L.I.E.S. : Label You Should Know

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Based in Brooklyn, the L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems) label specializes in a left-field brand of House that is rooted in minimal wave synth “pop” and avant garde noise. But unlike other labels who’ve made a name for themselves releasing similarly rooted dance music, L.I.E.S. has set itself apart by embracing a virtually anonymous brand identity. By simply differentiating each release strictly by label color with the same industrial grade font and a series of limited press white (and black) label 12″s, all in non-descript sleeves, they’ve taken a decidedly lo-fi approach that is rooted in early Detroit and Chicago House and New York punk.

One could argue that their “if you know you know” aesthetic is counterintuitive or pretentious or reactionary, I’d venture to say that it’s a matter of economy…but what what one can’t argue is that they don’t deliver. With a number of truly spectacular releases from Legowelt, Steve Moore, Professor Genius and Torn Hawk, label head Ron Morelli has proven that he knows “good.”

Personally, I appreciate the no-frills approach. In an era where people come up with dozens of ways to stand out and get your attention, L.I.E.S.‘ ¬†quiet, clean label sticks out. But, the actual secret of their success (in tried and true fashion) has been quality. A consistently reliable stream of memorable releases and word of mouth has lead to a very quick ascension for the fledgling label. And their hard work paid off in 2012, with Resident Advisor singling them out as label of the year.

Good thing too, as they’ve released their “best” and a bunch of out of print material on a brand new compilation titled, “L.I.E.S. presents American Noise.” It is a must have for 2013 and brilliantly encapsulates their story (so far.) The exciting thing is that if this is a snapshot of the beginning…then the future is going to be a glorious noisy one. I don’t much like being lied to, but if these are L.I.E.S., I don’t wanna know the truth.