Dominique Leone "Dominique Leone"
Dominique Leone wears many hats, only a few faces and has a hundred songs that you haven't heard. In fact, but for his best buddies and the fine folks of Feedelity, very few people have heard more than a peep from him. And yes, he's a him. If you read internet record reviews, you may have seen his name around, though if you hate record reviewers, please don't hold that against him. The truth is, he's a songwriter, producer, singer, lover, fighterÖscratch that, he's one of a growing number of college-educated musical auteurs with more than a slight command of pop history and theory chops, and writing songs for joyous, infatuated people. Perhaps some of them are a bit over stimulated. Perhaps some of them just like good melodies and strange chord progressions that still seem vaguely familiar.
Dominique is a "classically trained" musician from Texas who currently operates out of San Francisco. He lists Brian Wilson, Claude Debussy, Andy Partridge, Randy Newman, Glenn Gould, ABBA, Miles Davis, Olivier Messiaen, and Magmaís Christian Vander as personal heroes. He thinks Julie Mehretu is the bomb.
All of his music could be considered "pop" of a sort, though parts have a definite proggy edge. Feedelity main-man Lindstrom recently used Dominique's ballad "Conversational" on the recent LateNightTales compilation [Azuli; 2007], also featuring Todd Rundgren, old school art-disco provocateurs Gina X Performance and Norwegian one-man prog-pop show Alf Emil Aik, which gives a pretty good indication of the kind of space Dominique's music inhabits -- but then again, a recent interviewer compared it to Harry Nilsson. The music is catchy but ambitious; crafted but not sterile; interesting but not pretentious. It's just a lot of fucking fun.
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DOMINIQUE LEONE: ANOTHER GREAT REVIEW!
This time from CMJ: "Full disclosure: the reason I wanted to try out music writer Dominique Leone's self-titled debut full-length is because the only reviews I could remember his byline from were about the Beatles and the Boredoms. And the reason this debut is awesome is because it really does sound like the midpoint between those two bands. Not like either, just equidistant from the two points. Leone's music is nearly equal parts electronic dissonance (and who knows how much was notated and how much was pure accident) and '60s pop harmonies, though it never stays on one rhythm or repeating figure for too long. In fact, if you can find any repeating figures, I'll give you a prize. Leone proved himself an expert electronic sound generator and a complex, if ADD-ridden arranger last year on his well-lauded single "Clairevoyage - A Medley Performed By The 16th Rebels of Mung," which somehow, audaciously wove in eleven other knob-twiddlers (among them Hans Peter Lindstrøm, now his label owner) into a surprisingly listenable twelve-minute-long freakfest. As one-of-a-kind as "Clairevoyage" was, Leone's self-titled album manages to follow in its footsteps, dividing into eleven tracks what is essentially a singular stream-of-consciousness experience on headphones and peaking on the almost-normal "Nous Tombons Dans Elle," which folds in a sexy sample every couple minutes to reward the listener stretching their imagination (and attention span). But the endless array of sounds and evocations just zooming in or forming static is enough to make Of Montreal's similarly mercurial Kevin Barnes hang up his garters for good.
DOMINIQUE LEONE: GREAT PITCHFORK TRACK REVIEW
Norway's Hans-Peter Lindstrøm recently put a track from San Francisco-based Dominique Leone on his Late Night Tales mix. The spaced-out disco producer has since teamed up with Leone again, helping write, produce, and arrange the epic A-side of his forthcoming self-titled 12" EP (due next month on Lindstrøm's own Feedelity imprint). Entitled "Clairevoyage-- A Medley Performed by the 16th Rebels of Mung", the collab is "based on" one of Leone's B-sides, "Claire", but while the two tracks share analogue-synth warmth and genre-agnostic eclecticism, in other ways they couldn't be more different. Leone is (full disclosure) a longtime Pitchfork contributing writer and columnist who once wrote an excellent feature on the state of "space disco," and Lindstrøm is one of that aesthetic's leading lights. "Clairvoyage" is as sprawling and cosmic as that might indicate, touching upon funk, prog, sci-fi Moog synths, and galloping Italo disco bass lines over its roughly 12 minutes. "Sometimes it pays to keep your eyes closed," comes a swooning falsetto vocal, in a lyric lifted from the original "Claire". Where that track constructs a complex arrangement of sludgy guitars and cosmic synths around Leone's light, Beach Boys-esque vocals, "Clairevoyage" makes a jump into hyperspace. www.pitchforkmedia.com 25 of oct 2007
GREAT DOMINIQE LEONE 12" REVIEW
Check out this great 5 out of 5 review of the debut 12" from Dominque Leone in residentadvisor.com: "Paul "Strangefruit" Nyhus, Knut Sævik, Jamine Tonto, Katzenjammer, Patricia Brown, Izzy Pizzy, Xerox Juanipa Fabrizzi, Tore Brevik, Slough, Bob Chords, Dominique Leone, and Hans Peter Lindstrøm. That's how many people it officially took to make Clairevoyage - A Medley Performed By the 16th Rebels of Mung.’ Six months, twelve contributors, one song. One gloriously fucked-up, three-part, twelve-minute prog disco behemoth that, if the mood is right, will annihilate a dancefloor all by itself. Goodness knows how Lindstrøm found Leone – perhaps via his writings on Pitchfork – or what he found in his music – perhaps a mutual love of "out" music – but the results of their collaboration are a perfect triangulation of their particular milieus. Leone, whose other non-dancey tracks on this EP resemble something close to Todd Rundgren doing Beach Boys covers produced by Eye of the Boredoms, can't help but obscure the pop in each of his compositions. It's brainy pop that rarely reveals its true charms on a first or casual listen. Lindstrøm, on the other hand, can't help his penchant for smoothness from adding a significant layer of cheese to nearly everything he does. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) With a little help from Nyhus and Sævik of Mungolian Jetset, who are credited with production, direction, and arrangement, though, each aesthetic is honored in equal measure. The messy, live drumming is kept on beat by a pounding bass drum; the unhurried synth progressions are replaced by wordless, all-too-human vocals establishing one of the tracks main melodic themes; once you're transported to the climactic movement, you're met with clean, Nordic synths and a gaggle of voices led by a Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears impersonator. Sounds terrible, right? Most prog rock does when explained, piece by agonizing piece. But what Leone, Lindstrøm, and Mungolian have achieved here isn't to be sneezed at either. In a recent interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Leone talked about how DJs are bringing prog, fusion, and Balearic to the dancefloor, recontextualizing many of them for the first time as dancefloor fillers. He notes, however, that "Lindstrøm is one of the few guys who are actually trying to make original songs incorporating those influences." Count ‘Clairevoyage’ as its first honest-to-god masterpiece. 5/5 www.residentadvisor.com 8 of nov 2007