It is… interesting. Moody, ominous soundscapes that set out to disorientate are the order of the day. Rare, Forever is more reminiscent of Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders’ sprawling Promises than it is of say, his debut album Music for the Uninvited, or the follow-up Rojus. But where Promises is reminiscent of a daydream, in Rare, Forever we meet the nightmare. A rare bright spot is An Exhale, which really does feel like a relief after the intensity of Worm (& Closer & Closer). None of this is to say that the release isn’t engrossing, but if you are coming to Leon to feel uplifted after a tough Winter then look elsewhere.
You can read more of my thoughts on Snakeskin ∞ Has-Beenhere, or his previous album Nothing Is Stillhere.
Bonus track: An Exhale reminds me of this number by Kenton Slash Demon. Enjoy
Prequel’s debut album sits somewhere between Laurence Guy, Leon Vynehall and Romare. Not a bad place to sit.
As you would expect from a long-time Rhythm Section producer, the style is heavily influenced by jazz, and draws from a number of ‘world’ influences – he is described as having a ‘keen crate-digger’s ear’. Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak) is a really engaging listen, and the execution is classy as hell. Enjoy.
It is fair to say that Leon is becoming increasingly experimental. To give you a feel for it, here is the copy accompanying his latest release Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been:
over and over in a snake’s life it will molt and shed it’s old, outgrown skin. it does not grow with the size of the snake itself, and soon hinders its advancement, leaving the skin behind like a memory. an artefact of where it once was. I believe good artists do this too. it’s what I try to do with every record. SNAKESKIN ∞ HAS-BEEN is my recognition of that.
I SHOULD. I COULD. I WOULD.
The music itself does pick up where Nothing is Still left off, with introspective, moody soundscapes. They swing and build and fizzle in a pattern that is mesmerising, if not exactly approachable. His style fills you with a huge sense of anticipation, while never quite unscrambling into something that’s easy to ingest. If you like your music challenging, then you’ll find Snakeskin ∞ Has-Been pretty rewarding – if you prefer your Leon more banger-centric scale (and there’s no shame in that) head back into his dicography.
I almost forgot, he is playing at Heaven on 24th November. You can get presale tickets here
A couple of weeks ago I made my first trip to FOLD. It is another club in the city that has been called “London’s answer to Berghain” again and again – basically because it has a 24 hour license and a very stripped down, back to the basics ethos. Aesthetically I would describe it as extremely unassuming, which is kind of cool – in a concrete multi-story car park kind of way. The music is front and centre, so make sure you pick a night with a lineup you like. Since I went, it has been shut down; the council revoked its license due to allegations that “fraudulent funds” were involved in the purchase of “approximately £200,000 worth of high-value DJ equipment”. And then they reinstated the license, pending the trial of two people involved. What fun!
Anyway, I chose to go when Leon Vynehall had an all night set on. As usual, he was pretty great. This was my highlight from the set: it is house meets The Great American Railroad. Atmospheric beyond belief.
Bonus track: Leon himself released a new one last week as well. Here it is:
Now this is a huge old track for me. Incredibly tasty piano chords, stunning deepness. At risk of sounding like a prick, I think the second drop (at 2:45) is really fucking clever. It somehow feels original, creative and natural at the same time. Leon Vynehall would be proud.
If you like the track you are in luck: as well as the Dope Mix, the EP has a Vocal Mix, a Deep Mix and an Alex Israel Remix!
What can I say about this guy? He makes sensational, original, all-enveloping electronic music. That’s what I’ll say. He’s been one of my favourite producers for years and always impresses in your headphones or in the flesh.
He is currently doing a live tour of his album Nothing is Still which is well worth a watch. The album tells the sonic story of his grandparents’ emigration from the UK to New York in the 60s, and it’s something special.
Pick up tix here: https://leonvynehall.lnk.to/liveAP