Boomkat Product Review:
A continuation of his kaleidoscopic sun-dappled cosmic-disco, Neon Leon was the much-loved CD-only sophomore album by Sorcerer.
"A perfectly formed suite of ten tracks featuring soft guitars, subtle synths and lightly grooving percussion, Neon Leon magically evokes that elusive summer feeling throughout. The guitar-driven "Algorhythm" serves as the album opener, blasting bold, sun-drenched jazz chords atop bright synths and groove-based drum programming. "Ride The Serpent" and "Distort Yourself" are guided by a more sultry, slo-mo disco impulse whilst the staggering "Chemise" and strident "Face It" merge 80s West Coast production sheen with Sorcerer's trademark laid back, gentle disco. "Raydio"'s undeniable head-nod groove adds a rare vocal to the proceedings, joyously combining with the bubbling cosmic funk.
Since its initial release in 2009, exceptional producers have created vibrant variations on the dreamy, dubby, melodic nu-disco theme. Happily, the emergence of such luminaries as Jex Opolis, Harvey Sutherland, Suzanne Kraft, Tornado Wallace et al has only served to make the master – Sorcerer - sound ever more brilliant and vital.
Utilising his array of guitars, drum machines, synths, and trusty MPC, the loved-up Sorcerer sound inspires halcyon memories of warm days, endless sunsets and pure youthful abandon. Influenced by surf, 80s dance pop, acid-R&B, space jazz, krautrock, disco, dub, and am radio gold, his music maps a tour through a uniquely Californian lifestyle. Yet when music so vividly captures a vibe and a feeling, it can make writing about it appear almost redundant. Instead, to glean the full colour of what your turntable will soon gratefully radiate, we prescribe the generous soundclips presented here.
And, for a unique insight into the process behind the wonderful sounds conjured up, here's Sorcerer himself:
"Neon Leon's is the name of a bar in a Elmore Leonard book I was reading on a vacation to Belize with my future wife. I was soaking up his brand of noir during the making of the songs on this record, along with another favorite Ross Macdonald. We were living in a small apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco where i had my own room to jam. It was painted Orange and Turquoise and was a very inspiring place to create and focus. I could walk out of my house to any number of hole in the wall bars where people were deejaying, hanging-out, and knew about me and my music.
After White Magic I developed more confidence in my style and process so I stuck with it and I believe it shows in the tunes I selected for the record. The sounds are rich and I dug deeper into sampling from obscure dollar records and getting looser musically. I made a handful of collage videos for the tracks at this time as well, which represent where my mind was at visually. In my mind it's Cosmic Funk that rules the day and I am thankful to have the opportunity to share it with the world again."