January 8, 2008

Dominique Leone – Dominique Leone EP

There’s a number of songs worth taking out for a night on the town but few are worth waking up to. “Clairevoyage” fits the bill – even with a subtitle of “A Medley Performed By The 16th Rebels Of Mung” and credits that include a dude who nicknames himself “Strangefruit.” The best part of “Clairevoyage” isn’t the indulgence you’d expect with a group who are ready and willing to invoke the geeky concept of mung. The best moments are the ones that lead up to the song’s chipmunks-on-whippets coughing finale – the calm start of a metronome, the “doo doo doooo’s” that wiggle around the clap of the bass drums.

“Clairevoyage” should be anything but restrained. There’s no doubt in my mind that the talent involved – Lindstrom, Mongolian Jet Set, Dominique Leone, and a healthy list of others – spent many hours/weeks/months filling every second of the song to the brim of detail. And when I say restraint, it stems from the fact that I can’t tell if the track layers itself silly or winds itself into the tightest coil possible. But here’s where it doesn’t matter: both are the best way to soundtrack my morning. It’s perfect for my eight minutes and running for the bus to work. Even the dancefloor euphoria of the end, “sometimes it pays to keep your eyes closed” is just as functional as an extended dancefloor jam as it is a waking lullaby to get on with each day.

Feedelity / feed 012
[Listen]
[Itunes]
[Nate DeYoung]

A brief interview with Dominique Leone follows.

Beatz: For most people, the vocoder has been left for dead as a remnant of kitschy ’80s pop or disco. But there’s a tinge of it on “Conversational” – making each phrase flicker and hang in the air. Did you have a particular reason that you treated your vocals for the song?

Dominique Leone: Actually there is no real vocal effect on that track except a short delay on the voice, and some compression. It was however recorded on my little 4-track, so I think part of what gives it its sound is just due to being a not-that-great-quality recording!

Beatz: How do you feel about becoming “Scando-laeric” by association of the Feedelity label and “Clairvoyage…” despite the fact that most of your earlier work (and most of the Dominique Leone EP) isn’t exactly “Beardo”? Are you worried about what expectations that’ll have on your forthcoming album?

DL: I was really happy with the “Clairevoyage” mix, and certainly happy that Lindstrom was interested in my stuff, and wanted to release it — so in those senses, I’m pretty happy to be “Scando-laeric”. As far as expectations, I guess I’m not very worried. I think the tracks on the EP give a pretty good idea of what I sound like, and in any case, it’s not like I have 18 releases behind me to build many lasting impressions for people yet. I’d probably be more worried that people would expect me to do a spoken word record review album or something.

Beatz: Since we all know that music critics are failed musicians, have you been forced to turn in your badge?

DL: Haha, well, it’s definitely true that I haven’t had as much time to write about music since I started focusing primarily on releasing/performing stuff. I don’t know, I guess I look at the EP and the record as being somewhat overdue — perhaps I can start writing more again in a few years, with the perspective of someone who’s been forced to endure his own press.


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