Various - Music For Shut-Ins

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  • When L.I.E.S. released American Noise at the end of last year, it was the culmination of an incredible ascent. By now Ron Morelli's label is no longer a scrappy underdog—it spent 2013 at the top, releasing more than a dozen EPs and three albums. Music For Shut-Ins caps off the year the same way its predecessor did, with one disc of highlights from the past year and another filled with new tunes. The first half of Music For Shut-Ins basks in the label's abrasive sonics. Though it lacks some of the stylistic schizophrenia that made American Noise so interesting (there are no kraut-y detours here), it shows how much variety is possible even within this unforgiving sound palette, opening with Vapauteen's caustic house, traveling through Marcos Cabral's gurgling slow-motion techno and eventually Svenghalisghost's wee-hours strut. Greg Beato's rudimentary "Gimme A Light" (a bellwether for the label's sound if there ever was one) and the twisty labyrinth of "Samantha's Vacation" are worth the price of admission alone. If you don't think L.I.E.S. had a brilliant year in 2013, these 11 tracks should change your mind. The crop of new material begins with Marcos Cabral's "Dancing On Manhattan," which riffs on a single idea for almost 12 minutes. Beautiful Swimmers offer up deep house with "The Zoo," but just when you're settling in, they let the jungle breaks rip. Xosar's "Mind Mantra" is a psychedelic pop track buried in layers of the trademark L.I.E.S. fuzz. One of the label's most exciting newcomers, Florian Kupfer, steals the show entirely. His "Unreal (CA Faith Mixx)" is an uncharacteristically heavy track full of grandiose horns, rambunctious percussion and vocals that sound like a prayer call. Though L.I.E.S. certainly hasn't lost its element of surprise, the second disc hints at a less esoteric streak. There are still left turns—Beau Wanzer's "Crush Of Lust" is face-melting, Shadowlust's minimal wave is hardly techno and Gunnar Haslam ends the compilation with the ambient "Alepsos." But where American Noise suggested any number of possible directions for the label, Music For Shut-Ins shows it bearing down on dance music harder than before. The L.I.E.S. style of house and techno is more concrete than it was last year, yet every bit of the punky and irreverent spirit that made the label so irresistible to begin with remains. The title might tell you they're not too concerned with dance floors, but the music itself suggests otherwise.
  • Tracklist
      CD 1 01. Vapauteen – Basilisk 02. Shadowlust – Jute 03. Marcos Cabral – Virginia 04. Legowelt – Teen Romance 05. Greg Beato – Gimme A Light 06. Svengalisghost – High Heel Sleaze 07. Vereker – Rosite 08. Samantha Vacation – Samantha’s Vacation 09. Florian Kupfer – Feelin’ 10. Terekke – Amaze 11. Daywalker & CF – You Only Live Once CD 2 01. Marcos Cabral – Dancing On Manhattan 02. Jahiliyya Fields – Untitled 03. Antenes – PBX-555 04. Xosar – Mind Mantra 05. TX Connect – Primal Rage 06. Beautiful Swimmers – The Zoo 07. Florian Kupfer – Unreal (CA Faith Mixx) 08. Beau Wanzer – Crush of Lust 09. Entro & Terri – The Cap 10. Gunnar Haslam – Aisepos