5 Records 5 Stories: Ron Morelli Talks About His Collection
Discogs is teaming up with Boiler Room to bring you 5 Records 5 Stories – the follow up to From The Counter which sees a vinyl-spinning DJs take the decks at independent record stores across Europe. While From The Counter gets crowds dancing and hanging out in their local record stores, 5 Records 5 Stories takes us on a personal level with the DJs sharing some of their favorite tunes and their significance.
From The Counter goes back to the continent after a few UK-based editions, this time landing us in DDD in Paris. DDD is both a record store and a label, squeezing a wide selection of new and second-hand wax into a narrow store. This special edition of From The Counter was headed up by renowned DJ, producer, and founder of L.I.E.S., Ron Morelli – the man at the forefront of NYC’s ever-evolving sonic aesthetic scene. When Ron Morelli talks music, you listen.
Watch Ron Morelli flip through his record collection:
Find the tracks mentioned by Ron Morelli:
First record is this quite old New York City house record: Fingertrips Vol. 1. It’s a compilation featuring productions by Todd Terry and Masters At Work. These days I’ve been going through my collection… I’ve had somewhat of a disillusionment with modern techno so I’ve been revisiting very very classic New York tracks. All these old Todd Terry and MAW productions is them using the SP1200 with the really big crush hard hard beats. Very very hip hop influenced and if you play it on a modern dancefloor it’s just gonna crush everything in sight. So just to prove to you that you don’t need some hyper modern sounding thing, it’s back to basics, very stripped down, very effective.
So keeping with the theme of New York house and techno records from the 90s, this is another really really cool record – i think it’s from ’91. It’s from Adam “X”. Adam and his brother, Frankie Bones, who you all know, they had a record shop called Sonic Groove, and they also did these renegade parties in the 90s called Storm Raves which were happening in various renegade off-location sites. They were held in junk yards and at one point under the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge and they would draw upwards of 3000 or 5000 people sometimes to these things. Again, this is just a massive rave, breakbeat anthem, but it’s still very New York and very street. You know, these guys kinda pioneered this very tough street techno sound.
Moving further into the world of New York techno, one by Joey Beltram on the Allabi Records label, I think there was only two releases on this, both by Beltram. This is more of an electro influenced SP-1200 production. Again, hard hard drums, and it sounds like a repitched Information Society – Running sample. You know, putting hard hard hip hop drums to it but in a house and techno way, with the SP swing, it just created a really unique sound that i don’t really think has been repeated to this day.
I brought a couple of records from my own label today that I played. I figure, why not? This record is an LP by a guy who is actually based in Austin, Texas, his name is Shane English. This is kind of the other end of the L.I.E.S. label where we’ve always been putting out quite a lot of experimental and ambient records in addition to the club stuff, so I always wanted there to be a balance between the club stuff, but also having the experimental ambient kinda stuff which we’ve been doing since basically the beginning of the label. His stuff harkens back to the old cassette trading days of very homemade early electronic stuff in the ’80s when a lot of people were just making music in their basements, y’know it’s not dance music, it’s quite experimental stuff.
For the last one again, another one from the label catalogue that I wanted represented here, KWC 92. This is Sam and Max, they’re both from Sweden – from Stockholm – and this record came about in quite an interesting way, initially it was a CD-R made for this art exhibition in Iran. I think they just had the CD-R laying around there for people to take, and eventually we took the music and we pressed it to a record, and again, this displays the other side of the label which is the soundtrack, more experimental, more ambient side of the label. Could be the soundtrack for a movie, or something like that.