- It's safe to say we don't think of Ron Morelli as a producer first and foremost. He's the brains behind L.I.E.S., the New York label that's helped steer the course of underground dance music in the past two years. He's also a fearless and experimental DJ. As a producer, he's done rabid live jams with Steve Summers as Two Dogs In A House and rhythmic sludge as U-202. Spit is his first release under his own name, and it comes on Dominick Fernow's label, Hospital. Described by Morelli as "stress music," Spit sounds like the fevered work of a man channeling his frustrations into impressionistic self-expression.
Unsurprisingly, Spit has a live jam feel to it—in fact, it's so off-the-cuff and antagonistically unpolished that it's hard to imagine there was any post-production at all. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The intermittent sputter of snares on "Fake Rush" is unexpected and galvanizing on a track that otherwise sounds like Morelli fooling around with a synth while he manages his inbox. "No Real Reason" approximates techno, with acid twinges eating away at the corners. The short drone tracks are captivating as well, especially the opener, "Radar Vision," with its angry waves of percussion rising to the surface.
But there are downsides to this method. The house pulse in "Modern Paranoia" seems like an afterthought, thrown under a track that feels frustratingly unfinished. Highlight "Crack Microbes" is intriguingly primitive and thrown-together (like L.I.E.S. at its best), but it's too staid and frowny-faced to really be engaging.
That's an issue with the whole record: while Spit has the advantage of coming from a fascinating musical mind, it really does sound like it was banged out in fits and spurts, never revisited or redrafted. This might make it appropriate for Hospital Productions, a label that until recently had mostly released reams of limited-edition cassette tapes by noise artists. That's the heritage that Spit belongs to. If that's not what you're expecting, you might be disappointed.
01. Radar Version
02. Modern Paranoia
03. Crack Microbes
04. Sledghammer II
05. Fake Rush
06. Director Of...
07. No Real Reason
08. Slow Drown