Leo – “Leo”

This solo effort from Leo, drummer for the Virginian folk-noise combo Piasa, is an endearing work alternating solitary drones with surprisingly light sound experiments. Currently available through Medusa Head Records (specializing in limited-edition CDr works), this disc was originally a self-release cassette. It’s also one of the few cassette-to-CDr re-releases that not only seems to have merited an extra audience, but also seems to work well in the new format.

There is an innocence to the sounds on this disc that is the big draw for me. While some tracks, like “Multiple” and “Seek,” present a more studied face with broad highways of droning tone– they are often bookended with less-serious pieces. Tracks like “Cutedrops” and “We Used to Live on Mars,” exude enthusiasm, where Leo found something cool and wanted to share it with us. This infectious spirit of experimentalism is far more interesting than a handful of more self-important releases could ever be.

I also enjoy the cover art– each hand-drawn and unique. Mine features an angular figure that reminds me equally of Aztec pictograms and graffiti.

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