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Monday, Jun 11 2007 | 10:03 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

In his debut album “Fascinating Tininess” Yusuke Hama teams up with ATL homegirl Laurel Wells to create a unique brand of film score pop in a project dubbed Leyode.

Though he played music most of his life – classical violin and piano as a kid, and guitar in his teens and on – Yusuke became more focused on film and photography in recent years. But while touring as a merch-man / documentarian with fellow Atlanta head Prefuse 73, he began to gravitate back toward music, citing total creative control as a powerful motivator.

Initially conceived while experimenting with French New Wave film clips, Leyode was born in earnest when Yusuke enlisted Laurel’s vocal talents on the track, “Isabelle.” They soon realized a positive working partnership, and began to expand on the concept. Gradually working on more songs, and applying more cinematic touches, Leyode took shape as a tribute to French actor Jean-Pierre Léaud.

While “Fascinating Tininess” grounds itself in a beats-and-samples presence, it takes us on a low-flying tour over a range of emotional scenery. At times it feels like we’re listening to the soundtrack of a movie we haven’t seen yet. The album is Leyode’s introductory excursion into a world of scenic beats and cinematic melodies. Enjoy it. And stay tuned for more!

Guillermo S. Herren (Prefuse 73): “Leyode started out as a mystery project that Yusuke Hama was working on but would never play for me during its production. I asked from time to time yet I heard nothing. He would tell me “shout up and be patient …”. Yusuke and I met one another in Atlanta and have been friends for years. I always knew he played guitar and was musically inclined but I never actually heard him play live or any music he was recording. He has traveled with me through at least three seperate Prefuse 73 tours and has been a great person to have by my side during them.

As time passed, Yusuke moved to NYC and ran into a mutual friend from Atlanta, who also had moved to NYC in search of working on music. That friend is Laurel Wells, the beautiful voice behind Leyode.

I finally heard Leyode in its complete form when Yusuke wanted some EQ work done on his final tracks in my studio. I was blown away that Yusuke was hiding this from me!!! It was one of the best things I had heard despite our connections, etc. He takes the production wioth Laurel to places that would normally fall flat on their face if they were “overproduced”.

These songs hit hard like a RZA track. They can get as poppy as pop gets. They can be the soundtrack to your life … Laurel harmonizes her way throughout the songs with the most sincere tone in her voice. I can only say that it can appeal to hip hop heads as much as the indie rock and pop crowd. I could see how much work had been put into this from its consistency in sound and concept throughout.

I was asked to contribute to their track “Hassami” under my Savath + Savalas alias. I got so excited about it that I broke out my guitar and cello and sang with Laurel as well on the track (this is one of the only times you’ll hear Savath + Savals in English). Meanwhile, you got a banging remix by our man LebLaze that will put a hole in your speakers!

Leyode is the surprise that everyone unexpectedly gets in 2007.”


The album LeyodeyFascinating Tininess” (Eastern Developments) has been released June 1, 2007.

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