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Melbourne Isn’t Exactly Known For Dub But Len Leise Could Be Changing That

Len Leise set out to write a dub record and write a dub record he did.

Image: Antuong Nguyen

Len Leise is a Melbourne record collector and producer. Whereas his earlier work explored ambient and balearic sounds, his latest offering ing leans heavily on dub and the clean bass work of producers such as Adrian Sherwood and On-U-Sound Records. One review described the record as, “Reggae-not-reggae” and “mad Caucasian interpretations of Sly & Robbie / Shinehead`s pre-sage-ing of JA`s digital age”. And while not exactly a Brunswick version of the Bahamas’ Compass Point Studios, the six-tracks bring a experimental and electronic feel to dub rhythms.


The first release for General Purpose, a new label created by Leise and longtime DJ partner Salvador, the record with tracks named "Stepping", "Rocking" and" Wandering", snaps with heavy rhythm and fractured beats.

Stream the album below and read a brief chat we had with Len.

Noisey: Ing has more of a dub feel than some of your other releases. At times it sounds like On U Sound. Is this a music that you have always been interested in?
Len Leise: I’m always interested in all music. But I did set out to write a dub record in particular this time. I really don’t have a great answer for why. I just did it. But i’ve always loved On U Sound. I’ve been a fan of their catalogue for a long time, bands like African Head Charge blow my mind. For me it’s the perfect balance of electronic experimentation and natural tribal elements. I’m always drawn to ideas where man and machine come together, the natural mixed with the unnatural. field records collaged with drum machines etc.

What do you think of your music described as “mad Caucasian interpretations of Sly & Robbie / Shinehead`s pre-sage-ing of JA`s digital age”?
I think it's a pretty accurate interpretation.

I like that the song titles are all active verbs. What was the idea behind that?
It was just an accident really, I started writing all the songs and giving them rough names I realised after 4 they all ended in Ing so I just went with it. I like the way it looked visually and the simplicity of the whole approach. I wish I had a more conceptual story for you.

What is the direction you are hoping to take General Purpose?
General Purpose isn’t really a record label, it’s just an excuse for Salvador and myself to release the stuff no-one else wants to take a chance on. We have our next release lined up which is us making weird percussive dance floor material. We have been speaking with other artists about future contributions. Which could be anything from house music to jazz, we’d put out a punk band if we dug the music. No rules just whatever we like at the time. Neither of us are taking it very seriously. It’s just a bit of fun.

I love the visual and design element to the record too. The tree and the colours surrounding it. Where was the shot taken?
The cover photo was taken at Melbourne University by Jordan Dolheguy. Neither Salvador or myself have any connection to the location. It isn’t relevant to the music, just the image it conveys. We felt it was a perfect representation of the music, nature surviving with built form, the natural and the unnatural forced together. The design was put together by Luke Brown.

'Ing' will be available Sept 12 though General Purpose.