By day, one half of post-rockers Grails – by night, the Portland producer pairing of Emil Amos and Alex Hall are seedy sample merchants Lilacs & Champagne. They possess seething beats, an affinity for ampersands and draw clips of wasted sound from musics forgotten history, recycling morsels of Scandinavian porno and the noises from obscure B-movies of half a century ago. It's not your everyday electronica. Their self-titled 2012 debut was a stunning medley of pseudo-psych axe solos and 70s film soundtracks, peppered with techno passages and mutated funk-pop; they intend to delve deeper into the psyche of past pop culture to curate a bellicose and often bloodcurdling array of semi-ambient rocktronica cuts for their new record, Danish & Blue.

Lead single 'Sour/Sweet' was a potent introduction to the forthcoming LP – it signalled a callous disregard for vocal samples, chopping and screwing with them. The sporadic hip-hop beats and vaguely jazzed-up piano are fed through static until the result is the backing track for a Tyler, The Creator, if he were to slap on a smoking jacket and a horn-rimmed monocle. It's classy as shit, but there's something perturbing. The tinkling of ghostly chandeliers echo through the following effort, 'Le Grand', a sultry combination of sensual lounge music and eerie sci-fi synths. It conjures visions of flickering silver screens and aging belles being vaporised in slomo by tentacled extraterrestrials. The wailing guitar solo is beautifully self-indulgent, like a well-crafted chat-up line by some rugged lothario – you shouldn't be lured in, but you are.

The unconventional use of samples is what sets Lilacs & Champagne apart from other throwback knob-twiddlers, and not only do they eschew the (obvious) sounds of the 80s/90s, opting instead for arcane golden-era samples from nichedom, but they don't seem to be overtly pandering to the masses. This music has the potential to alienate a fanbase, not secure one: it's very out there, frequently odd and just plain unnerving. However, in being something out-of-the-ordinary, it's something extraordinary – the occult-y way they've gone about layering sounds and searching for samples has ensured that they've created something mesmerizing.

'Hamburgers & Tangerines' evokes images of classic, smoky noirs, like The Maltese Falcon. The voiceover is bitter but resigned, and the siren peal of strings/guitars relay drama. It's dangerous, streetlight-lit and brooding. The second single from the album, 'Refractory Period' is "[their] first love song." It does sound considerably lighter. There's still a loungey ticking of hi-hat and skewed guitar akin to Ratatat, but the clouds of spookiness are lifted, and it's far more digestible than much of the rest of the record that's shackled in the basement of a serial killer, tonewise. Danish & Blue is bookended by 'Metaphysical Transitions' (I & II), fillied with an echoing Vincent Price-esque speech, similar to the intro to 'Thriller', though backed by a solitary operatic voice and the occasional burst of 70s porn-metal.

Lilacs & Champagne have definitely found a small crevice within music that they can call their own. With the current surge of production-based talent, finding something unique will help set them apart when it comes to furthering their career. That said, the music they've taken to making, whilst hugely interesting and intelligent, is unlikely to dominate any form of chart – it's lacks mainstream appeal. So, though the duo have made a great record in Danish & Blue, there probably won't be legions of people queueing up to bumrush HMV for a copy.