New York’s L.I.E.S. Records has been gaining a lot of attention recently ever since Tzusing’s 東方不敗 starting turning heads in the industrial techno world. The heavily Eastern-inspired album put the label in an even firmer position to show us their diverse roster in the form of new mood-building DJs and producers. The label is out to prove its experimental mettle, however, on this most recent compilation of their roster that includes staples such as Terreke and Broken English Club. Oh, I should mention if you’re reading this before 2019, it’s free — so grab it.
As stated on their Bandcamp, this is a comp of unreleased and newer material showcasing the label’s more ambient and beatless music. So if you’re looking for Tzusing-type catchy hits or Collin Strange distorted techno bangers, you won’t find ’em on here, but you will find a compilation of great dark ambient stuff that ranges from comforting to downright insane, like on 33.10.3402’s 10-minute build “(100 drone radio passive scape).”
There’s some dub techno on here; obviously, it’s not all ambient as fuck, but it is ambient enough to keep the tension of a dimly lit room somewhat alive and moody. Like ADMX-71’s “Mystical Ascent” which loops and alters some nice glassy pad hits on top of some slightly distorted bass or Maxx Bass’s Eastern-inspired untitled track, with a steady taiko beat pounding along to create this air of nighttime stealth missions.
L.I.E.S. is proving to be more and more of a force to be reckoned with in the electronic world, with a diverse gamut of crazy cool electronic folks that like to play with fancy expensive synths and cheap recording equipment. If you haven’t done a flip-through of their catalog I suggest you do — there’s something there for everyone. Here’s hoping for a great 2019 for all the cats involved in this label.