As far as underground electronic music is concerned, Brooklyn has always been a big player in both creating and championing talent. One of the key creations to come out of the Big Apple is namely L.I.E.S records, founded by Ron Morelli in 2010, which can be classed more as a collective, featuring releases from a tight-knit group of producers around the city. Focusing on darker fringe techno releases, as well as soulful house sounds, the label has an eclectic variety of releases ranging from the abrasive sounds of Randomer, through to the melodic grooves of Willie Burns.
The first record signed to the imprint was the 2010 industrial techno floor-filler Targets by Malvoeaux. Beginning with a pounding kick drum and with the nostalgic use of flanger, the track moves through heavily distorted synthesizers, into tribal percussion, before a disco-esque guitar lick takes the front line – complemented with 80’s style keys. This effortless blending of genre boundaries is exactly what L.I.E.S do so successfully – with everything they release featuring their signature retro styled sound.
The Two Dogs In a House EP made up the second instalment of releases in the first year of action for L.I.E.S records. This time more heavily acid influenced, stray hi-hat beats make for a very disjointed listen, and eerie synth pads capture a more illusive timbre – this time for the hardened listener and not for filling bodies on the dance floor. Scream in the Night is one of the standout tracks on the record, once again with synth pads and sirens adding to the constantly manipulating weirdness of basic sine waves and sporadic percussion.
It was in 2012 when the label really found it’s feet and upped the output rate – 21 pressed records throughout the year, 30 the next, and subsequently 25 in 2015. This not only demonstrates the success rate of the label, but also the growing of the company, and the impact created in a comparably short amount of time. A notable artist who has solely released on the label is Tsuzing, whose work emphasises the darker qualities of techno and sampling of breaks. His work on both the Name Out Of Place EPs demonstrates the best of L.I.E.S records – especially Four Floors of Whores that with an industrial kick, mechanically scratching synthesizers and 80’s style drum interludes, helping to add grit to any club scenario.
Other records from Delroy Edwards, Person of Interest and Marcos Cabral demonstrates the extensive back catalog that the company has built up in it’s 7 years of action. With key releases selling out of influential record shops such as Rush Hour and Hard Wax – it’s clear that L.I.E.S have made a serious imprint on not just America, but also the global dance music sphere.