Levon Vincent and Marcel Dettmann will be appearing at Fabric on Saturday March 9, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader.
Levon Vincent will kick off 2013 with another surprise 12″ for his own Novel Sound imprint.
Levon Vincent is fully aware of the importance of subtlety, sophistication and balance when it comes to the art of modern house and techno productions and with the inspiration of both a music degree and his tight-knit New York affiliates, he’s engineered a fine balance between potency and panache through his two imprints – Deconstruct, the enigmatic white label jointly curated with the city’s emerging talent, Anthony Parasole, and his own Novel Sound.
Berlin-based producer Levon Vincent will round off 2012 with a surprise 12″ on his own Novel Sound imprint, entitled Stereo Systems.
The manner in which an artist tackles a Fabric mix reflects – to an extent – what they’re like as a character, much like the often uncanny resemblance shared between dog owners and their pets. Some go down the conceptual route (Four Tet, Surgeon), while the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Shackleton and Omar S choose to fill their mixes solely with their own material - a sign of supreme confidence in one’s own ability, any pop psychologist will tell you. Levon Vincent has chosen to pepper his entry into the Fabric canon with a mixture of his own tracks alongside material from the New York-based contemporaries he holds so dear, and it says a lot about the man.
Levon Vincent occupies intriguing sonic territory – he’s closely linked to the raw house of Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality imprint, yet his productions arguably have more in common with the contemporary strains of European techno being made by the likes of Delta Funktionen and Ben Klock. The New York based producer enjoyed a watershed year in 2009 with a slew of fine EPs on his own Novel Sound and Deconstruct labels, although it was the inclusion of the peerless “Late Night Jam” on Steffi’s Panorama Bar 02 mix that earned him the widest recognition.
Vincent has an intricate understanding of sound design and admits, like many producers, to being a perfectionist, obsessing over the smallest details. It’s this potent combination of knowledge and dedication that make each Vincent release something of an event. Speaking in 2009, the producer jokingly remarked he had some tracks up his sleeve that would make people “shit themselves”, and to be honest we wouldn’t be surprised if the title track on this 12″ – his comeback record after a 12 month break from releasing original material – caused a few bowel disruptions. Hi-hats bounce around like giant sheets of metal before the track locks into a sustained groove, which allows the main hook – an indescribably heavy rave synth line – to be twisted around with unyielding, relentless vigour.
B-Side opener “Making Headway” is more abrasive in nature; taking the metallic chords heard on his 2009 remix of DJ Qu’s “Party People Clap” to the next level. The result sounds like an orchestrated recording from the inside of the sweatiest steel factory you can imagine. The odd sense of the human and machine worlds combining is heightened by what sounds like manipulated breathing, which Vincent then douses in a surreal sheen, with strangely calm synth line left to sit alongside the piston-pumping hook. It’s an odd yet appealing middle ground between the sheer hedonism of the A-Side and the comparatively serene “No Regrets” which closes out the release with sparse instrumentation and Caribou-esque plaintive vocal.
Cutting his teeth as a DJ in New York the 90s, Levon Vincent witnessed first hand the impact of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on New York’s nightlife, and saw his gigs and hence his livelihood dry up overnight. So Vincent went back to school, in his words, to “take a negative and turn it into a positive”, and devote himself to learning the many complexities and nuances of music theory and production. In 2008 his star began to rise, with the first signs coming not from NYC but London, where his tracks drew raucous receptions from the Fabric crowd when dropped by close friend Jus Ed. Affable, humble down to the ground; Vincent’s rise to prominence is a remarkable and heart warming tale. Aaron Coultate met up with the man himself during his recent stay in London to find out more.