Leon Vynehall has been the recipient of no small amount of praise in recent months following a solid string of EPs and 12"s on labels like Well Rounded, Aus, and George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic, which released his collaborative Laszlo Dancehall EP.
The Brighton DJ/producer—who last year was the subject of one of our Bubblin' Up features, and who also did an XLR8Rpodcast earlier this year—represents something close to the zeitgeist of present-day UK dance music with his seamless blend of house, techno, and vintage garage swing.
It is largely within this territory that his latest EP, released via Martyn's 3024 label, stays. A-side "I Get Mine, You Get Yours" possesses an impressive bump 'n' flex groove and a crafty sense of big-room dynamics, but ultimately feels a bit rote. On the flipside, "Step or Stone (Breath or Bone)" takes things in a livelier direction with its twisting, infectious organ line and techno-leaning menace, while "I Know Your Face, Heroine" recalls Vynehall's earlier ambient workouts. Most impressive though is the digital-only fourth-track, "XVI (Rox Out)," which starts out as interestingly lopsided house and only gets weirder with the introduction of sampled bursts of diva vocals over a bed of skittering percussion.
On the whole, the four tracks on Open lack some of the rhythmic inventiveness that has characterized Vynehall's previous singles. Largely gone are the sonic oddities that were present in even a track as crowdpleasing as the recent "Brother," in favor of a rhythmic sameness. There's no denying that Vynehall is a talented producer who knows his way around a melodic hook, but it's perhaps worth wondering how much mileage the currently trending UK house sound has left in it.