Leighton Craig – Logical Descent (self-published)
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“Logical Descent” by Leighton Craig recorded in Meanjin/Brisbane, Bunya Mountains, Hastings Point and Sunshine Beach, Australia. Edition of 155!
Recorded at home and on holidays by Leighton Craig between 2013 and 2020, Logical Descent is a rare solo longplayer from Leighton Craig. In groups like The Lost Domain, The Deadnotes and Primitive Motion, Leighton has dedicated much of his musical life to the art of collaboration, each collective developing the kind of near-telepathic levels of intuitive interplay that only friendship and hundreds of hours of gig-or-no-gig jamming make possible.
Leighton’s solo work transmits the same autotelic energy as these bands, the same sense of a constantly evolving daily music making practised for its own sake.
The fruit of moments of musical meditation and experiment snatched from the rhythm of everyday working life, it is fitting that Logical Descent arrives in a sleeve reproducing a painting by Gordon Shepherdson, the great Brisbane figurative expressionist painter who produced much of his painting in a suburban shed studio after days spent working in an abattoir and once described his work as painted ‘for an audience of one’.
Listeners to Leighton’s previous work will be familiar with the delicate melodic miniatures and drifting tone clouds he coaxes from his array of Casio and other keyboards. The surprise here is the prevalence of Leighton’s voice and lyrics, making this essentially an album of songs. The opening ‘I am Dust’ immediately ushers the listener into Logical Descent’s uniquely intimate space, as Leighton’s hushed voice breathes a hymn to communion with the non-human world over burbling melodic figures and shimmering synthetic textures.
Coming across like Alastair Galbraith fronting Die Welttraumforscher, these dreamlike miniatures are one of the record’s dominant modes. Lasting as little as a single minute, the effect of their haunting melodies and elemental vocabulary of fire, night, sea, and sky is at times akin to reading haiku.
Logical Descent ups the energy on its second side, with several tracks gaining a pronounced rhythmic dimension from the presence of either drum machines or Leighton’s beautifully garage-appropriate kit drumming. On ‘My Mind, Sailing Away’, a fuzzed-out organ riff connects the dots between Peter Gutteridge and ‘Wooly Bully’, while ‘Parachute’ offers a slice of motorik pop sent off course by subtly strange vocal production.
The elegiac ‘Alderbaran’ is almost like Leighton’s take on the woozy, melancholic second side of Before and after Science, as an insistently repeating keyboard figure – at once childlike and plaintive – supports multi-tracked voices before being swarmed by distant, howling synth tones.
In an environment where ‘underground’ music often seems intent on mimicking the mainstream industry’s collapse between production and promotion, Logical Descent is a powerful reminder of what can be achieved through quiet dedication and personal vision.”
- – Francis Plagne, October 2022
“I am Dust” by Leighton Craig from the Logical Descent LP
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