R&S sister label Apollo are very proud to announce a four-track EP, Breaks My Heart Each Time, from James Leyland Kirby. Mastermind behind arch sonic provocateurs V/Vm as well as the more contemplative The Caretaker and The Stranger, Kirby has been responsible for some of the most unique, subversive and moving electronic music of the past two decades. Following a quiet 2012 and 2013, the EP marks both his Apollo debut and his first release since 2011 under the Leyland Kirby alias – an outlet for his most personal and reflective work. Like 2011’s acclaimed Intrigue & Stuff series, its four tracks flit between moods, from gorgeous, skin-prickling surges of ambience to cryptic rhythms and intricate, jazzy techno. As with all of his Leyland Kirby music, they’re played in a manner so tactile and reflexive as to seem like direct reflections of his thoughts and memories. The melancholic drift of ‘Breaks My Heart Each Time’ builds to an dense, harrowingly beautiful climax, while ‘Last Ditch Legacy’ strafes a watery beat with blast upon blast of overdriven fuzz. ‘Diminishing Emotion’ strips away everything save soft synth lines that trace glowing arcs through an otherwise silent world.
Throughout his musical career Kirby’s work has dealt with themes of mind and memory, and these tracks play like subtle personal reflections upon his own roots in rave and acid house in the UK. These are musical loves he’s dwelt upon before, particularly via V/Vm, whose subversive and staunchly independent approach mirrored the open-minded and anarchic nature of early rave. Given R&S’ seminal presence during that era, then, Apollo releasing these tracks by Kirby gives the sense of a circle being closed. That’s felt especially strongly in the rapid rhythms and spiraling fractal memories of ‘Staring Down The Sun’. While still shrouded in his trademark gauzy synth melodies, it’s percussive and physically immediate – a conduit opened from raves past to the dancefloors of now.
Leyland Kirby Breaks My Heart Each Time EP (Apollo) Street Date: Feb. 18, 2014
A1 – Breaks My Heart Each Time
A2 – Last Ditch Legacy
B1 – Diminishing Emotion
B2 – Staring Down The Sun