System – B (Rump Recordings)

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System - B

I was excited in 2007, when System released their first EP on ~scape, the Tempo EP, well established electronic producers, toying with the progressing sounds of UK 2-step and dubstep, but it only ever hinted at what could be possible. While the majority of dubstep producers seemed to take their recipe from the same book, it was refreshing to see another angle on the genre, creating something more evocative, something that will still sound innovative even when the style implodes. Denmark’ electronic “super group’, consisting of Thomas Knack (aka Opiate), Anders Remmer (aka Dub Tractor) and Jesper Skaaning (aka Acustic), have created some of my all time favourite electronic albums, under their previous name Future 3. We Are The Future 3, Stay With…, and Like… are all albums you should track down, recline in your favourite armchair, put on some good quality headphones, and be taken to another universe.

B shows a return to the deep electronic dub sounds, but with a more restrained and refined approach, taking influences from many differing places, but carefully distilling these sounds to create a spacious enveloping ambience, buried in a river of dub, allowing every sound its own personal space… The sound is a bright one, but the darker moments do creep into this release. While “All” could be compared to Boards Of Canada, the melodies are similar, there is a synthesis here that could only come from these three producers. “Drk” still has a bright glisten about it, with what sounds like a traditional harp from Paraguay, but its probably something else, heavily processed, but familiar somehow, with rising synth lines, this is a standout track, looking back to 90′ ambience that launched these producers careers, I can even hear what could be sound effects from Bladerunner. “Alpha” seems to take a thread from “Drk”, but adding quantized beats and washes of disembodied voice, all the time paying homage to King Tubby’ legacy of dub, using the studio as its own instrument. “Stars” takes a darker tone with a more dubstep sounding template, “Well Blank” following in a similar vein, but crossing over into more wonky territory. “Stanley” takes a more traditional dub route, image Jahtari throwing out their 8-bit machines and utilizing the best of digital audio technology. “WB” and “Meadow And Stuff” close the album with stripped down beats and glistening ambience respectively.

Whatever the sound System play with, dub is always the major thread, it envelopes every sound, but System know their dub, restraint being their key. Nothing is ever overstated, these three minds seem to collaborate as one.

Wayne Stronell

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