The 303 rawness of the past house masters is present, the depth of Theo Parrish is here as well as the unapologetic grit of modern Jak. Fair play to Ron Morelli and the L.I.E.S. team, one year down and already blazing a serious trail.
What is in a name? Not much, but it can help. From NYC come the Pynchonesque titled L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems.) The imprint, not much more than a year old, is already striking ears and turning heads with records by the likes of Legowelt, Willie Burns and Steve Summers.
[Mr Wolfers :: Sark Island Acid] The three tracker flows from classic Legowelt sounds, but here the dutch man focuses on his interpretation of house. The title piece sees 303 squirms meeting 808 beats. Legowelt takes on the mechanics of house, contorting and rearranging preconceptions to produce a modern take on the sound. The production is vintage, steeped in a hazy effect for “Backwoods Fantasies.” The piano keys are out for the finale, “Sea Of Nuhuhu.” The track reflects on the sound of fellow Netherlander G Strings, deep analgoue moods coming from the multitalented Legowelt.
L.I.E.S. isn’t just about established talent. Underground dweller Terekke has recently got the 12” treatment on the NY label. Subterranean house is the aim. “Damn” spreads forth with gritty 707 beats and hypnotic vocals. Terekke’s sound has some of Traxx’s darkness to it, but this isn’t industrial horror Jak. Instead Terekke pares back the terror, slowing the acid lines into a squalid soup for “PF PF Pass.”
L.I.E.S. focuses on house, but showcases the many sides of this sound. Marcos Cabral has been drafted for three tracks of unsettling subtlety. “24 Hour Flight” is a work of deep house, slowly building in a swath of beats and bleeps. The curtains are drawn for this outing. This is a legs up and headphones on affair. The B-Side is dedicated to “Freckles.” Beats solidify for the DJ’s pick. Short machine snares punctuate warm synth tones to end.
Steve Summers is one of those new house artists that is causing a stir. Sometimes dubbed as confused house, Mr Summers moves into a jakking zone for Mode for Love. Sepulchral lyrics bleed and haunt for “In the Mode for Love” with beats contorting whilst synths convulse. The eclipse further darkens for “Different Paths.” The beats are full blooded as chords pulse with a modern house energy. “Nethermead Arches” sees bass lines shudder as Summers continues down his jak experiment. This isn’t rapid, pacey or distortion driven Jak. Instead Steve Summers pours forth with an emotion and complexity which comes to a head in “Sunrise in Your Eyes.” The EP sits somewhere near the moodier sounds of J.T.C. or D’marc Cantu.
L.I.E.S. is a label that sees house in the past, present and future. The 303 rawness of the past house masters is present, the depth of Theo Parrish is here as well as the unapologetic grit of modern Jak. Fair play to Ron Morelli and the L.I.E.S. team, one year down and already blazing a serious trail.
Visit L.I.E.S. on Soundcloud.