Release Date: Sep 4, 2015
Record label: RVNG Intl.
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
The RVNG imprint is at it again, unearthing essential work from another unheralded sonic pioneer. Kerry Leimer is a Canadian-born but Seattle-based dream weaver who — after discovering Faust and Cluster — collected synths and tape machines, taught himself to use them, and concocted uncanny soundscapes totally out of place within the Pacific Northwest of the 1970s. He eventually founded the Palace of Lights label to reveal the music that he and a small cabal of like-minded individuals were producing, working in near-obscurity.Last year, RVNG released A Period of Review, a collection of Leimer's solo material that demonstrated his deft blend of new age synthesis and avant-garde tendencies.
"The intelligence resides in the work, not the individual," explains Kerry Leimer in the liner notes to Artificial Dance, a retrospective collection that highlights the unpredictable alchemy of his early 1980s studio project Savant. The Seattle experimentalist is best known for the woozy ambient music he has released as K. Leimer, but Savant’s approach was something like an avant-garde jam band re-imagined as musique concrète.
Last year, when RVNG International released A Period Of Review, an archival retrospective of musician and auteur producer Kerry Leimer, it shone a more than deserved light on an artist who for years has been working on the fringes of the fringes of experimental music. Taking his cue from the works of Brian Eno and his collaborations with krautrock pioneers such as Dieter Moebius, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, and Conny Plank, A Period Of Review was an intimate sonic notebook of a man who set out on his own to explore and develop as far as he could within limited means, using only a Rickenbacker bass, Minimoog, tape decks, and a handful of effects pedals. The result was an interstitial album, a snapshot of disparate sounds, moods and textures, with meditative synths winding their way through repetitive tape loops, vocal samples, industrial sound collage techniques and dub bass.
Savant — Artificial Dance (RVNG Intl.)RVNG are doing an excellent job in shining a much-needed lamp on the oeuvre of Kerry Leimer, a little-heralded but truly innovative figure from America’s post-punk scene (specifically that of Seattle, so far removed from the more familiar locales of New York or LA). His solo works from 1975 to 1983 already got the reissue treatment last year. Now, Savant gets a retrospective treatment.