Craig Leon

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Nommos (1981), 6/10
Visiting (1982), 5/10

Craig Leon, the producer who shaped the new wave of the late 1970s (Ramones, Suicide, Blondie, Richard Hell) recorded the naive instrumental electronic album Nommos (Takoma, 1981). Ring With Three Concentric Discs and Donkeys Bearing Cups weave a simple loop of a polyrhythm around a drone, sounding like an African remix of Neu's motorik rhythm Another simple loop, of an industrial polyrhythm, propels Nommo to a marriage with a synth drone that imports Brian Eno's ambient music. A majestic organ drone gently floats over the syncopated percussive loop of She Wears A Hemispherical Skull Cap. The eleven-minute Four Eyes To See The Afterlife tests the patience of the listener: it takes forever for something to emerge out of the (not incredibly entertaining) percussive loop, and that "something" is only a few electronic bubbles and a distant vocal sample. Not worthy of throbbing techno music, not worthy of new-age music, and certainly not worthy of the new wave, that was producing way more creative music.

Leon then recorded a follow-up, Visiting (1982), that is less ambitious, but still as far removed from the punk ethos (that he helped promote) as it can get.

The two albums were reissued as Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol 1 (RVNG, 2014).

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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