Leyland Kirby – Breaks My Heart Each Time (Apollo)

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It makes sense that Kirby would end up releasing something on R&S especially given his interest in late 80s Belgian New Beat (even though the rebooted R&S is now a London label). Kirby’s 4 tracker for R&S’ resurrected ‘ambient’s offshoot, Apollo, is a suitably queasy trip through the trills of early 90s ambient trance synths much like Oneohtrix Point Never’s take on 80s new age. Kirby’s choice of sonic memories have a dark undertow and on the title track and Staring Down the Sun, particularly, there feels like something isn’t quite right despite the melodic swells, something lurks in the occasional dissonance that creeps in, and the ever denser layering of sounds. These aren’t wistful rave memories – like Special Request, Burial or even Lee Gamble – they are more like unwanted memories, disconcerting and fevered. After two quiet(er) years, this short EP and latest album in his guise as The Stranger, hopefully point to a return to the bountiful 2011 period.

Seb Chan

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Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.

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