Academic’s experimental classical licks
Leah Kardos is an Australian-born, London-based producer of lush, evocative instrumentals straddling electronica, exotica and experimental classic influences. She was “one of those annoying kids who was good at music”, but at university in Brisbane became obsessed by the production secrets of Goldie’s ‘Saturnz Return’ album and eventually found her way to London. “My first job was teaching music composition at Bedford College,” she explains. “The kids there were getting gigs, making music for films and other cool projects. I got jealous. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do!’.”
Why Leah Kardos?
Her ‘Bird Rib’ EP has really grabbed attention, even though she’s previously recorded five albums for London’s Bigo & Twigetti stable. The six-track outing certainly had different origins to the rest of her work. Kardos is now a senior lecturer in music at Kingston University and helps run its Visconti Project studio, working with the legendary producer to preserve and pass on older recording techniques. A tape she’d recorded for an Australian radio session ended up being used in a lecture. “The student loaded it up wrongly,” she laughs, “so it played backwards and at the wrong speed. It was me, but also it wasn’t, and that was the starting point.” Its spontaneous impetus helped to give ‘Bird Rib’ (the palindromic title was inspired by that tape reversal) a freer, more diverse feel.
Tell us more…
Kardos’ latest track, ‘Retracing Your Lines’, was recorded during lockdown using layered piano parts (most of her equipment is locked down in Kingston Uni) and features on the newly released Bigo & Twigetti label compilation, ‘Perceptions’. Rather interestingly, she’s also midway through writing a book on David Bowie’s final three albums for Bloomsbury.
‘Bird Rib’ is on Bigo & Twigetti