Leila - Like Weather LP+7"
Label: Modern Love
When you make a record that doesn't conform, expect to divide opinion. Like Weather was released in 1998, on Rephlex – run by Grant Wilson Claridge and Richard D James – an often great label that had a following largely made up of Aphex-logo wearing fanboys who couldn't quite deal with electronic music made by a girl – let alone one that used vocals. Everything those lads couldn't fathom about Like Weather is essentially what makes it untouchable; one of the greatest, most effortlessly esoteric pop albums ever made, not in the lineage of IDM or trip-hop, genres it has so often been awkwardly lumped in with, but something else that can't quite be categorized – even 22 years later.
Like Weather echoes the world-building energy of Prince's Sign "O" The Times (1987) – every track is a self-contained universe all its own, there are no rules or conventions – it's full of hooks, but also insular as fuck, the production is all over the place and it still sounds like nothing else (although if you're into the Mica Levi-produced Tirzah album (2018), know that this here is the aesthetic, spiritual blueprint). It feels analog, then digital – it's R&B, but also baroque music box, drone pop, experimental, electronic, junglist – attempting to define it is like trying to cup mercury in the palm of your hands; it'll just find something else to slide into. Newly remastered by Rashad Becker; cut by Lupo.