The news that HMV is going into administration has sparked off another wave of articles and debates about the impending death of the record industry. But those despairing about the future of the music business should take heart from the success of Ron Morelli and his New York based underground label Long Island Electrical System (L.I.E.S). Started only two years ago, Morelli’s impressive curatorial talent and his commitment to finding artists that share a common aesthetic ideology, has resulted in a label full of unknowns topping Resident Advisor’s ‘best labels of 2012’ list.
The 2-cd sampler ‘American Noise’ is the label’s effort to spell out their aesthetic. The 23 tracks (old and new) on here span house, techno, industrial and zoned out experimental music, but they’re all connected by a sense of community, the varied musical creations of a small and secretive club. One of the highlights is the deliciously unhinged African Rhythms by Bookworms, a nine minute long percussion driven masterpiece. And then there’s Journey by Unknown Artist, a 12 minute track that juxtaposes dance music and funk in weird, wonderful ways.
The consistently high quality of almost all the tracks in this compilation is a testament to Ron Morelli’s ability to find some of the best unknown talent in electronic music.