Craig Leon cemented his reputation in the late 1970s by becoming the go-to producer for New York’s nascent punk scene, lending his control room nous to early releases by The Ramones, Blondie, Richard Hell and, in 1977, Suicide’s eponymous debut. Four years prior to that, Leon had discovered a book that outlined the theory that alien visitors had colonised Earth, inspiring him to create the cult album pairing of Nommos (1981) and Visiting (1982). The best part of forty years later, Leon decided it was high time for a sequel.
Crucially, though much has changed in the intervening years, for The Canon Leon decided to deploy more or less the same synthesizer kit that he’d used for Nommos and Visiting, as well as the voice of his partner Cassell Webb. That gives key pieces like ‘The Twenty Second Step As Well As The Tenth’ a retro-futuristic period continuity to its droning, layered tones and percussive high end, as well as a rich, mystical underpinning. The slow, haunting evolutions of the expansive ‘The Gates Made Plain’, and the Marty Rev-style unswerving sharp-edged synths of ‘The Respondent In Dispute’ stand out as pivotal moments in Leon’s overdue conclusion of his conceptual odyssey.
Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2: The Canon by Craig Leon is released by Rvng Intl on May 10 2019.
Words: Mat Smith
(c) 2019 Further.