There are no two ways about it: Leo James (AKA Leo Thomson) has helped to shape the landscape of Australian alternative music in the 21st Century. Formerly one half of modular duo Canyons, he released music on labels like Modular Recordings and DFA Records alongside co-conspirator Ryan Grieve, and together they also ran the Hole In The Sky imprint. Active until 2011, the label served as a platform for some of Australia’s finest emerging talent; from Jacques Renault to Bell Towers, even releasing some early Tame Impala material along the way. Now stepping out on his own, 2015 saw his first solo outing as Leo christened his own Body Language label with two cuts of EBM-infected techno.
With the roots of Australian electronic music steeped in a tradition of noise, industrial and EBM, Neubau seems the perfect destination for his new material. Aiming to explore “brutalism in music,” the Viennese label Neubau are set to welcome Leo into the fold with a brand new EP, so in turn we asked the man himself if he would like to contribute a mix. He duly obliged, delivering an hour-long blend that borders on brooding, atmospheric and at times, even plain eerie. Immersive as they’re likely to come, ethereal, dubby textures become transportive and brain-cleansing, like the slow ascent to some sort of higher plain.
Leo James’ What Happened To You EP is out November 7th on Neubau. Keep an eye on the his Soundcloud page for further updates.