Release Date: Jun 10, 2016
Record label: N/A
Huerco S. on titling his new album For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have): As with some of the most impressive of ambient compositions, time really does seem to slip away while listening to this album, possibly the most awkwardly and beautifully titled I’ve come across in a while. This perennial effect is perhaps a byproduct of Huerco S.’s working process, which he describes as “falling asleep on his synth” while crafting the tracks.
The Kansas City producer Huerco S. put out his first release in 2012, when he was just 21 years old, and though its structures loosely hewed to the tenets of house and techno, he hadn’t yet spent much time in dance clubs. It was a fantasy of club music, a perspective schooled by records and YouTube and hearsay, and whatever it lacked in polish, it more than made up for in its suggestiveness.
With his sophomore full-length effort, Kansas City producer Brian Leeds (a.k.a. Huerco S.) has made significant leaps, both logistically and stylistically. Having dropped his debut for Daniel Lopatin's Software imprint, he's now shifted his base of operations, choosing to release For Those Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) on Proibito, the label helmed by NYC-based DJ/producer Anthony Naples.Similarly, Leeds has shed his outsider house modus operandi in favour of a more contemplative — and decidedly ambient — sound.
You could call Huerco S.'s second album a retreat, but it's far from a regression. On his follow-up to 2013's Colonial Patterns, the Kansas-born, NYC-based producer (real name Brian Leeds) moves forward by pulling back. His music has always been murky and mysterious, burying beats under layers of thick atmosphere. But the atmosphere is noticeably thicker on For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have), to the point where some tracks have no discernible beat at all.A sharp sense of rhythm and pace still courses through Leeds' arrangements, keeping them in motion even when the sounds are simply floating along.
If you would've asked Carl and I that we'd still be writing this feature a few months ago, we would've been surprised. But we just can't help ourselves, seeing as this year has been exceptionally rich in terms of album releases. So how did we fare with our monthly "leftovers" this time around? Well ….
For Those Of You Who Never Have (And Also Those Who Have) is a haunting and deeply moving album, soporific in its repetitions of meditative and often ambivalent melodies, made to be listened to on headphones, alone, in a dark room. It is, ultimately, an incredibly personal collection of songs and marks a change in musical direction for Huerco S. (a.k.a Brian Leeds).