LeonLS – Vision 9000

Recommendation: ✂ (“AI Pulse”, “Charisma”, “Reloaded”, “TimeLapse”)

LeonLS’ Vision 9000 is his debut for Smirk Sounds and the album that made “LeonLS” something for which to look out in the latter half of 2016. Vision 9000 is ambient vaporwave mixed with space music, a description that’s similar to but not quite the same as dreampunk. Whereas dreampunk focuses on the establishment of the soundscape and world-creating, Vision 9000 is a bit more cinematic, taking basic, sparse beats (if they’re there at all) and building some sort of narrative out of them in which the listener may take part. If dreampunk is a vision unto a world, then Vision 9000 is a story of that world.

Several tracks cut off upon their end with little warning; you’ll either love it or hate it. “Charisma” sounds like the Space Mountain queue line at Disney World, and that’s meant positively; I always loved how simultaneously entrancing and exciting that music was whenever I went, and even as an adult, too. “AI Pulse” is an excellent example of downtempo percussion done well without straying into chillwave kick-snare clichés; a trickling hi-hat accompanies a gentle synth backdrop with what could be rainsound or static. It’s one of the best tracks of 2016, and that’s said with no hyperbole.

Vision 9000 is a bit too long. At fifteen tracks, it’s cohesive, but at the expense of redundancy. However, there are more than enough cuts to check out, and it’s a promising follow-up to previous album1 Existential Experience.



1. 2 A.M. Wandering – (2:13)
2. AI Pulse – (3:11)
3. Charisma – (4:11)
4. Cryptic – (2:30)
5. Crystal Alt – (2:19)
6. Melancholic Transition – (3:11)
7. Melodic Restoration – (4:43)
8. Parralax – (4:04)
9. Reloaded – (2:29)
10. Rerum – (3:59)
11. Safari Cluster – (2:27)
12. Stellar Combat Dreams – (1:42)
13. Timelapse – (1:48)
14. Transmitted Emotion – (2:57)
15. Vision 9000 – (3:01)


1By, like, a day.


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