This record forgets it’s on. Brian Leeds' new productions, which make the jump from techno to beatless ambient as if there never was a difference, sound like they should never end -- long, gassy and patchworked, their melodies are subdued so as to never surprise the listener, rumbling with the kind of faded infinity people choose for their background listening. The synth mumbles. At its noisiest, it sounds like an emergency siren floating in an aquarium tank -- blaring, but barely. In a perfect world you could listen to it forever.
Except it forgets it’s on. The cadences are all over the place. Many of Leeds’ tracks don’t even have one for real -- they fade to a limp, carelessly cast aside as if their steady ecosystem just got cancelled. The rest end on slammed doors, cutting out on a lovely groove to enact cognitive dissonance on your evening. There are other ambient artists who do this -- Leyland Kirby chose to abruptly shorthand the melodic tracks on An Empty Bliss Beyond This World to characterise the looping, fragmented memories of dementia patients -- but on this record, Leeds sounds like he’s encountered a problem with ambient music itself. Like: how do you just stop perpetuating? With no tidiness at their in or out, these tracks just mull about until life finishes them off.
It’s very Sopranos finale. Except the Sopranos finale didn’t come after six seasons of drone.
These are gorgeous tracks -- their synthwork is overwhelmingly shiny, but it’s curtained by the antique dust of lo-fi. I feel genuinely sad for them when Leeds puts them in the can, but I get why he keeps doing it -- maybe he really does just forget, but there’s no way I’d want to resolve any one of them. One of these tracks will become dear to you, and then it will become the silence in your bedroom.