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Luis Leon - My Eyes Have Tears (Nie Wider Schlafen, 2021)



On his latest effort, Peruvian producer Luis Leon crafts a deeply captivating soundscape for us to dive deep within, as lateral flows of rhythm and texture bind the listener to the ground whilst firmly keeping their heads way beyond within the star kissed skies.


There's something profoundly evocative to be found within productions or a series of productions that point in varying directions, and when these interplays chime along within a singular release, its something very special indeed. Its an experience where keys in particular are utilised to convey a audial picture to dive within, a dwelling of sorts that houses a refined blend of feelings which we can associate ourselves with, their ever shifting nature providing a space in time which we can dip our heads within and become very well acquainted with. Electronic music has many facets after all, and when spaces become occupied with producers who remain more than willing to captivate with their wide reaching ideals and deeply enchanting audial diversity, then the story being told becomes hard to put down. As we dot from release to release we see a trend beginning to unravel that is tricky to pin down but one thing remains set in stone, and that is the concept of openendedness taking hold, a feature which always guarantees refreshment for the mind and the soul. Musicians who embrace these ideals always come across as those with the most to say, in that their narrative always has more pages to it, and every time you turn over there's a stanza with new information that adds fuel to the overarching themes. Its an allure that ensures people constantly return to particular discographies, as there remains a near guarantee that any form of new music being played out will transcend our expectations and deliver a experience that expands our world view just that little bit more. Its a wonderful space to inhabit, with plenty of tones, textures and feels sliding our way that speak of differing directions being understood and partaken in, all the while creating an incisive directional flow which always keeps us on a singular path yet encourages looks over the shoulder at all times. And in the end, that's the perfect realm to be welcomed within, a world that fascinates, delights and entices with each passing moment, providing a place to breath and expand into, our senses always appealed to and our minds always on the front foot, eager and willing to ingest whatever goodness might flow our way next.


Its these kinds of worlds that Peruvian producer Luis Leon has concerned himself with for quite some time now, and to gaze back over his work is to see a music maker who concerns himself with building something very special indeed. The spaces that he inhabits are bound by feel and tone, as the flows that emerge from within his records remain so intertwined in terms of emotion and mood, the music's energy symbiotically merging together as a means of conveying the most perfected of audial images. To engage with his works is to see a producer constantly searching for new angles of expressionism, of finding new methods of showcasing a particular blend or collection of influences, and to be led along in this way is something that constantly feeds the soul and replenishes enthusiasm. Leon remains aligned to a plethora of genres which he utilises to achieve these goals, with the music drifting from dreamy and textured Ambient through to sparsely filled Dub Techno, and coming back round again via delicately considered House. No matter what mixture he looks to capture, Leon always passes it off with a flawlessness that demonstrates an understanding of not just the fundamentals but also the potential to be found in pushing the emotions found within these movements to new heights. Its a shining quality that makes his records such a joy to be immersed within, with a constant thread leading us by the nose that keeps our head held up high and our eyes wide open. Aside from producing music, Leon runs both the Prosa Verso and Blankhaus Music imprints, and via his bandcamp has released a number of beautiful short form mixes that provide extra detail to his wide reaching sonic palette. From his discography there are a few records to highlight, starting off with the utterly captivating 'Invisibles' LP, which landed in 2019. This record, Leon's LP debut, paired sound landscapes with reflective melodies, and as the music emerges from within you see the wavelengths and arpeggios begin to formulate mountain peaks, sunny valleys and gorgeous vistas, as our emotions flood the top ends and bring about a sense of delightful abandonment. His remix of the Axel Boman track '1979' from earlier this year was also wonderful, and added a sense of progressional emphasis within his sound. As mentioned, his 'Sinapsis' mix series all paint beautiful pictures for us to delve deeply within, and can all be found on his Bandcamp page. In all, Leon's story has been a varied one that has seen him tinker about with all manner of styles and sounds, but there's a beating heart found deep within that is so very hard to turn away from, such is the quiet euphoria that can be found with this space of his. The anchor is mood, the layers that flutter around point in all kinds of directions, and the feeling is something very special indeed, and as a series of soundscapes its something that helps you believe in something again. Its music that invites the immersion, and after you take that dip you won't be coming back out for sometime yet. Go check out his previous works if you haven't already, its all just so top notch.


And now we arrive at his latest offering, the aptly named 'My Ears Have Tears', which arrives via the Berlin based imprint Nie Wieder Schlafen. If our ears could produce tears, then they probably would when we engage with a piece of music made by Leon, and with this new album things are no different. Building upon a lot of the motifs found within the 'Invisibles' album, Leon expands his incredible soundscape to include unravelling progressions, razor sharp dynamics and impeccably layered melodies, all of which come together as treads that help build up this invisible essence that makes you ponder, helps you dream, helps you see things very vividly indeed. Its an experience that emboldens the mind as much as it tantalises, holding up a mirror to our own perceptions of Electronic Music and injecting a hefty dosage of new ideas into the mix, shifting our own take and making it a shared one, like an interlinked consciousness. Leon's music has always looked to invite you into its world, and with this new piece of music we feel as much a part of this world as we ever did before, and we feel like staying here for a good while yet. So, on that note, lets take a dip dive into this absolute pearl of a record.....


Up first comes 'Understanding of Re', and this one begins with the melodic swell to get things going. The initial chord begins to showcase a multitude of layers to us, as its solid top end remains but its underneath where the magic starts to unfurl, with all manner of simmering textures beginning to chime away, cascading over rocks and into pools of the most enriching blue. The movement onwards continues to see a dazzling array of elements feel their way out over the tundras and plains, with these delightful key lines found worming around amongst the mists, as we seek out all we can from within to help fuel this most immersive of openings. A gorgeous introduction. Up next comes the title track, and this one begins with the reverbing bass line to get things going. The bass is not left alone for long, as the repeating chord swings into view to provide a sense of the melodic direction, and this is when we get our first meeting with a rhythmic structure with the introduction of the kicks. The outlay is simple but very effective, with every element found within the mix being expertly engineered to provide a sense of scale and grandeur, but there's a intimacy to be found within, as the elements do much to hold tightly onto on another, making the experience feel concise and pointing forwards at all times. Vocal samples flicker across the top ends as additional hats come into view alongside other textural aspects, with a droning bass element adding weight to the backdrop. The dips between the spaces with the chord and without provide a sense of dynamism that is hard to deny, and keeps the listener locked into the progression as time passes by, and we see the track out the door into its next state of being. Meaty stuff, this one. Up next comes 'Take The Gun', and this one starts off with another impressive sweep to get things going. The chords are light and airy, with little sub hanging on underneath, with their presence expanding from a singular ray of light before expanding far and wide, then receding back into the depths. The kicks arrive soon after and help create a sense of pulse, with additional rhythmic elements throwing themselves into the mix as time passes by, and this is around the time when further melodic elements let themselves be known. The original chordal blemish retains its place within the mix, with these high pitched notes making themselves known within the mixture just after the chords come and go, and this mixture moves along for quite some time, with little variations sliding their way into the blend as time passes by, our minds simply taken along for the ride as we remain in awe of the mood being created.


Up next comes 'It Won't Be Long (Just To Dance With You)', and this one begins within a very intriguing space. The immediate outlay is not overly obvious, with the sonics filled with a bunch of textures and tones rather than chords, but out of the mire comes the bass and the drums, both of which link up together beautifully to help provide a foundation for the next state. Backdrop chords start to formulate in the distance around this time, their gentle sways creating a sense of depth and create two points of interest for the listener to get involved within, and over time these swells move from far away right to the front of the line. The track looks to climax around this time, with a textured swell leading into the introduction of a hi hat sequence that injects so much energy into proceedings. The chords have now aligned themselves spatially with the drums, with the whole ensemble becoming deeply immersed within itself and the world around it, and its around this time when the chord progression shifts into its next sequence. Its the most complex shift we have seen so far in the record, but from a compositional point of view it makes sense, as everything else within this track is filled to the brim with complexity as to encourage the keys to really go for it. To wrap things up, we have 'Des Magiciens', which features producer Haider Uppel, and this one begins in a very soft space. The chords converge and dissipate within the background, as solid rhythmic elements move along in the foreground, as melodic features cascade into one another in the distance, the two sequences providing a number of wavelengths for us to become entrenched within. The ways in which the elements speak to each other on this cut is second to none, with the sequences merging at these special points that draw the listener deeper into the world, providing one final opportunity for us to look around and get to know it all. The backing chords swell with intensity around the half way mark, their presence melting into the soundscape, as we leave behind an experience that will linger long in the memory.


To emphasise the potential found within building convincing worlds mired within electronic music means that the listener always gets to experience personality, craftsmanship and tonal experimentation, and for some producers aiming for a perfected blend of these elements remains an integral part of their sound. Luis Leon has always explored the fine lines that persist between rhythm and melody, and with this new record of his we continually find ourselves feeling very excited indeed for what might flow through the door next. Each track contributes a differing set of parameters and feels into the mix, with Dub Techno, Ambient Techno and straight up Ambient all being represented in a myriad of ways. The tracks are filled to the brim with highly designed elements that convey the best kinds of moods, be it either the power found within a series of repeating singular chords or the notions found within the progression of delicately balanced keys, there's enough here to really set the mind at ease. Leon has always been capable of crafting very special things within his music, and with this new record, he's really emphasised what kind of space he wants to continue building, and we think there's certainly more construction to come yet. Superb, all round.


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