Léonard de Léonard 2

This is the most refreshing album so far this year, so it’s sad that it’ll probably stay hidden in stores. Léonard fuses a plethora of electronic styles from lo-fi to IDM, electroclash to techno, but maintains a foundation in most songs: a solid bass line, funky broken beats, rippling synths and catchy lyrics. The 19 tracks are less than three minutes long on average, short enough to stay fresh but long enough to develop. Continuity is maintained despite the diversity between two tracks compared at random and in many places consecutive tracks merge together. MC Maxx Stoyanoff Williams features intermittently on six of the tracks to add consistency with his ’80s b-boy style, most reminiscent of Gift of Gab. Several other artists make valuable contributions, especially Meninamandine who is exceptional on the Electric Six-ish duet "Coup De Foudre” with Maxx, and on the cleverly minimalist "Free For Everybody.” This is surely the best French export in recent years. (Nocturne)