New York-based, Texas-born producer Levon Vincent, who had worked as an
engineer for Steve Reich,
took inspiration from house music of the 1990s for the exuberant, but
rather trivial, singles No More Heros (More Music NY, 2002),
Complicated People (2003) and
The Thrill Of Love (2004).
The psychedelic techno music of
Love Technique (2005) marked the beginning of more original phase.
Via the hypnotic and claustrophobic Invisible Bitchslap (2008),
the surrealistic psychedelic trance of Solemn Days (2009),
the martial cacophony of Six Figures (2009),
and the neurotic minimalist repetition of The Medium Is The Message (2009), Vincent achieved
the agonizing syncopation and polyrhythms of
Double Jointed Sex Freak Parts 1-2-3 (2009), with its post-industrial side B.
After the lightweight parenthesis of
the bouncy Man Or Mistress (2011) and
of the frenzied and African-tinged Impression Of A Rainstorm (2011),
came the brainy and cosmic Stereo Systems (2012),
the nocturnal and sinister Rainstorm II (2013),
and the thumping ten-minute Fear, off the EP NS-10 T.Rex Edition (2015), one of his most atmospheric dances.
Vincent finally assembled an LP, Levon Vincent (Novel Sound, 2015), which is mostly
devoted to a hushed form of deep house, a close relative of
Aphex Twin's ambient works.
Crisp synth tones sculpt the
dark industrial vision of Junkies On Hermann Street
while at the same time indulging in the
bouncing pingpong-like melodic dance of Launch Ramp To The Sky,
a sort of hysterical gamelan.
The album loses some of its momentum in
moody ambient vignettes, of which Her Light Goes Through Everything is
perhaps the best, but ends with two strong pieces:
the lugubrious Anti-Corporate Music, with gothic-industrial overtones,
the throbbing and somewhat dadaistic Small Whole-Numbered Ratios.
The relatively facile eight-minute Birds (2016) thrives on
Neanderthal thumping and chirping distortions, but the galactic
polyrhythms of Arpeggiator (2016) are music for imaginary futures.
Generally speaking, the compositions of For Paris (2017) feel unfinished,
The mild syncopation of Baseball and the
reverbed ecstasy of Slander Is Terrible
could be interesting but not enough happens to justify their existence.
The anemic melodies that surface in pieces like
Only Good Things are perhaps the most endearing elements.
A little more creative was the single
The Synthesizer Cake (2018).
Vincent's third album,
World Order Music (Novel Sound, 2019),
combined deep house, Steve Reich's minimalism, synth-pop, Afro-jazz and much more.
The exuberant and sparkling Kiss Marry Kill, the
pseudo-tribal dance Reverse Stockholm Syndrome,
and nods at wildly syncopated synth-pop of the 1980s a` la Dead or Alive
in And It Don't Change and especially World Order Musi cement
the dancefloor element.
At the same time, the
alien lugubrious Flowers For Algernon (presumably inspired by Daniel Keyes' 1958 sci-fi story "Flowers for Algernon") and
the loud drones and African stomp of She Likes To Wave To Passing Boats
explore psychological places.
There's a jazzy piano sonata inside Back To The Grind and a
neoclassical piano morphs into a soaring synth-pop melody in
Opening, a cross of Constance Demby and Mozart.
Last but not least, there are two booming minimalist concertos, The Vampire Lestat (with choir of nuns) and Ratios III (with little or no variation but obviously intended as a mathematical exercise).
Vincent disoriented and reorients the listeners. At least
The Vampire Lestat,
Flowers For Algernon belong to his major canon.
Then came the four EPs of the Dance Music Series (2019), notably
the eleven-minute Civil Disobedience (from the first one)
and the virulent Anti-Corporate Music II (from the fourth one).
Past the trivial Seahorse (2019), Vincent penned the Afro-gamelan
Drum Circle (2020) and the Giorgio Moroder-inspired
WKO (2020) before
the exuberant 14-minute minimalist feast Cyclops Trx 1 (2021).