L.I.E.S. – Jahiliyya Fields / Torn Hawk / Unknown Artist

Somewhat late on these as always, but we’ve been playing the last plates every chance we get. The Ron Morelli run Long Island Electrical Systems (L.I.E.S.) has been on the must-check list since it’s inception, but with the last three releases especially it can’t put a foot wrong, with all three plates being must-grab, wax only, you’ve got to get a hold before they fly out. I’m still on the hunt for a copy of Professor Genius’ Hassan LP which, depending on which store you believe is either sold out or not available yet for some reason.

Late last year our friends at Juno Plus actually did a nice interview with Mr Morelli which you can check here: http://www.junodownload.com/plus/2011/09/26/label-focus-long-island-electrical-systems/

The label’s unorthodox, raw and rugged house is right up our street. Unpredictable in what’s forthcoming and essential to keep in the bag.


Brooklyn based Jahiliyya Fields dropped the full length Unicursal Hexagram earlier this year – a record that really grabbed our attention. Double LP of wavey, drawn out organs and roughly filtered beats that follow illogical patterns without losing the train of thought. The opening track – Servant Garden – is akin to Bass Clef’s beatless offerings, backed up with two more cuts on the first plate that are closer to Ras G’s darker material, or Shackleton slowed down. With tracks on the album running an average of about 7 minutes it’s nice to hear the ideas fully thought out and developed without getting indulgent or boring. The three tracks on the second plate goes our favorite way of all times, sounding retro game influenced but not 16-bit. All I can think of on Water Breaker is the possibility of staggering down an alley too drunk and getting stabbed. Dark vibes, brutal production somewhat comforted by it’s lack of a proper beat. The thing is, this is still house. It’s just pushed the limitations of the tag to the far extremes, checking how creative you can get within the acceptable definition.



We’re all about this limited 12″, done 1 per customer styles. Torn Hawk is the alias of ‘video artist’ Luke Wyatt. Not entirely sre about Luke’s past or the ins and outs of video artistry but this plate is fire, and the videos are pretty appropriate too (below). The most recent drop on L.I.E.S. Tarifa is probably the most structured offering of late. Four tracks of body music for which the term ‘hazy’ has been appropriately thrown around in regards too. There’s a few labels doing similar sounds at similar tempos but not heard any this good in a while. Even to talk about tempo might be a bit unfair given it ranges from 80bpm to about 170. It’s all about the tape style depth you get in the wax pressing that just builds inside your head, the various levels and layers working with each other to create it’s own retro-futuristic world. I’d say the Wendy Carlos and Jean Piche influences have been suitably digested before stepping up to a drum machine or synth. That’s maybe why Torn Hawk stands out head and shoulders, backed with his ‘video artistry’ experience he’s managed to create a feeling of a separated society through his tracks with out any visuals. More importantly, they’re play out tracks that’ll kick the audience in to a united, druggy sway vibe without the chemicals.




Billed as Unknown Artist but supposedly a ‘super group’, we can presume that it’s the same collective of Long Island cats that inspired the founding of the label to begin with, who’s works make up their catalogue to date, who have collaborated on these two tracks. Who knows why these super collaborations sometimes work and sometimes sound like a hyperactive 2 year old? The two cuts served up here are definitively based in the former. The A-side is a bumps and rolls along, crafted to be crowded and distorted to perfection like a dirtied up acetate, accompanied with some tribal influences. As a collab of producers it’s reminiscent of Raybone Jones, Marcellus Malik Pittman & Rick The Godson Wilhite all being credited for In The Dark on the compilation of the same name. Instead of taking elements that the artists are known for and throwing a lot of unnecessary sounds in to one track, you get a precision joint stripped down to it’s elements with the other layers just sprinkled occasionally on top. Expertise comes from what each producer is hearing as opposed to what they can do with a machine. In short, Journey 1 is a very nice listen. On the flip, Echo Drugs is a floor tool, still sounding great as a raw jack track built for the floor, but as something that’d be more at home on a cleaner US label of house as opposed to say Clone or Tresor. No online listens of this unfortunately, you’ll just have to cop it wherever you can.