- When Leon first presented his debut album to VIVa boss Steve Lawler it was comprised entirely of straight up 4/4 house productions. Lawler duly told him to go back to the drawing board, encouraging him to express his tastes and offering him complete freedom in the process. With that, Leon came back with In My Factory, which is still largely 4/4-based, though branches out to include hints of ambient and indie.
The Teramo, Italy-born producer broke through in 2009 with his first release on VIVa, and maintained a consistent output via labels such as Cecille, Noir and Cocoon. From simple dance floor workouts such as "Like This, Like That" through to more subtle tracks, like his recent collaboration with fellow Italian Toky (as Superhero), "Drugs & Choices," Leon has proven to be a reputable producer.
His debut album is almost entirely made up of collaborations with fellow compatriots. Long-time friend Toky is on board, along with Stefano Testa, Lara Martelli and Andre Butano, making it an almost entirely Italian affair. In My Factory opens with "My Dreams," (with one of the few non-Italian accomplices, Chile's Andre Butano), an ethereal composition which supports Andre's Spanish spoken-word contribution. Airy synths combine with jingles, subtle drums and the occasional tinkle of a piano key or two, to produce a melodramatic beginning to the album.
Soon, we move into "Inside Me," an Asian-influenced cowbell-driven track punctuated by a haunting warble, all wrapped up in the organic sounds of wind and string instruments—an odd combination, but it all works well. Elsewhere he delves into tribal ("In My Factory"), funk ("Seventies in My Memories") and, dare I say it, trip-hop with "My Breathe." That's as well as more traditional techno and house workouts such as the bouncy yet soulful "Follow Me" (featuring Toky) and the raw, underground vibes of "Supersonic," which is remixed by Franco Cinelli a few tracks later on the album.
By the time you reach the off-kilter percussion and melancholy chords featured on closer "Rain in My Soul" you'll have experienced a range of styles, not all of them immediately appealing or cohesive. Given time though, you may realise that In My Factory is a very well-produced album with some beautiful, captivating moments, albeit one that at times feels a bit too much of an experiment.
01. Cause Im Lost Feat Stefano Testa
02. Follow Me Feat Toky
03. Im So Guilty
04. Inside Me
05. In My Factory
06. Its Time To Load
07. My Breathe Feat Lara Martelli
08. My Dreams Feat Andre Butano
09. Prophet Style Feat Coni
10. Rain In My Soul (Franco Cinelli Remix)
11. Seventies In My Memories Feat Mazu
12. Supersonic (Franco Cinelli Remix)