Subtempo Guest Mix 043
From underground raves in the 90s to clubs or festivals, the past three decades have witnessed an eclectic musical journey for Léo, now back to his roots under the Zeon moniker. All doors are open, whether it be lush ambient soundscapes, broken beats, tripped-out rhythms, dub, techno or drum & bass, he’s always crafting a warm sonic dialogue with a deep sense of hypnotism and spirit.
Hi Leo, first of all, thanks for doing this mix for us. You said let’s make it a once-a-year thing, and here you are delivering on your promise!
Hi man, thanks once again for the opportunity to share some more sounds with the Subtempo crew. I’m not playing out so much these days so it’s always fun to craft a mix and see where it goes, explore one of the various styles I’m digging.
I’d like to start by asking what tools did you use to create this mix.
Allen & Heath Xone 96 mixer, 2 x Pioneer CDJ 3000’s, 2 x Technics 1210’s.
Is there a theme behind this mix?
“Mundus Subterraneo,” a deep dive into grey area, uncharted territory…With decades behind the decks, Léo, aka Zeon, aka Capricorn One, and many others, says that multiple aliases can be essential in the creative development process for an artist.
What’s new in your world? How did 2022 treat you and how’s 2023 looking?
Nothing major! On a productive level, we had a great year at Cardamom, and as always we are optimistic with the season ahead. Our collection is currently under production in India and I’m really excited with the work achieved out there this past winter.
Musically, a definite return to organising some events and parties is all in the pipeline and hopefully time to experience some of the fantastic small-scale avant-garde festivals nearby this spring/summer. Parallel Festival (Catalan Pyrenees), Waking Life (Portugal) and Mostra (Barcelona) are all on the cards, let’s see if we can fit at least one of these into the hectic schedule. Once upon a time it would have been all three!
I know you’ve been curating these “Vinyl Therapy” moments for the shop you run with your partner. Tell me a bit about those.
It’s simply a way to share music with our clients or followers online, the focus is vinyl, album releases (also available digitally), specific musical treasures that have touched us deeply and which we would like to share and promote. I’d love to think of people actually buying the vinyl LP and then playing it at home for the full sensory experience, but I imagine that streaming is the more dominant procedure. Recent examples are the re-release of the Cinematic Orchestra’s classic “Everyday” or Matthew Halsall’s beautiful “Oneness”.The set up where this mix was recorded. Sometimes you have to step away from your daily studio, bring your gear somewhere beautiful and let the inspiration strike.
This mix is a different sound compared to the one you did last year. Always a treat to see what you are listening to. What has been inspiring you lately?
The beauty of continuous discovery and investigation….
Over the past few years a specific kind of sound has been constantly growing in my collection, bridging worlds between Techno, Experimental Drum & Bass, Dub Breaks and Broken Beats. I’ve found it truly inspirational and fresh with some high-level production. In a way it really encapsulates alot of my tastes (away from my beloved Tek 4/4 rhythms), although the BPMs are a definite shift, drifting between 80/160 bpm and anything + or - in that range. Unusual beat structures with psychedelic soundscapes, a no-boundaries tribe territory.
Labels at the forefront of this sound would be Amenthia, Midgar, Nullpunkt and the Mantis series on Delsin. I’ve realised that artists like Marco Shuttle, Felix K or Donato Dozzy introduced elements of this years ago, and more recently Konduku, Vardae or the Amenthia collective from Switzerland have really made their stamp and developed their own way.
Stripping away the layers with half paced sluggy ryhthms, leaving enough space to zone out on labels such as Re.st or moving closer to more traditional drum and bass rollers with the sounds of Forest Drive West and Ghost Warrior as great examples. A logical progression from here leads us to the “UK” influenced broken beat/bass sound on Well Street or equally the mighty Munich-based label Ilian Tape, to name a few !! Its an ever expanding world of deep atmospheres, tight drum patterns and subaquatic grooves well worth the dive.Pictured here is a sneak peak at one of this years shirts from the new collection at Cardamom, Léo and his partner Lorena’s clothing brand. Photo by Moen.vr.
You have so many years behind the decks and such a broad taste. How do you feel about genres these days? Do you feel like new genres require new project names or are you more in the camp of sticking with one name for all?
There is an obvious tendency for many producers to investigate different styles and production techniques, diversity is fantastic. I can’t imagine the life of an artist without unexpected shifts and new styled projects, it’s a natural process, all necessary for the creative flow. The end result may or may not be what was hoped for, but the process is vital. Producing under a different name or alias in these situations seems quite logical to me, especially within collabs and there’s plenty of them, it’s like taking on a whole new persona. Luke Slater is a great example, he has around 13 aliases if I’m not mistaken…
What is interesting but seemingly rare is when a new sound emerges and we don’t really know what to call it! It’s a good sign. That’s the “grey area”. The whole categorising thing has gone mad, subgenres within subgenres! It’s branched out so much since the early days where it was all more or less two or three concepts. I’m sure I sound like a typical old Rave head sometimes hahaha but we had so much fun!!! There was a real sense of freedom within the scene, maybe it’s returning, what do I know !?!
What are you most looking forward to in 2023, personally?
Peace, Love, Unity & Respect… there you go, more old-school cliches! But you know it makes sense. With a cosmic 23 thrown in, who knows what delights are in store?!? Positivity mate…
Those are timeless classics, just like your music, and great things to look forward to. Thanks again for this wonderful mix, let’s do it again next year!
My pleasure bro and thanks to you, I really enjoyed crafting it. All the best x
- IORI - Purple [Field Recordings]
- Lemna - Dodecahedron [Delsin Records]
- Konsudd - Schwebende [Amenthia Recordings]
- Luanaea - Amida I [Oslated]
- Konduku - Trail [Delsin Records]
- Watching Airplanes - Saboter La Machine [Banlieue Records]
- Vardae - Voices [Annulled Music]
- Sciama - Indignation [Auxiliary]
- Ricco - Layla [Worst Records]
- BLNDFLD & Tsott - Bochi [Indefinite Pitch]
- Primal Code - Mainframe [Kalahari Oyster Cult]
- Marco Shuttle - Flauto Sintetico [Spazio Disponible]
- Last Life - Est [LL Series 016]
- Sindh - Massane [Monochrome Records]
- Agonis - Pyrchid [Amenthia Recordings]
- Forest Drive West - Nothing Else [Rupture LDN]
- Eusebeia - Fall Then Rise [Samurai Music]
- Aa Sudd - B1. QPP [Midgar Records]
- Re:ni - Don’t go Dark [Ilian Tape]
Instagram | Soundcloud
Subscribe to Subtempo Radio
Available on Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud