Boomkat Product Review:
L.I.E.S bossman Ron Morelli returns with his fourth solo album and a shift of emphasis away from greyscale industrial to more introspective landscapes investigating atavistic ambient themes - highly recommended if yr into Tod Dockstader, Laurie Spiegel, Chris Marker’s ‘La Jetée’ and Jeff Mills’ recent astral excursions.
For the first time on record, Morelli more or less completely mutes his drum channels and allows his sounds to freely float in imagined air. In the process he crisply reveals a latent, introspective side to his music that’s been occluded by noise in his clutch of grubby sores issued by Hospital Productions since 2013 - back when he changed his address from Brooklyn, NYC to the heart of the Parisian electronic music scene. As such the 8 bony diffusions of ‘Man Walks The Earth’ mark distance travelled from the gobs of 2013’s ‘Spit’, documenting a change of mindset from grizzled and paranoid to a more soberly contemplative and drily poetic expression of self.
Composed during 2015-2018, the 8 liminal zones of ‘Man Walks the Earth’ see Morelli switch out immediacy and brashness for a more considered longview of electronic music. In key with his previous work it’s a smart regression of sorts, but this time reaching back beyond industrial music to a primordial sound recalling Tod Dockstader dabbling at the GRM in ‘A Long Walk At Night’, or Laurie Spiegel glimpsing unseen worlds in ’Stone Tools’, while album opener ‘Fear Upon Seeing His Reflection In The Lake’ hearkens back to Delia Derbyshire and Daphne Oram’s etheric, Radiophonic abstractions, and the parting beauty ‘The Sun Beats Stronger As Each Day Passes’ recalls the enigmatic appeal of Chris Marker’s sci-fi soundtrack for ‘La Jetée’ as much as Jeff Mills’ recent astral excursions.
Following Collapsing Market’s archival issue of Iranian classical music, iridescent electronics by Ssaliva, and the amorphous environments of Metta World Peace’s ‘Zanclean’, Morelli’s new album presents a compelling perspective on the binds between socio-economics and cultural aesthetics that’s reflected in the LP’s sleeve art, Morelli’s own photo taken from the 86th floor of One World Trade Center, New York, detached and reframed by Ethan Assouline, characterising the basic human will to rebuild, only to destroy again.