Release Date: Jun 15, 2018
Record label: Ninja Tune
It took a series of polaroid pictures to inspire Nothing Is Still. After the death of his grandfather, Vynehall's grandmother unearthed some old photographs of his grandparents together in New York. He had heard short snippets of their time there, but had never delved deeper into the decision that made them want to cross the vast Atlantic Ocean and emigrate from their home in Southampton during the 1960s.
Every time Leon Vynehall releases new music, you're guaranteed a fundamental level of coherence. The British producer is a quiet, cerebral guy, and his long-form statements communicate rich themes and a solid sense of structure even though they're largely wordless. His 2014 breakthrough, Music for the Uninvited, explored house music's queer history and Vynehall's own childhood memories, like his mom's handmade mixtapes and N64 games.
British producer ditches house bangers for symphonic genius on his debut album 2018 has been a golden year for British electronic music. Already, we’ve seen a host of talent pushing the envelope as to what an electronic album can sound like and achieve. George Fitzgerald’s ‘All That Must Be’ addressed fatherhood and the fragility of the world, while Jon Hopkins’s 'Singularity' explored meditation and the effect of psychedelics via banging techno tunes.
British producer Leon Vynehall has spent his career creating what is arguably some of the better deep house music to come out of the '10s. Out of the string of singles and EP's he's released over a six-year period, 2014's Music for the Uninvited and 2016's Rojus (Designed To Dance) stand as his most celebrated with both boasting some of the more consistently thrilling club tracks of this decade. But on his anticipated debut album, Nothing Is Still, he throws something of a curveball.
Leon Vynehall's previous album, 2016's Rojus (Designed To Dance), was a great deep house record, but the sound design and ambience that surrounded the grooves suggested something deeper still. This potential has been realised on Nothing Is Still, along with a conceptual framework based on his grandparents' time in New York, with tracks much more suited to headphone listening than the dancefloor. Cinematic is an appropriate word to describe the way each track encapsulates the mood of the story - a novella of the same title co-written by Vynehall is out now - but the album can be enjoyed just as much on its own.
Leon Vynehall received acclaim during the mid-2010s for his joyous, backwards-glancing house tracks, but there's always been much more to him than blissful club nostalgia. 2014 breakout release Music for the Uninvited included a smattering of jazzy downtempo moments, while 2015 compilation track "Midnight on Rainbow Road" was a relaxing ambient cruise. Nothing Is Still, Vynehall's Ninja Tune debut and first "proper" album, is a big departure from his previous work.