Twilight’s Rising With Greg Dulli
Monday September 18, 2000
By: Chris Burland
Is there a better time in any day than the indigo skies of twilight? Night is approaching and with the sun sinking below the western horizon, the approach of night brings also the anticipation that it will soon arrive. Afghan Whig’s main man, Greg Dulli, has captured the sense of romance and anticipation of that time of the day with his side project The Twilight Singers.
Originally begun several years ago with the help of old friends Harold Chicester and Shawn Smith, Dulli abandoned the project to focus on the Whigs’ 1965. Dulli was attempting to grasp the new electronic age with these recordings. After shelving the half-finished Twilight material, bootlegs suddenly appeared on the ‘Net (much to the dismay of Dulli). These underground versions spurned Dulli on to revisiting the project.
“Who wants an unfinished version out as a representation of their work? Not me!” explained Dulli, over lunch. “I felt violated creatively, raped by the bootleggers.” The illegal bootlegs spurned Dulli to revive the project early in 2000, listing the production talents of the British ambient duo, Fila Brazillia. The irony of life surrounds The Twilight Singers material. “(Fila Brazillia) were in my consciousness while I was originally recording the early Twilight Singers material,” remembers Dulli. “I was listening to their record in my free time. So it ended up becoming a weird destiny thing that I finished it then.”
Fila’s contribution to The Twilight Singers cannot be underestimated. Outside of “Clyde” Fila Brazillia’s Dave McSherry and Steve Cobby were responsible for every beat on the record. The resulting recording is not simply a merging of Dulli’s soulful indie-rock material with drum ‘n’ bass beats, but a hybrid that cements a new connection between the emerging new sound of electronic music.
The Twilight Singers will undermine listener’s preconceived notions of both Dulli’s and Fila’s musical past. It also shows the musical marriage between the two parties was not that unusual. “(Dave & Steve were not born to be ‘electronic-type people. You go through their record collection and it looks a lot like mine,” admits Dulli who hopes to turn more traditional Afghan Whigs fans to the sounds that have caught his ear over the past half-decade.
“We are 180 degrees apart, diametrically opposed, (musically),” Dulli remarks. “The great thing about it was the marriage between the two. It didn’t sound like either one of us, but like something new to me and to them, too.”