As a live sound engineer Adam Wiltzie has worked with Labradford, The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. He currently lives in Brussels, recording and working at live shows across Europe. It seemed inevitable that, given the extended process of recording Stars of the Lid's albums, Wiltzie would turn to solo recording. Adam Wiltzie did collaborate with Bobby Donne of Labradford on the self-titled Aix Em Klemm album, however The Dead Texan album presents a collaboration of a different kind.
The Dead Texan is a continuation of Mr. Wiltzie's nocturnal musical fumblings. Many of these songs could have been beginnings to new SOTL tracks, but he felt they were too aggressive for the new Lid record, which is still being recorded as we go to press.
Christina Vantzou is a filmmaker and video artist whose work has been shown in film, music and art festivals in Baltimore, Kansas City, Chicago and Brussels. She has accompanied musicians as a VJ and is working on a video documentary on teenage life in Scotland. Although Wiltzie began composing and recording the music on his own, he dabbled with combining his music with Vantzou's videos; this eventually became a mutually collaborative project with the composition of the music and the creation of the videos becoming simultaneous. Both mediums played off the other until audio and visual came to support each other seamlessly. The DVD is divided into seven sections which add up to a half hour's viewing time.
The eleven tracks on The Dead Texan are sonatas to Stars of the Lid's noctambulant fugues. Or as Adam Wiltzie describes them, mini symphonies. The presence of piano and strings are reminiscent of Zbigniew Preisner's soundtrack work and the feel is suggestive of George Delerue's early 60's soundtracks, but the surreal smear of guitars is Wiltzie's unmistakable contribution. Wiltzie has been living in Brussels, Belgium for the past few years. A decidedly European, filmic sensibility wafts through The Dead Texan as a song title like `La Ballade de Alain Georges' (with its reference to the 1940's French actor). Tracks vary from the flowing, transparent melody on `A Chronicle of Early Failures - Part 2' to delicate and fleeting vignettes. Combined with the creation of the seven video segments that accompany The Dead Texan, the tracks appear and depart as brief chamber pieces yet still fit into a greater whole.