Do yourself a favour and pick up Acid Life, by UK DJ and producer Leo Zero. It’s a fantastic throwback to acid house – looping vocals and retro house grooves woven together by a man who couldn’t be more comfortable in his own element.
Leo Elstob is a man of many talents – he’s had a hand in electronic music act Chicane, and created the legendary deep house club ‘Soulsonic’ with Stuart Patterson. Lesser known facts include boasting a history of designing flyer/sleeve art, and Elstob released his first solo LP, Very Repetitive, last October, after more than 20 years of experience in the scene. Followers would know him for his generous reworking of tracks by global music acts, from Lana Del Rey, and Florence & The Machine, to The Police (most of which are available for download on Soundcloud), featuring a nu-disco or balaeric sound.
With Acid Life, Leo Zero makes no pretensions and delivers an album of genuine house and techno grooves, in the traditional Chicago/Detroit style.
Featuring long-time friend and vocalist Marcel, the tracks on Acid Life are a clear reminder of Elstob’s long-standing involvement with the house scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s, lest you forget that in the extensive Leo Zero remix-a-plenty discography. The album eases you in with opening track ‘Let’s Go’, and ‘Body Music’ with apt, determined chanting – “free your mind, free your soul, lose your mind, lose your body - inside the music”.
‘Electricity’ is my personal favourite, rolling out a dense beat along with attention-grabbing repetition: “Hey – we’re not living in the dark ages / We have electricity”. Da-yum.
Energy hits a peak with ‘Jackin’”, before embarking on a bizarre but addictive aural-spiritual experience in the amusingly titled ‘This Is God’, described by Elstob himself as “a kind of love letter to acid house”. A conversation with your maker never sounded more pleasing.
‘The Room’ is sure to do some dancefloor damage, venturing into the techno side of things, before Elstob kindly bumps you off on the ‘House Train’, followed by closing ode-to-house track ‘Warehouse Style’ – it’s the acid life, thank you for listening - but I reckon you’ll be wanting to loop the album all over again.
Released at the end of January earlier this year, it’s not too late to get in on this understated gem of an album and let Leo Zero take you back to the future.
01. Let’s Go
02. Body Music
03. Born To Bounce
07. This Is God
08. Make The Moov
09. Komputa Gamez
10. Take Off
11. The Room
12. House Train
13. Warehouse Style