Updated: Feb 2, 2022
Latvian-born musician and DJ Leo Maymind shows how, in his new album ‘June’, his eclectic taste is well suited for this, what is a highly individual foray into the world of electronica. Incorporating these influences into his increasingly varied soundscapes, the likes of jazz, electronic body music, and minimalism can be seen throughout.
Much of the album concerns Maymind’s ability to interweave a number of musical themes, as we see their constantly shifting contours creating something endlessly varied. The complicated syncopation in the bass lines and the offset upper textures give the music a certain feeling of unease, carefully adding and peeling away the layers of a piece in order to expose relationships between different parts. The difference between simply lacking ideas and doing something with limited material is a fine line which he manages to avoid straying.
The timbral variety helps to give each motif a distinct feel. Take the piece ‘Airlike’; the synth bass’ accented delivery contrasts against the accompanying upper textures, which remain light and ethereal. However, their combination isn't jarring. Again in ‘Lefferts Gardens’, the syncopated bright piano figure gives emphasis and a pulse to the more laidback, almost romantic saxophone melody. Each plays a different part in the piece but is also deeply affected by the other.
Maymind’s fondness for constantly tinkering with his electronic sounds gives many of the musical lines a feeling of travelling. ‘Glassian’ has this, as if its busy underlying textures are continually coming in and out of water. The use of increasing distortion towards the end of ‘Four Portals’ is reminiscent of The Caretaker’s ‘Everywhere at the End of Time’, as the musical journey sees the sounds becoming increasingly unclear, the synth bass getting heavier and heavier.
The pieces themselves seem to exist more in the details, with the deeply hypnotic and evolving textures meaning all one can do is just watch it all come together. The influence of minimalists such as Steve Reich can be seen in the unhurried and natural feel of the music. Maymind seems a watchful voyeur of his own material, guiding but not controlling it. The production keeps everything together well, never becoming overdone; always ensuring each element is noticeable and important. The sense of flow and subtlety as ideas are gradually introduced and removed is kept, allowing the pieces to breathe and move on their own accord, gradually coming to an end when the energy that drives them has run out.
The album is an impressive effort, boasting its wealth of ideas and having the techniques to make the most out of them. Maymind always maintains control, uniting his music and helping it flow. An impressive effort from an impressive artist, it’s certainly one for fans of electronic and dance music.