Umfang: Marcos Cabral, “Dancing On Manhattan” (2013)
“This track is so good. The high-pass filter intro and the progression of interacting melodies and echoing claps and the way it exists in stereo is all really creepy but also straightforward. This release lined up with a time when I met a lot of L.I.E.S. artists who were really supportive and willing to share knowledge on synthesis, recording and DJing, Marcos being one of them. 2013 was still the beginning of Bossa Nova Civic Club, and this track feels like a time capsule for me. People poke fun at L.I.E.S. for being hi-hat porn, but damn, hi-hat porn feels right, and this track is nothing to argue with.”
Umfang’s debut LP, Symbolic Use Of Light, comes out June 16 via Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour.
Adam X: Tzusing, "4 Floors Of Whores" (2015)
“There are many tracks I dig on L.I.E.S., and so it was hard to pick a favorite to write about it. So off the top of my head I decided to pick one of Tzsuing’s productions, as he is most consistent on the label for me stylistically. So my pick here would be his ‘4 Floors Of Whores’ track. It’s classy old-school flavor vibes reminiscent of the late ’80s/early ’90s Frankfurt German EBM techno, which was largely based around the legendary Dorian Gray techno club, which was located in the lower level of Frankfurt Airport.”
Xosar: Jahiliyya Fields, “Water Breaker” (2012)
“I remember listening to this on my headphones on a train during a cold winter in the outskirts of Berlin a couple years ago, factories and industrial warehouse complexes surrounding…I was watching the mechanical chug of people flowing through on their way to work…I couldn’t stop staring at people’s faces; they just had these raw expressions of melancholic despair or apathy. I felt this song was the ideal soundtrack. Maybe because the atmosphere it conveys somehow addresses the coldness of reality while adding some kind of a glimmer of hope…je ne sais quoi.”
Shifted: Two Dogs In A House, "Eliminator" (2013)
“I bought this in Phonica Records in London on a trip back home a while after I moved to Berlin. A lot of people had been telling me to check out L.I.E.S., and this was the first thing I’d heard. 14 minutes of this kind of lo-fi sound might seem like a stretch, but I think I could listen to this on repeat for days…there’s been an incredible amount of amazing music that’s come out through the imprint; I’d also mention Gunnar Haslam, Vereker & Xosar as people that really turned my head, but for me Ron [Morelli]‘s Two Dogs In A House project sums up exactly why this label matters so much.”
Rebekah: Tzusing, "O.D.D." (2015)
“L.I.E.S. is such a diverse label that it is a really hard choice, but this whole release from Tzusing is really good. O.D.D. is brutal and experimental and within my sets pushes people to the extreme for what they can handle. It’s fun to go there and see how they react.”
See Rebekah’s EB.tv feature here.
Shawn O'Sullivan: Jahiliyya Fields, "Clear Collar" (2015)
“Matt Morandi is one of the most adventurous producers we have here in New York, always refusing to be easily pigeonholed. One moment he’s making synth punk, the next, deep space meditations. This track cannily navigates L.I.E.S.’s twin commitments to DJ functionality and freakout electronics, truly synthesizing these often antipodal forces.”
Broken English Club: Tzusing, "Khi-Tang" (2015)
“A track that I’ve been really into recently is a track from Tzusing’s recent album. It’s called ‘Khi-Tang’. It really reminds me of Throbbing Gristle—it’s got this amazing trumpet synth sound in it, and bells…I love bells, bells and trumpets, and lots of crazy noises halfway through. And this great metallic smashing snare sound too! Tzusing is very talented and I love hearing what he is up to. Always unique and fresh.”
Broken English Club’s album The English Beach comes on L.I.E.S. June 15. Hear clips from the record here.
Veronica Vasicka: Randomer, "Smokin" (2017)
“What a smoking track from Randomer! I started playing this out a few weeks ago. It twists and grinds the way only classic electro could ever do. The layering and vocal snippets are forward-thinking, experimental and original. This track is simultaneously super playful and dark. I love it.”
Ron Morelli: Device Control, "Most People" (2016)
“As of late the track from the label I have been playing out is Device Control’s ‘Most People’. This is kind of a sleeper cut from 2016, and if you told me it was from 1988 I would believe you, as it could easily fit in with the Wax Trax! Records catalog of old. It chugs, it stomps, it clangs and has a staccato bassline that rolls throughout. Not to mention the carefully placed vocal samples and crowd noises to carry the track along. A throwback in the best way possible and it works on the floor every time.”