WALL OF DEATH

Wall of Death

There’s so much that went into French psychedelic trio Wall of Death’s new album Loveland. There’s the band itself: Gabriel Matringe, the guitarist and ex-cello player, and Brice Borredon, who grew up in the country in the south of France and who dedicated himself completely to the piano at age 6, and Adam Ghoubali, who taught himself drums after hearing the Doors. Then there’s Innovative Leisure’s Hanni El Khatib, the genre-smashing guitarist who shares songs with GZA and who’d devote his most ambitious production work yet to Wall of Death. There’s the giant stack of vintage equipment—organ, synthesizer, electric piano and a positively luscious Mellotron. There’s the live chicken named Chickpea, who guarded the outside of the Jazzcats studio in Long Beach and wouldn’t let anyone pet her except Borredon. (“We directly understood and respected each other,” he explains.)

And of course there are the decades of inspiration and dedication that push Loveland past the limits of what “psychedelic” means in 2015—a connection that sparks to life with 60s groundbreakers like Soft Machine and King Crimson and leaves a comet trail across Creation Records on its way to Radiohead (and past Tame Impala!) to a destination beyond the horizon. With able and agile studio help from El Khatib and engineers Jonny Bell (also of Innovative Leisure’s Crystal Antlers) and Sonny DiPerri, Wall of Death have created a dense and deeply individual album that makes an instant into a lifetime and more: “Loveland is like the last steps you do in the desert,” says Matringe. “Dry and exhausted, one minute before dying.”

WALL OF DEATH PRODUCTS