Lerosa, Facade EP


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Italian born, Dublin-based Leopold Rosa might strike you as a man apart. In a world where crew affiliations are often the most important bit of branding involved in selling a DJ’s services, Lerosa’s five year discography is scattershot across apparently unrelated labels. Likewise no club seems like a primary base: his gigs crop up regularly, though not constantly, at European clubs like Rex, Studio 80, and Russian Bar. The decision to release a cassette only album on Further Records early this year was a straight-up curveball, albeit one that began to make sense after a few listens. But with his third release on Uzuri Recordings, the most of any artist, coupled with the promise of an album to follow, one would think the game of pin the tail on the producer is getting easier.

The music on the Facade EP, however, is as enigmatic as the man making it seems. “Facade” is the clear winner, marrying a pared-down Chicago aesthetic with the polished production familiar from Panorama Bar house like Steffi or Basic Soul Unit. The analog sounding groove is totally irresistible; it ensures “Facade” is one of the catchiest instrumental house ditties of the year. Very quickly some lush, intricately arranged synths pull the listener away from the simple groove and the track goes deep. The very approachable pop appeal with which the track began proves itself to be very much a facade.

The remaining tracks make good use of the work the opener did in befuddling expectations. All are complex ruminations that put familiar elements — Roland drum machines, acid squiggles, and dislocated vocals — into a very distinctive Lerosa shaped mold. The results sit unexpectedly alongside the classic Chicago sound Lerosa brings to the table in his choice of instrumentation. Same components, but very different results. “I Care,” “Rex,” and “Tanned Legs” have absolutely no boastful bombast, no huge synthesized melodies, and definitely no Screaming Rachel style vocals. Instead, they are Lerosa’s subtle tribute to the less cliched but no less captivating deeper style of early Chicago like Joe R. Lewis’ “Dub My Own” from Target Records in 1987. Combined with stunning musicianship and a certain queasy sensibility all of his own, Leopold has made a record indispensable to those even a little devoted to house heritage as it exists in 2010.

Blaktony  on November 30, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Straight style (Chicago),essensial dancin’ music…. Groovy.

Lerato  on November 30, 2010 at 11:43 AM

nice !! :-)

Chicago Skyway  on November 30, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Very Dope Leo and Lerato.

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