Leon Vynehall’s evolution as a producer has been fascinating. ‘Nothing Is Still’ retains the sultry atmosphere and warm synths of his previous work; but departs from Chicago house nostalgia for a melting pot of jazz fusion, ambient sound collage and trip-hop.
The outstanding distinction is a preference for atmosphere over song structure. On ‘Ice Cream’, ‘It Breaks’ and ‘Birds On The Tarmac’, synths and loops hover dreamily over field recordings of nature and everyday life. In sound, it is far closer to Basinski or Tim Hecker than Pepe Bradock.
Louder moments, however, are thrilling. ‘Envelopes’ is a particular highlight, with shades of Portishead in its slow, accented beat and dramatic strings. House appears in flashes, on ‘English Oak’ and ‘Drinking It In Again’, but the mixes are fuller and more psychedelic.
Many may still see Vynehall as a specialist in euphoric house, but this album has a richness and depth that transcends the dancefloor.
Words: Daniel Keane
Dig it? Dig deeper: Martyn, Synkro, Om Unit
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