020 Leonid

We celebrate this 20th jubilee podcast with an exquisite mix of melodic techno and deep house by the illustrious storyteller Leonid. “I really just selected some records, a mix of old and new artists and showcased their talents in producing such deadly music”

The mysterious man from Ireland has built a fragmented catalog of excellent mixes and releases over the years. With releases on labels such as Sistrum, Statik, Dolly and Photic Fields Paul Smith choose quality over quantity. However, due to his lacking online presence some people are led to believe that Leonid is not really who he says he is.

This skill of selecting and using existing material is not only a DJ skill, it’s also a specific characteristic of digital media. The movie Catfish, which MTV again turned into one of their ‘brilliant’ series, is an example of how people re-use online available elements such as pictures and stories to create fake virtual identities and thus new meaning. Media scholar Mark Deuze calls this feature of digital culture “bricolage”. As such Leonid is an excellent “bricoleur”.

With contributions from Bochum Welt, As One (Kirk Degiorgio), Vester Koza and old friend VC-118A to the mix he blends classic and recent releases into a new configuration.“I used to be into a lot of harder techno back around the mid nineties, but also US House music because of the clubs I used to go to where I lived in Waterford, Ireland. I don´t buy or play the harder stuff so much now. I´m a big fan of mood and melody in the records I buy, listening to the mix will give you a good idea.”

Coming up with a source of visual inspiration proved to be somewhat of a challenge for Smith. “I´m a music head 100%. Even though I appreciate it, I´m not really into visual art to be honest. To me music is about the emotions it transits to the listener and for me that´s the art.”
Therefore the audio technician chose an image of his main tool as his visual inspiration source; the Midas Venice 320 mixer. “Basically, it´s the fundamental instrument that glues all the other elements and sounds together and I have a very hands on approach when it comes to making music.”

Whether or not Leonid is a pseudonym, his deep productions and sets, that blend of old and new material, naturally maintain a Detroit vibe. Put this in the context of a Catfish narrative and one could find out that the Irishmen ‘in reality’ originates from the Motor City.


¹ On Leonid’s Discogs page the user Dau states: “Personally i have always thought Leonid is actually Patrice Scott. Paul Smith, i mean, that name is about as common as they come. Musicwise it’s possible, and the first letters of the name are similar. Is Leonid really anonymous enough to keep himself a mystery?”