After a little break, WTM is back to feature one of our favourite labels once again, as well as one of the most captivating artists from ‘down under’. Leong Lau was brought to the light by Left Ear Records of Australia, he’s a true Antipodean anomaly and encapsulates everything that World Treasures Music aims to document – that magical place where the internationally esoteric and obscure, traverses more familiar mainstream musics – resulting in sounds so special and unique. It’s truly outernational – music that transcends boundaries, making these artefacts truly ‘global’ – Leong being of Malaysian descent, with a Chilean backing band and producing these gems in Australia.
This documentary has been posted before, but is a thing of wonder:
“We’re returning to where we started, further highlighting the music of the enigmatic Leong Lau. Arguably one of the most unique artists to come out of Malaysia/Australia during the 70’s, Leong migrated to Australia to pursue an education in engineering. He finished his degree but instead took a different ’career path’, choosing to explore his creativity.
Left Ear was started in 2014 by Chris Bonato and Anthony Walsh. The label reports: “From an early age Leong had been trained in the arts including both Chinese opera and flute. Leong recalls “making flutes out of grass weeds”, as he couldn’t afford a flute. It was this DIY ethos that Leong attached to his lifestyle. He found himself promoting festivals in the infamous town of Nimbin before moving to Sydney where he would record a small body of music with the sessional musicians he was playing with daily in the venues of Sydney’s Circular Quays. Leong’s Late Night Flyer was the single to his supposed second album, which was allegedly manufactured but unfortunately a copy of the LP is yet to surface.
“One thing is for certain, two tracks landed on a 7” and together with a predominantly Chilean backing band known as ‘The East-West Unity Band’ they created two raw latin influenced jazz-rock tracks that stand the test of time.
“The A-side a homage to the omnipresent characters that frequented the after-hours jazz clubs Leong performed at. Whereas the B-side is named after his favourite philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s novel One Dimensional Man, which sees Leong take a more psyched out approach.”
As ever, the label is on point and peerless with their accumulated anecdotes, ace pressing and awesome packaging.