenced by his childhood fascination with the Brunei dollar, which frequently are translucent, brightly colored pieces of currency — and reportedly Williams intends for his music to sound like.
Lyrically speaking, the material on the album is written mainly from the perspective of an incorporeal being from Xol, the gravity cluster orbiting the star Alnilam (the center of the Orion constellation), which represents purely harmonious patterns. The album represents an impression of Brunei as an immaculate state of being. Despite its quality of life being ranked highly among Islamic nations, horrific laws exist to severely punish non-heteronormative behavior. For a place that masquerades as ‘heaven on Earth,’ Williams believes we must expose such ugly hegemony, through latent reflection of their most ultimate civilized potential. Brunei uses lush, Islam-influenced pop music to spread harmonious qualities with the world, to ultimately benefit the human psyche and physiology. Sonically throughout the album, Williams and his backing musicians employ the use of Arabic quarter-tone vocal techniques, layered on top of stretched out jazz chords and quick-driving beats and motorik-like grooves.
Brunei‘s latest single “Feedback Delicates” is a gorgeous and trippy bit of psychedelia that has Williams and company pairing wobbling bass lines, four-on-the-floor-like drum patterns, ethereal vocals, shimmering synths and guitar chords to craft a song that sounds as though it were equally drawing from jazz fusion, psych rock and psych pop, all while sounding otherworldly and retro-futuristic.
The recently released music video is a mind-expanding interactive video that allows the viewer to experience the brightly colored psychedelic visuals in a 360º fashion. To truly capture the 360º effect, view the video though Google Chrome — or if you’re viewing it on a smartphone, make sure you’ve downloaded the most current version of the YouTube app.