Leon Vynehall, Gold Language EP


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I’d love to discuss the history and discography of one Leon Vynehall at great length here, but I’ve got nothing: more or less unknown (and almost certainly not actually named Leon Vynehall) prior to his debut EP on Well Rounded Housing Project last May, Vynehall is currently all about the music, as it were. But that music — carefully arranged digital house with a healthy dollop of jazzy soul and an ear for the beautiful — didn’t do much to fill in what’s missing from his scant discography. Though his productions on Mauve rolled with the confidence of a veteran, they slotted just a little too well with your George Fitzgeralds and Deadboys to really set his shtick apart.

Somewhat strangely, the Gold Language EP, Vynehall’s follow-up for Fitzgerald’s ManMakeMusic, displays a bit less self-assuredness than its predecessor. Chalk it up to his moving onto wonderfully shaky ground and starting to pull away from the pack in the process. “Gold Language,” a jangly pairing of scrappy Hessle Audio minimalism and Smallville-esque warmth, is the one that got away: nearly settling into reverb-y piano washes and a domesticated 4/4 feel on a number of occasions, the arrangement can’t help but run back into the wild. The track has the same fiery energy and carelessness about genre that make Anthony Naples’ Mad Disrespect EP the most auspicious debut of the year thus far. On their remix, Brownswood signing Gang Colours merges the two impulses and in the process crafts a perfectly alright tune that kind of misses the point. “Don’t Know Why” doesn’t quite match the flipside’s danger, but its heavy bass riff and percussive backhands nevertheless make its slinkiness damn potent, if not razor-sharp. Something tells me we’ll be picking these thorns out of our sides for months to come.

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