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Piano Vandals Unleash Eight Tracks of Raw Punk House on L.I.E.S. Label

by Madonna

In the world of electronic music, L.I.E.S. Records has consistently been a bastion of uncompromising, unfiltered soundscapes. This label, founded by Ron Morelli over a span of 13 years, has cultivated a reputation for delivering classic templates with a healthy dose of snarl and spit, akin to listening to Trax or Metroplex records filtered through the effects pedals of your local hardcore band. While Morelli’s sonic explorations have ventured into realms like industrial and no wave, it’s when he’s working with distorted beats that the label truly shines, much like the art of crafting sourdough during Bread Week on a popular baking show.

Enter Fabio Monesi, a natural fit for the L.I.E.S. stable, having made his debut on the label’s sub-label Russian Torrent Version in 2016. With “Piano Vandals,” his inaugural offering for the main label, he delivers a compelling collection of eight tracks, explicitly designed for the club, as the label’s celebrated breakthrough record proclaimed.

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A L.I.E.S. Odyssey

“Piano Vandals” is a quintessential embodiment of L.I.E.S.’ signature sound. Each track pulses with brittle and jacking rhythms, while the basslines growl, seeking liberation from their musical restraints. The strings and piano samples, though, bear the scars of time, exhibiting a rusted and serrated quality that harks back to the golden era of New York and Chicago house.

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Monesi seamlessly weaves these elements across vintage house soundscapes, and he doesn’t shy away from creating moments of high tension and elation within the album. Take the eponymous title track, where he temporarily silences the drums for almost a minute, skillfully building anticipation in the melody before allowing New Beat fills to crash back in with fiery intensity. Or in the seductive 80s allure of “Future Brain,” where minor rave stabs attempt to erode a grooving Yamaha DX-7 bassline that commands center stage.

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Two Major Moods

While all tracks on “Piano Vandals” pack a punch, there are two predominant moods within the album. The peak-time anthems, like the “Moonriver (Vocal Mix),” beckon listeners with the sultry combination of piano and vocal (“Ladies and gentlemen/Yes they’re here/The dream team is here”). It’s akin to experiencing a Marshall Jefferson record through the blown-out speakers of a vintage Delorean.

On the flip side, the album boasts its darker, more enigmatic tracks. Both “Harmony” and “Kit the Dog” are tailor-made for the late-night hours when impulsive decisions beckon. “Kit the Dog” takes an electro-infused path, while “Harmony” marches resolutely with the mechanical precision of lemmings headed for a cliff, with a squiggly 303 providing the ominous soundtrack.

Monesi: The Old Meets the New

Fabio Monesi, whose discography spans as long as L.I.E.S.’ existence, is a student of both the old and new schools of electronic music. Emerging during the peak of the “outsider house” era, he’s found himself in both a promoter and producer’s role, releasing records by notable figures such as Gene Hunt and Jordan Fields on his Wilson Records.

“Piano Vandals” stands as a testament to what both L.I.E.S. and Monesi do best – it’s unvarnished, understated, and unfiltered house music.

Tracklist:

  • Jack The Crow
  • The Piano Vandals
  • Harmony
  • Future Brain
  • Moonriver (Vocal Mix)
  • Moonriver (Instrumental Mix)
  • Kit The Dog
  • Critical Rhythm

Monesi’s “Piano Vandals” is an electrifying ride through the heart of raw, punk-inspired house, a captivating testament to the enduring legacy of L.I.E.S. Records.

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