Album of the Week: Leon Vynehall – Rojus (Designed to Dance)

Leon Vynehall’s  larger-than life House music makes a return to the longer player format in “Rojus (Designed to Dance)”. Like Music for the Uninvited, this latest record avoid’s aligning itself with the album format completely for the less-indulgent planes of the mini-album, but like MFTU there’s a connection between the tracks that are cut from the same cloth in the way of an album. There’s a consistency that ties all the tracks on Rojus together, and like its predecessor, it’s created from a concept. For Rojus, Leon Vynehall turned to the famed birds of paradise and found some similarities between the way they lure a mate and the social interactions on the club dance floor. Leon Vynehall adopts a David Attenborough role from his vantage point in the booth, and strings the experiences together as 8 tracks designed for dancing.

Rojus features a strong percussive section throughout, with elements of samples, and field recordings conspiring to create towering musical landscapes. Some criticisms have surfaced that this mini-album is nothing like its predecessor and when we asked Vynehall  about the reception the last time he played at Jæger, the UK producer/DJ shrugged and said “it’s not supposed to.” Vynehall stares closer than ever into House music’s looking glass, peering through elements of Disco and Funk to arrive at Rojus with the producer’s trademark sound filled-in noticeably more on this latest record. The stripped back sound of MFTU is enhanced quite significantly as Vynehall masterfully adds to the overall atmosphere of his music and creates music that swells with dynamics and life as they travel along their timeline, all the while retaining the core-appeal of the artist’s sound. Leon Vynehall’s tracks are forged in the beat and it’s at the drums where they often take shape, the producer’s chosen instrument at the core of all of his music. It infects the music with a unique groove where he then piles on layer after layer, before moving on to harmony and melody.

It suits the Running Back catalogue in which it finds itself and in the week that saw Gerd Janson in our booth, this album makes for good company as we try to normalise again.