Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Leo Zero 'Acid Life' (Leo Trax)
Released 30 January 2012
Leo Zero is probably best known for his remixes of global acts like Florence & The Machine, Bryan Ferry & Paul Welller. But prior to this he's spent many years on the underground house scene, running parties, record labels, DJing, and learning the ropes in the studio.
In fact scroll back 20+ years and Leo was there right at the birth of House and Techno... in 1986-87 spending his dinner money on the latest imports from Chicago and Detroit and listening to the first pirate radio shows spawning this brand new sound.
"My mates and I would listen religiously to Jazzy M: 'The Jacking Zone' on LWR... a pirate station we could barely pick up where we lived at the end of the Met tube line in Chesham… you had to try all sorts of ways to get the signal, wiring the radio up to the radiator always worked well ! "
We're talking 1986 here - no internet, no dance music press - House music was evolving out of Boogie and Electro track by track as the sounds got more and more stripped down and futuristic... record shops like Groove, Bluebird, Vinyl Zone and Trax were the only places to buy this stuff, and fanzines like Boy's Own had only just surfaced.
"We were always hunting for the most raw and wild tracks back then - we'd grown up with the electro compilations and DJ culture, and making rudimentary mix tapes - looking back this music was growing up with us - most of the people in the US making it were new to making music themselves, most of the equipment was new - they were just teenagers messing about with drum machines fuelled by passion and energy rather than any musical know how.... a rule book didn't exist, it was just about getting the loudest most futuristic crazy noises out of these beatboxes - I lapped it up - Rhythm is Rhythm, Phuture, Marshall Jefferson, Fingers inc all became heroes - And when Larry Heard, Ron Wilson and Robert Owen's came over to London for the first time to perform live as Fingers inc - I was in the front row - it was a life changing moment for me. My life was all about music from then on."
Two years later, the rest of the country had caught up, Acid House had kicked in, and Leo found himself in Ibiza right in the thick of it all. Cafe Del Mar, Amnesia, Ku, Es Paradis, Glory's, Exstasis, Summum, Angels and a newly opened Space all sowed the seeds for a decade club promoting back in London and all over the world with the legendary Faith and Soulsonic parties, the latter of which saw him host throwdowns for Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Around this time Leo also made his first auspicious waves in the production world, turning heads with his disco edit label Easter Bay, which counted DJ Harvey and Idjut Boys as fans. Leo has since gone on to form Dab Hands with Mark Wilkinson and Richard Searle in 2004, with the trio remixing Lou Reed and David Bowie’s “Satellite of Love” which gave them a top ten smash and a Miami buzz chart no.1. He’s also flexed his musical muscle as a member of psychedelic band A Mountain of One, writing and producing their first album ‘Collected Works’ in 2007.
Leo’s talent hasn’t ever been confined to music, either. He’s been involved in flyer/sleeve art for most of his natural life having worked with Junior Boys Own, Heavenly Records, Electric Stew, Dazed & Confused and Time Out. He has also exhibited at Jam at the Barbican and helped put together books on flyers for Thames & Hudson, among others.
So fast forward to today and Leo's many hours of flying time in various nighteries the world over have given him an instinctive idea of what makes a dancefloor kick. He now has his own boutique label Leo Trax and the first major release is Acid Life - a raw stripped down album made with old friend and Junior Boy's Own / Classic recordings singer Marcel - together they've stuck to what they know and love - good old fashioned house and techno in the traditional Chicago / Detroit style.
Eclectic is a word often used, but not always used in the right context. When referring to Leo Zero aka Leo Elstob ‘Eclectic’ he certainly is – from House to Disco – Boogie to Balearic via, Punk/Funk, and Mash-Up - Leo excels in all areas.
Selection of Remixes (full Discography and Remix list available on request):
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Leo Zero Remixes) - Polydor 2012
2 Bears – Warm & Easy (Leo Zero Remixes) – Southern Fried 2012
Foster The People – Don’t Stop ( Colour the walls) (Leo Zero Remix) -Columbia 2011
The Golden Filter – You Kill Me (Leo Zero Remix) - (R.O.M.) 2011
Hard Fi – Bring it On (Leo Zero Remix) – Mercury Records 2011
Lonsdale Boys Club – Gypsy (Leo Zero Remix) – Island Records 2011
Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle (Leo Zero Remix) – Island Records 2011
Black Devil Disco Club Feat. Faris Badwan – Distrust (Leo Zero Remix) Lo Recs 2011
Mirrors – Hide & Seek + Write Through The Night (Leo Zero Remixes) – Skint 2011
Patrick Wolf – Time of My Life (Leo Zero Remix) – Mercury – 2011
Bryan Ferry – Alphaville (Leo Zero Remix) Virgin – 2011
Everything Everything – Schoolin’ (Leo Zero Remix) Geffen – 2010
Alphabeat – DJ (Leo Zero Rework) Virgin – 2010
Owl City – Fireflies (Leo Zero Remix) Island – 2010
Paul Weller – No Tears To Cry (Leo Zero Remix) Island – 2010
Sam Sallon - You May Not Mean To Hurt Me But You Do – 2010
Music Go Music – Just Me (Leo Zero Remix) Mercury – 2009
Zarrylade - Eyes above Your Head II (Leo Zero Version) White – 2009
Metronomy - Not Made For Love (Leo Zero Remix) Because Music – 2009
Florence & The Machine - Rabbit Heart / Raise it up (Leo Zero Remix) Island – 2009
Wild Beasts - Hooting & Howling (Leo Zero Remix) Domino – 2009
Jack Penate - Tonight's Today (Leo Zero Remix) XL – 2009
Stricken City - Lost Art (Leo Zero) White – 2009
Ruf Dug - Dirty (Leo Zero Remix) PPF – 2009
Lou Reed & David Bowie - Satellite Of Love ( Dab hands Remix) Sony/BMG – 2005
X-Press 2 - Give It (Dab Hands Remix) Skint Records - 2005
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