LEON VYNEHALL BIOGRAPHY
Over the course of 2 EPs on Brighton’s Well Rounded Housing Project and an acclaimed 2-tracker on George Fitzgerald’s ManMakeMusic imprint, Leon Vynehall has established himself as more than just your average dance producer: he’s established himself as a genuine artist, creating proper songs that are as layered with musicality and craftsmanship as they are in tune with the dance floor.
Taking obvious foundations from house, techno, disco, funk, hip-hop and soul, Vynehall’s music incorporates many elements from his musical past too: his journey, like most, began with playing drums and the piano in bands as a teenager - which manifests itself in the raw, live sound he strives for in his productions - while much of his spare time is spent listening to anything from classical and orchestral compositions to post-punk. His work has seen him dabble in tempos, palettes and styles, but all the time managing to keep his songs coherently ‘Vynehall’.
“I like chords, I like atmosphere and some sort of emotion in music. Rather than it being just about the dance floor, I like it being a bit of both. I like to take a sound and change it, manipulating things so they sound a bit dusty. With drums, I like to make them sound more human. I prefer dance music that isn’t quantized, regimented, and super mixed down to the nano-perfect spot. I’m a believer in the fact that music doesn’t have to sound professional to sound great. Mastering engineers hate me.”
His adventurous nature becomes even clearer in his sets, which he continues to hone since first appearing on the world’s radar via a seminal Boiler Room mix in mid-2012. His XLR8R podcast in February 2013 proved popular too, with the blog commenting that it “quite possibly raised more questions than it answered” - a nod to his exceptional talent as both a DJ and, more importantly, a selector. He has since become an incredibly in-demand DJ, regularly playing across Europe and beyond, alongside the likes of Todd Edwards, DJ Nature, Simian Mobile Disco and Levon Vincent.
Vynehall’s work alongside Christian Piers under the Laszlo Dancehall moniker, meanwhile, has seen him take a far more linear approach to his songwriting. Meant as nothing more than relentless house and techno jams with a main focus on sampling old records, the project has helped him further carve his understanding of the dance floor, and his forthcoming release on Will Saul’s Aus Music cements this.
The ‘Brother / Sister EP’, due on June 10th, is a master class in rough and ready house music - the A-side is a brutal, hook-fuelled rhythm that has already been destroying clubs in Saul’s own sets, while the flipside - born of the same rugged percussion - is balanced with an undeniable beauty and melodic character that many contemporaries would struggle to pull off.
Vynehall doesn’t have a press shot. He rarely shows his face or does interviews. It’s not an active decision – rather a sign of a true creative, who, for now at least, prefers to focus solely on crafting his art. All we can do is sit back and listen as he continues to reveal himself, one bit at a time.