Album: Thomas Leer, Contradictions (Cherry Red)

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The Independent Culture

Thomas Leer was the original one-man bedroom band, his pioneering 1978 own-label underground hit “Private Plane” prefiguring many subsequent developments in synth-pop.

Featuring Leer’s haunting, uncertain vocal – recorded quietly, so as not to wake his girlfriend in their bedsit! – crooning over a minimal bass pulse and discreet whines and washes of primitive Wasp synthesiser, it retains its peculiar lo-fi magic three decades on.

The rest of this compilation reveals a talent maturing perhaps a little too rapidly for his own good: the spiky, angular guitar and squelchy synth of “Dry Land”show Leer making tentative incursions into avant-jazz territory.

“Soul Gypsy”, meanwhile, features electronic-soul innovations only now being taken up by the likes of Jamie Lidell. A true original, well worth reassessment.

"Contradictions" from Contradictions features in this month's Independent Audio Player. CLICK HERE to listen.

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