Review: New York's Black Dice had to land on their native LIES imprint at some point. It was only a matter of time before label head Ron Morelli picked them up, and he's done so in fine style. The American Tapes, DFA, and Paw Tracks casuals are made up of Eric Copeland, Aaron Warren and Bjorn Copeland, and the trio like to get a little wacky over their coldwave grooves. "Big Deal" is a true post-punk reincarnation, a track that manages to pick out everything that was right about the early 80's by adding in elements of noise, rock, and a little techno. A monumental tune. "Last Laugh" is more dubwise in its approach, where a distorted guitar sways from side to side amid a fuzzy whirlpool of aqueous sonics and dusty percussion. A great release from LIES, and a fresh addition to their more usual house and techno onslaught.
Review: 12 months on from his last outing on Ron Morelli's celebrated L.I.E.S. label, former Napalm Death noisenik Mick Harris once again dons the Fret alias for another exploration of techno's farthest, darkest corners. He hits the ground running with "Slowly Moving In", a polyrhthmic industrial techno workout full of ricocheting, end-of-days electronics and distortion-soaked drums. "The Hill" is, if anything, even more panicked and bone-rattling, as if Harris had re-imagined the soundtrack from notorious Sheffield-based nuclear winter drama "Threads". Over on side B, "Pirates" is a formidably fuzzy and mind-altering attack on the senses, while "Walking With Cameras" adds creepy refrains to one of Harris's weightiest rhythm tracks yet.
Review: For their latest foray into the world of the ghostly, intense and unusual, L.I.E.S has turned to fellow New Yorker Adam Mitchell, a man whose career as a techno producer stretches back to the 1990s. Here, though, he's appearing under his lesser-known Admx-71 alias, a pseudonym used for his more experimental endeavours. Sitting somewhere between unsettling ambience, horror-influenced IDM, analogue electro, industrial and out-there experimentation, the album's 11 tracks bristle with bright ideas. While there are undeniably dark and hard-to-handle moments, Mitchell's default setting is more quietly melodious, resulting in a set that impresses with its' alien melodies, spacey electronics and fuzzy, distortion-soaked rhythms.
Review: Brazilian producer Fernando Seixlack has previously impressed with a couple of notably punky albums of experimental techno under the Innyster alias. Here he makes his debut for Ron Morelli's esteemed L.I.E.S imprint with a first full-length under his own name. While still as fuzzy, lo-fi and out-there as its predecessors, "Fernando" is a surprisingly melodious and tuneful affair, with Seixlack wrapping glistening - if distorted and pixilated - guitars and trippy synthesizer motifs around bustling machine beats and wayward electronic percussion. At times it touches on electro, at others IDM and more experimental, abstract pursuits; throughout, the album remains both hugely entertaining and pleasingly atmospheric.
Review: Unicursal Hexagram, the debut album from Brooklyn-based experimentalist Jahiliyya Fields remains a highlight of the L.I.E.S. discography some three years after its release. The left-of-centre synthesizer soundscapes, droning textures and experimental explorations were astounding at the time, and it's an album you can revisit now and still uncover new depths. On Chance Life, his second album for L.I.E.S., Jahiliyya Fields changes tack a little with the 11 tracks a tad closer to the dancefloor. While there are still out-there moments (including a bizarre spoken word cut), for the most part the album pairs his throbbing synthesizers and crusty electronics with dense techno grooves, psychedelic tribal rhythms and humid box jams.
Review: Krikor Kouchian's "Saudi" first appeared as a cassette on Low Jack's Editions Gravats label a few years back. Interestingly, the music had initially been composed to soundtrack a French documentary film focusing on the West's appeasement of Saudi Arabia dubious foreign policy. We should applaud the documentary makers for their foresight in casting Kouchian in this role, as "Saudi" - here presented on vinyl for the first time by L.I.E.S - is deliciously creepy, exotic and foreboding. While the melodies employed throughout the soundtrack tend towards the dark and clandestine, there's enough futurist intent and far-sighted electronic sounds to suggest the smallest slither of hope. It's interesting rhythmically, too, employing rubbery and off-kilter machine beats without becoming overbearingly intense.