Label of Love: LLE
Written by Grace George on 8th November 2019
Brought to you by record collector and DJ Grace George, Label of Love is a new series that tells short histories of music labels & their legacies. For this week’s Label of Love, we journey to Japan to investigate the mysterious LLE label.
Operating as a label & zine between the early 80s till mid 90s, LLE was run by Japanese musician & now record store owner Yasuhiro Nakano, releasing records of the avant-folk, avant-jazz, new-wave & psychedelic rock variety, mostly composed by Japanese musicians.
LLE began life as the sub of Japanese label & magazine Marquee Moon (named after the debut album of American rock band Television); a Japanese “underground rock, prog and experimental music magazine & record label” but was released into the world to fend for its own after Marquee Moon ceased releasing records in the early 80s.
Many of the artists on LLE recorded at Bea Pot Studio, a private recording studio in Tokyo run by Takaaki Hanya, which according to its psychedelic pre-2000s looking website, is still recording with musicians today.
LLE’s founder Yasuhiro Nakano now runs Tokyo record shop Mecano, specialising in “new-wave, post-punk, krautrock, synthpop and avantpop” celebrating its 14th year of opening anniversary in 2019.
There is little else to be found on the history & existence of LLE without speaking to the musicians themselves, and we are yet to hear back from founder Nakano after reaching out to his record store on the Mecano blog.
Perhaps the mystery adds to the allure of LLE’s & Marquee Moon’s repertoire, however, we are keen to learn more about these imprints if there is someone out there willing to share their stories with us.
Sounds of LLE
多加美 – 夢ノ崖 (1985) (Takami – Yume No Kirigishi)
Avant-folk electronic & ambient album from Japanese poet, artist & singer Takami with electronic musician Pneuma. Hauntingly beautiful from its inception.
Veetdharm – Water Music (1985)
An English pianist & photographer that toured with Queen & performed with several different British rock bands, most prominently Mott the Hoople in the 70’s. He’s adopted many aliases in his life, including the Veetdharm title under which he made a series of ambient electronic albums after a move to Japan in ’85. A delicate & soothing album that gently bathes you in ambience.
Libido – 低く飛んでゆく(1986)
Art-rock with gothic layers emulating the distortion & seduction of late 80’s Cure. Select copies of this obscure Japanese group Libido’s 7” single from ’86, was released with LLE’s Di-Stance zine.