Brian Leeds produces electronic music under the name Huerco S. His debut album for Software Recording Co is titled 'Colonial Patterns'. On 'Colonial Patterns,' Leeds treats his Kansas City region as a universe worthy of its own electronic music.
To that end, Leeds deconstructs Midwestern techno and house tropes. The pieces are corrugated, rough, and decompositional. Working cheaply, Leeds conscientiously uses low-end software, synths and cassettes to subvert the gloss that occupies so much of urban dance music, giving tracks an impressionistic, emotive feel. The result is uniquely Midwestern: there is an expansiveness to each piece that suits the open space and the storied past of its inhabitants.
A native of Eastern Kansas, Brian Leeds first turned to music and visual art as a teenager. He attended the University of Kansas where he studied installation art and ceramics before leaving school to focus exclusively on sound design and music production. Recent releases include 'No Jack,' off the EP forWicked Bass, and the twenty-minute synth exploration 'Untitled' which Leeds cut in collaboration with Exael for Software's favorite Opal Tapes.
'Colonial Patterns' shares Jon Hassell's hybridized experiments in percussive ambience, as well asWilliam Basinski's strobing melancholia. When tracks subtly veer into house/techno territories, they mirror the no frills dance mechanics of Midwest figureheads Ron Hardy, Omar S and Theo Parrish.
Non-musical influences include architect Paolo Soleri, known for the concept of "Arcology" (a fusion of architecture and ecology), as well as the ancient Native American mound city of Cahokia. The site of Cahokia in Illinois marks prior Native American societies whose existence was derailed by the colonialist revelation of the so-called New World. 'Colonial Patterns' plays with the idea of the "New World" by ruralizing its historically urban music, and by stripping techno and house of glitzy fanfare.
Most exemplary of this sonic architecture is opener 'Struck With Deer Lungs' and closer 'Angel (Phase).' Both layer subtle rhythmic pulses with broader strokes of deep sustain, creating a pair of intro/outro signals that shape the album's whole sequence and function as main supports to the album's busier core. Bass heavy, Detroit techno leaning ''linzhiid' and 'Quiviria' deliver foreboding standouts with snappy economy.
Stripped of pop devices, discarding utopian delusions, 'Colonial Patterns' is electronic music for the open prairie. Inherently inhabitable, yet strangely dispeopled, it's a fitting universe for this otherworldly debut.
'Colonial Patterns' is available via the Software Recording Co. September 23, 2013 in limited vinyl edition as well as CD and digital formats.
01. Struck With Deer Lungs
02. Plucked From the Ground, Towards the Sun
04. Anagramme of My Love
06. Ragtime U.S.A. (Warning)
07. Monks Mound (Arcology)
09. Hopewell (Devil)
10. Fortification III
11. Skug Kommune
13. Chun-Kee Player
14. Angel (Phase)
19th - Berghain - Berlin, Germany
20th - Wicked Bass - St Petersburg, Russia
26th - 200% Chill Festival - Moscow, Russia
27th - La Villette Enchantee - Paris, France
2nd - Unown - Manchester, UK
3rd - Streets of Beige - London, UK
9th - Siroco - Madrid, Spain
10th - Wastelands Festival - Belgium
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.