This shouldn't really come as a surprise, considering the Freerotation resident and UntilMyHeartStops co-founder has turned out roughly 23 EPs in the last decade. It's worth noting how well he's made the transition from EP to LP: Dinas Oleu is a standalone work that tells its own unique tale, far more than than just an extended collection of tracks. It's deep house, to be sure, but it's celestial and symphonic.
After opening with some exquisitely misty and ambient sound design, things gently unfurl with the pleasantly non-linear opener "Belief & Experience." Rather than propelling you along, a groove moves from left to right. Glassy droplets slowly rain down, drums sway like a falling feather and squelchy synthetic textures bend and stretch like sonic goo. A lonely sombreness percolates though the heavenly patter of "Fortune." "Flight" is a bottomless bit of elegantly swung, levitating house, and "Age Of Aquarius" does a fine job of bringing you back to earth with splashes of echo and rubbery drums. A testament to Leif's sense of narrative is that you almost don't notice the tempos changing from track to track—each one feels perfectly natural, every tune seems to stretch toward an infinite horizon.
Tracks like "KoKu" manage to be vast and intergalactic but also personal and intimate. Just as you feel like you're drifting off, a murmuring voice, soft-focus xylophone, gently trilling harp or devastating minor chord will gently tug you back to reality. There's a crystal clarity to this album which, in a year when so many house and techno producers are making sounds as damaged and degraded as possible, is hugely refreshing.