* 12″ jacket, customised insert, transparent 180g vinyl, edition of 300.
“Commune” is the debut full-length album by Singapore born, London-based producer, composer, electronic artist and pianist, Kin Leonn. Heralding a new era of accomplished young musicians in Singapore, Kin Leonnʼs transportive music projects as founding member of electronic act ‘midstʼ, and his genre-melding solo DJ sets, have instituted him as an in-demand music presence in the cityʼs thriving electronic underground.
Affectionately known by peers as the “ambient boy from Singapore”, Kin Leonnʼs arresting dream-music in “Commune” is sourced from a well of preconscious phrases, an evocative meditation of sorts - perhaps one that transmutes the city dross into a peaceful self-discovery in search of spiritual unity.
“Commune” is an atmospheric work mostly recorded using upright piano, reverb-soaked guitar, and synthesisers, with altered virtual instruments and other digital elements added later to create a tension between the organic and the synthetic. The moods are contemplative and the melancholy, almost all- pervasive. However, within this framework, Kin Leonn explores as much ground as he can, from sweeping ambient bliss to understated piano etudes.
Illustrative song titles like “Shinrin-yoku” and “Somewhere” evoke inviting landscapes of reflection and resonance. The more electronic, rhythm-oriented cuts - particularly twin centerpieces “Visionary” and “There were days” - find common cause with the producerʼs approach of balancing programmed and improvised music, before dissolving into a liberating resolution of harmonics and noise. Quieter moments in “Desire #9” and “Detached” also stun with their hypnotic beauty and spaciousness, revealing the artistʼs cinematically-attuned approach.
This very sense of fluidity and non-structure gives the record its shape-shifting identity, but across 10 songs and 43 minutes, “Commune” still functions as a single, cohesive piece of music. Itʼs easy to get lost in the album and it's a pleasantly disorienting sensation. In the closing piano track, “Nightlight” serves as the coda for the whole album, showing that Kin Leonnʼs strength as a musician isnʼt all about production complexity, but in the emotional nuance he is able to coax from his instruments with sure instinct and enormous sensitivity.