Brian Leeds may not be a household name, but his reputation in the electronic music community is unparalleled. Coming from a background in deep house music Leeds has taken his musical project Huerco S. into new and exciting places. Basing songs on loops and a kind of distant sort of malaise, Huerco S. sounds like a slow moving rave in the distance while waking from anesthesia.
Colonial Patterns from 2013 was the foundation of Leeds’ distinct sound, while 2016s For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) saw his sound become more contemplative and ambient in nature. For his first album as Huerco S. in six years Leeds pushes further into the unknown while still building from his original musical DNA. Plonk is electronic music in an ethereal and playful mood.
Leeds’ sound here is reminiscent of contemporaries like Daniel Lopatin(Oneohtrix Point Never) and Nate Utesch(Metavari) in that there’s no rules or roadmaps to follow. This is music meant to lose yourself in. Ten tracks titled “Plonk I” thru “Plonk X”, these tracks are a series of moods. From inquisitive and shaded to light and airy, Plonk runs the gamut. A sonic wilderness to explore and find something new with each listen.
“Plonk 1” brings to mind Cluster’s playful Curiosum, while “Plonk II” is more in line with OPN’s breakthrough album Replica. “Plonk III” sounds like Mark Isham’s excellent Vapor Drawings.
Other tracks like “Plonk VII” has a playfulness to it while also having the feeling of floating thru space. Album closer “Plonk X” is 11 minutes of drone that subdues you into its dark and foreboding sound world. Leeds has made an album that feels like a journey, with the closer seemingly taking us into a kind of dark bliss.
What Brian Leeds, aka Huerco S. has in common with artists like Lopatin, Utesch, Cluster, and Mark Isham is that they all carved their own path in the world of electronic music. Ethereal, eclectic, eccentric, and decidedly unique in a world that is hard to stand out in, Huerco S. makes music that is engaging and ever-evolving. Plonk is proof of that, and yet another evolution of his sound.