Levon Vincent really does make it look effortless. Head of not one, not two, but three record labels, he contributed one of the finest Fabric mixes in the series in April and has an extraordinary knack for bridging the gap between soulful New York house and industrial Berlin techno (unsurprisingly, his home and his home away from home, respectively). The results consistently make his contemporaries sound redundant. The “Stereo Systems” EP (NS-07) was released last week with little more than a murmur of warning. In typical fashion, copies have been severely limited and have been snapped up by eager fans. The title track, which was included on his Fabric mix, opens with blistering, intergalactic synths. Underpinned with the visceral roars that so often feature on Levon’s work, “Stereo Systems” is an exercise in futuristic, space-age sounds. The kick drum which runs through it stabilises its otherwise celestial character.
Stream: Levon Vincent – Speck’s Jam (Novel Sound)
On the flip side, “Together Forever” combines piercing synths with rattling percussion and formulates them into a cavernous groove. As the hisses and crackles intensify, the track moves into wholly fearsome territory. “Speck’s Jam” has been circulating for a while; it first appeared on Levon’s mix for Underground Quality in 2009 and more recently cropped up on Jackmaster’s RA mix. Despite its longevity, “Speck’s Jam” takes on a whole new lease of life as a standalone song. It sees Levon channel a more funk-driven sound, with a seductive double bass loop and an ever-dependable kick. There’s a sensuality about it, what with the suggestive guitar twangs and cadenced breaths that punctuate the breakdown.
Let’s face it, the “Stereo Systems” EP would have flown off the shelves no matter how good the songs were. It’s testament to Levon’s talent that his reputation never upstages the quality of his work, and serves as a reminder of his deserved status as one of the key producers in house and techno circles.
Levon Vincent’s Stereo Systems EP is available now on vinyl; it’s predictably sold out from most outlets but can be bought here.