UK duo breaking Balearic borders
Leo Stavropoulos and Andrew Richardson make house of the Balearic bent, despite living 400 miles apart. Andrew holds court in Edinburgh where he runs his Hobbes Music label, releasing work from the likes of Glasgow’s Auntie Flo and JD Twitch of Optimo. Leo meanwhile is London to the bone. He came up DJing in the 90s around London’s Wardour Street, before building his own sound system and starting the audiophiliac ‘lovetoparty’ nights out.
Why Leonidas & Hobbes?
A lifetime of playing records has obviously imbued them with an ear for what makes a crowd move, but a portion of their appeal also boils down to something else entirely. Their 2017 surprise hit EP ‘Rags Of Time’, which earned re-presses and praise from juggernauts like Andrew Weatherall, was constructed around flamenco guitar, while their new seven-track EP ‘Aranath’ melts Balearic and techno with more elements that seldom grace a 4/4. Namely this comes via the fingers of featuring artist Riad Abji, whose cello and tanpura (an Indian drone instrument) glide over ambient synths, acid gurgles, tickling hi-hats and thumping bass. It’s far from routine, which explains the appetite.
Tell Us More…
More on Abji, who aside from being a classical maestro and Andrew’s brother-in-law was also releasing music on em:t, Ntone and Ninja Tune around the turn of the millennium as part of Paul Frankland’s chill-out outfits, Woob, Max & Harvey and Journeyman. And what better word to close on, journeymen being a suitable descriptor for Leonidas & Hobbes, who have earned their musical licence by education, experience and examination. Top marks all round.
‘Aranath’ is out now on Hobbes Music