Born in Mexico City and currently living in Chicago, the music of Leonardo Ciccone has always been influenced by the lights and sounds that shape a city’s landscape. His interest in photography and music brought him to San Francisco where he began working at record stores and making electronic music while attending the San Francisco Art institute. Eventually he would land in Los Angeles where a friendship with co-worker Giovanni Marks at Amoeba Records led to his first release as LEO123. A 12” single released by LA’s Gold Standard Labs, an independent label owned by Omar Rodriguez Lopez from The Mars Volta. Subtitle’s “The Haze on the Hill” was an early introduction to the sounds of Leo123. Boomkat described his production as “reminiscent of early MF Doom” and he was featured in URB Magazines “Next 100″ issue. Since this first production he has continued to be a constant presence in the Electronic music scene, contributing and collaborating with many of the genre’s top labels and artists.
Drum machines, Synthesizers, Samples, NY, Detroit, LA, Chicago. These are the sounds that make up the music. These influences can be heard not only in the production but in his DJ sets and live performances as well. Living in Chicago, Leo123 has become an active participant in the city’s historically vibrant electronic music scene. He has become a constant presence at many of the events around the city such as the recent Mutek and FMEL music festivals, the weekly showcases held by the Moment Sound label and the Subfix nights at Smartbar.
Chicago is also the city that gave shape to his most recent collaboration with long time friend Eliot Lipp as the electronic duo Dark Party. They got their start releasing various remixes until their first release in 2008 on the highly influential GhostlySwim compilation. Their recent album Light Years was applauded by publications such as Pitchfork and URB. Recorded in NY, LA, and Chicago Light Years was a reflection of their interests in collecting synthesizers, disco records, and early Hip-Hop music. Their collaboration has taken them all over the country performing their Live PA with a variety of synthesizers and drum machines. This vibrant live show has made them one of the most exciting electronic acts in recent years. Highlights include their festival closing set at Moog Fest and a nation wide tour with Ghostly artist Mux Mool.
These experiences have all helped to shape his first solo EP titled “Ponies” on Brooklyn’s Old Tacoma records. Focusing specifically on the sound of early Hip-Hop and Electro the songs show a rare attention to detail, restraint and space that is both thoughtful and refreshing. Recorded with an MPC drum machine and various synthesizers, the production on “Ponies” stays true to it’s influences and their process without copy or compromise. A refreshing “less is more” approach shapes the subtle details that define his sound. The EP received high marks from the press and was featured on Turntable Lab , XLR8R and NPR . His first full length album entitled “Everyday Nightime” will be released on Old Tacoma Records later this year. A highly anticipated album that promises to build on that carefully crafted slow electro sound that is always expanding.