Who: Kin Leonn
What: Ambient, Modern Classical, Ambient Techno
Where: Singapore to London
Why: The aesthetics of a musical project are difficult to cultivate. Corrupting them can make your world feel fragile, and a failure to create one will most certainly impede any attempts to foster immersion. A musical project in it’s ideal state is something you can sink into, and even a cursory scroll across an artist’s instagram feed should evoke that sensation. You might know the feeling of having an artist’s face or look tinge your appreciation of their work, it’s unavoidable. That’s music branding 101 though, and “branding” is the death of art. Kin Leonn has fostered a brand of minuscule gestures and sideways glances purely by providence, since good art makes a good brand without effort.
His debut album Commune, out soon on physical media through Darla Records, is an experience of culture and synesthesia. The rustic painterly greys of it’s cover, and the images of the music itself. Grainy Singapore streets and longing nights cast in synthetic light. Images which are both true to the nature of Singapore, and London, but also fantasies, clinging to an emotional idea of what the cities are in our minds. Drawing parallels between London’s underground experimental scene and the effervescent films of Eric Khoo as concrete objects and certainties, but also as abstractions. A gliding between cinematic modern classical, and the knocking claustrophobia of Boiler Room beats. The music is a wonder, something impressionist and decadent that never feels over-composed or artificial, despite it’s driving rhythms and effected string patterns.
As much as Commune feels like prescient music, intersecting the growing worlds of outsider electronic and the post-Winged Victory For The Sullen modern classical, it also feels wholly contained within itself. It is an evocation of a specific space which, despite similarities to existing ones, never fails throughout its entire tracklist to feel singular. Despite it’s early-bird digital release in 2018, this physical release by Darla Records, fitting of the album’s tangible sense of place, makes it an early contender for one of our favorite albums of 2019.
Find Commune on physical media at Darla Records.