French multi-instrumentalist and producer Leon takes no prisoners on new EP Body & Soul, appropriately enough since he shares a name with Luc Besson’s cinema hitman. The seven tracker cuts a blistering mod, psych, surf, and jazzy path through instrumental party breakbeat territory as our man pits his guitar chops against uptempo and vaguely Propellerheads-ish beats. This is rawer than anything the Propellerheads ever did though.
The opener and title track starts off with mod fuzz guitar chops and what sounds like a Yugoslavian psych sample for example while The River is more manic, turns on a more frantic drum break and veers between almost mariachi-esque interludes and jazzy Rhodes piano motifs. Get On The Boat is the most Propellerheads-ish of all cuts and is promptly succeeded by the relatively calm spyfunk-influenced The Meeting and the nufunky Friend (That Is Still Gone) featuring a female vocal loop. The last two tracks occupy the middle ground between the previous two mellower tracks and the full-on aural assault of the start of the release as jazzy keys vie with an antsy rhythm guitar on Feeling Groovy and Sexy Toy pits mod guitars (albeit somewhat more muted than earlier) against psych theremin work and tablas. Leon, then. If you want the job done right – hire a professional.
(Out 13 February on Timewarp Music)