Mario Diaz de Leon is a composer and multi-instrumentalist residing in NYC. "Hypnotic walls of shimmering sound" perhaps describe his aesthetic most broadly, whether his medium is electric guitar, electronics, or acoustic instruments. His influences include modern composers such as Scelsi and Ligeti, underground metal, and noise electronics. He currently plays guitar in the band Mirrorgate.
"Hypnos" finds Diaz de Leon focused on his style of hallucinatory electronic music. Far from being a follow up to 2009's "Enter Houses Of" (a genre defying album of new classical works), "Hypnos" is a new direction, merging ethereal synths, brutal distortion, noise, and dark ambient. The album takes its title from the Greek god of sleep (also closely associated with night, death, and dreams), and the music itself is an eerie descent into the otherwordly, recasting familiar elements in a revelatory new light.
On the opening and closing tracks, hyper fast synth tones create a rushing, cathedral –like atmosphere. Tracks such as "Consumed", "Hypnocaust", and "Kukulkan" feature psychedelic, crushing distortion as their primary focus, taking influence from doom metal, black metal, power electronics, new age, and horror soundtracks. “Cinerum” and “Faithless” are highly structured takes on dark ambient, bringing the listener into haunting, strikingly beautiful realms of isolation, bleakness, and saturated noise textures.
Diaz de Leon’s previous solo release on Shinkoyo, 2008's "Mira", focused on monolithic walls of distorted guitar and voice. A debut album of his works for acoustic instruments and electronics, "Enter Houses Of" was released on John Zorn's Tzadik label in 2009. The disc received international acclaim from publications including Impose Magazine, The Chicago Reader, New Music Box, Pepper Zone (France), Touching Extremes (Italy), and The Bangkok Post. Time Out New York included included it in their "Best of 2009" list; "A startling new compositional voice exploded out of this disc, with wistful melodies haunting an abrasive mix of modernist integrity and anarchic noise." Steve Smith of The New York Times praised the disc for its “hallucinatory intensity.”