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White Noise: Leon Vynehall - Open

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Leon Vynehall - Open

Label: 3024

Leon Vynehall's stock has been rising at an impressive rate recently, following a series of great releases on Well Rounded, Aus, and ManMakeMusic. This is entirely down to his off-kilter approach to house: bringing a dusty, sample-worn toolset to his productions, with a shuffle in his step and an unending supply of soul. His latest for Martyn’s on-point 3024 imprint might not be Vynehall’s best yet, but it’s certainly his most intriguingly varied, exploring four different flavours of his own ineffable sound.

I Get Mine, You Get Yours / Step Or Stone (Breath Or Bone) / I Know Your Face, Heroine

All the trademarks of Brother are there on opener I Get Mine, You Get Yours: half-heard vocals, shuffling drums and whirring atmospherics. It’s a dusty, loose-limbed affair, lent flavour by its staccato atmospherics and filtered horns. Step Or Stone (Breath Or Bone) is a much stranger breed. The track’s sinuous synth melody is a real departure for Vynehall, as it takes centre-stage, snaking around the vocal and percussive accents. It’s both catchy and nauseous, but it’s undeniably braver than anything the producer has put out to date.

I Know Your Face, Heroine brings the listener firmly back into the comfort zone, a super-smooth counterpoint to the A-side’s mania which oozes jazz and soul, allowing languid keys to play across the track’s glassy surface. These first three tracks would make for another solid effort from Vynehall, but it’s final cut XVI (Rox Out) where he really steps up his game – here the producer assumes a rougher sound, as the softer atmospherics are sharpened and the vocal clips are left to duel with a pummelling beat pattern guaranteed to get feet on the floor. Vynehall still seems to be a producer honing in on his voice, but with each successive release he’s getting closer, narrowing in on a bold, compelling sound which he can call his own.


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