When it comes to 4/4 music, there are few labels delivering such consistently exciting tunes as Long Island Electrical Systems is right now. As I noted with SvengalisGhost’s debut, part of this aura can be attributed to Ron Morelli’s knack for flushing out new talent and introducing them to the world. But what I didn’t mention in February was just how diverse the catalogue has been thus far. If I count correctly, we’re only 15 records in, and already the label has delved into industrial (Vapauteen’s Weld), funk (Malvoeaux’s Targets), and krautrock (Steve Moore’s Panther Moderns). Even its staples, house and techno, are fairly varied. 010.5, a white label from an unknown artist, is just as unpredictable, though if the record’s two tracks are the work someone other than Legowelt, I’ll be even more surprised. Both bear his signatures: a disregard for structure, playful synth work, and a totally dilapidated feel.
Most of the time, the words “dusty” or “grainy” tend to be employed to describe such decrepit tunes, but in this case, they really don’t do justice. On the A-side, “Journey 1″ is so distorted it sounds like a bad master, complete with clipping. Its glancing chords and surging hand drums are utterly submerged in abrasive tones, the barriers between individual sounds left in tatters. No matter where you listen to it, the throbbing 12-minute excursion will have you imagining you’re in a claustrophobic basement; the distortion actually some club’s shitty sound system being overworked. Correspondingly, it also manages to capture the hedonistic, who-gives-a-fuck vibe that usually accompanies such locations. “Journey 2″ is also rough, though beautiful as an uncut diamond. The unknown producer’s corroded but perky synths call to one another like birds, moving through a bleak landscape of ringing claps and muffled beats. It captures a similar vibe to much of Aroy Dee’s work, sounding both hopeful and sad at the same time. Long Island Electrical Systems’ incredible track record continues.