Following a sterling contribution to our podcast series, Melbourne-based maestro Leo James has delivered an intriguing and highly mutative 12″ for the continually impressive Austrian label, Neubau. Having previously released music as Canyons and Pink Gin alongside Ryan Grieve, the What Happened To You EP represents the Hole In The Sky co-founder’s first solo material on a label other than his very own Body Language imprint, which itself was only launched in September last year.
James’ latest EP focuses on a sense of feeling and atmosphere, as well as a unique hybrid of styles. With its clattering percussive sounds which intermittently interrupt the proceedings, ‘What Happened To You’ is a relatively minimal affair; vocal samples, a steady throbbing rhythm and the use of swarming, pulsing synths are pretty much the only compositional make-up in full effect. ‘Conductor’ perpetuates this motif to an extent – its simplistic driving beat is embellished by the eventual blow out of its metallic tones. Rather more intricate bass-driven inflections are incorporated as we move forward, and just as you think that it may have faded out into the industrial ether, it returns with a final movement filled with more urgency and imminence than before.
The B-side closer sees 3rd Wave, the side project of Gordon Pohl and Ralf Beck, remix the EP’s titular cut into an analogue, slightly uncanny recurring dream of the same experience. Wrapping up what is a strange, surreal set of tracks, the What Happened To You EP ends as beguiling as it began.
The What Happened To You EP is out now on Neubau – buy the vinyl here.