Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Leo Zero Disconnects

Strut in their never-ending quest to bring diverse music to the masses have come up with yet another compilation series. Going under the name of Disconnect, the idea is to offer DJ's the chance to disconnect from their usual playlists and offer some of the more interesting things they enjoy. Leading off the series is famed UK DJ, Leo Zero...or Leo Elstob to his friends. Having DJed for over fifteen years, the guy clearly has the credentials to be here and after listening to his rather eclectic mix it's easy to see that his set belongs here as well.

With songs covering just about every base you can think of, Leo Zero brings the funk, the Afropop, the folk, and the tunes that are so underground that they don't even know they exist. Not mixed per-se but rather stitched together, Disconnect offers a smattering of strange tunes, unheard gems, and cool songs that should be heard more often. When the record hits its stride and unearths some super-funky-fried jam it's awesome, but more often than not much of this record kind of lacks a cohesion that holds it all together. This isn't really a dance record, but rather an exploration of the guests psyche and the kind of music that helps the guest DJ escape. As such an experiment it's rather fascinating to listen to. As a record that you'll want to listen to repeatedly, I'm not really sure it's quite that good.

Disconnect provides some fascinating insight into the inner workings of Leo Zero and it does unearth some pretty cool tunes. But for every really cool tune, there's at least one that’s unexciting and at times it almost seems a bit too trendy for its own good. I did enjoy the fact that Leo included Brian Eno & John Cale along with Propaganda on this record but felt the inclusion of so much Afropop seemed to be rooted on how trendy it is right now. Disconnect might not be the most up for it record but it's definitely amongst the most worldly and diverse you are likely to hear. In touch with its inner goth as much as it's inner new age traveler, Disconnect travels the genres and sub-genres for things you've never heard and Leo Zero does a fine job of serving them to us.

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