The Dead Texan contains music from Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, Aix Em Klemm) on compact disc and a DVD containing music videos by Adam Wiltzie and video artist Christina Vantzou.
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 60s 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 1940s French actor) and snatches of dialogue indicate. 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.
The Dead Texan is just a continuation of Mr. Wiltzie's nocturnal musical fumblings. Many of these songs would have been beginnings to new SOTL tracks, but he felt as if 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. The work of Christina Vantzou and Adam Wiltzie together on the video pieces for The Dead Texan moves from animation to tranquil video capturing the interplay of water and light. Although Wiltzie began composing and recording the music on his own, the process of combining music with video eventually became a truly collaborative one. The composition of the music and the creation of the videos became 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.