V.I.V.E.K: SYSTEM 003 – EP review

V.I.V.E.K: SYSTM 003 (System Music)


Out now


Bass music legend V.I.V.E.K rewards his followers with vinyl rarities, simultaneously breathing life into dubstep. Favio ‘Overclock’ enthuses.

After consolidating a cult following of his celebrated SYSTEM nights, bass music don V.I.V.E.K returns just in time with the third instalment from his own label. A strictly vinyl-only delight for the analogue-heads that further proves that trueskool dubstep is far from over, as the underground scene grows stronger every day.

We’ve got a bit of a curveball here with the atmospheric opener. It slowly develops around layers of warm pads, gentle strings and minimalist piano as it wanders through contemplative stages. A pleasing introspective journey definitely not recommended for the late night crew, but one that deserves an in-depth listening session at home and could also work to great effect as a mood-setter.

Show Me captures some of the techno influence we’ve been hearing lately in 140-bpm music but make no mistake, Vivek Sharda is on familiar ground with these type of sounds but as you’d expect from his more recent productions he pushes things to the deeper end of the spectrum.  Show Me‘s ever-present syncopated chord stabs gives the track a dubbed-out feel that drives the listener into a trance-like state, while the arpegiated synth line that swings in and out of focus towards the latter half and the disturbing pitched-down vocals create an upsetting sense of danger.


The second 12” comes with previously unreleased VIP reworks of two well-known V.I.V.E.K tracks: Soundman, signed to Mala’s Deep Medi, and Asteroids, included in the launch release of Sharda’s label earlier this year which received overwhelming support and critical acclaim. In all honestly, it’s a complex task to outshine the originals and while Soundman VIP adds more weight and texture to the mix and Asteroids VIP throws in an airy pad that subtly lifts the mysterious tone of the original, it’s hard to justify these as worth the admission price alone. Nonetheless, they’re a nice addition to the record bag of any hardcore SYSTEM fan, as they retain a much sought-after halo of exclusivity. In fact, it’s like owning a small part of those legendary nights at The Dome.

Londoners better watch out for a NYE special. As usual, the full line-up will be revealed on the night but expect nothing but quality from the man himself, his special guests and of course the true major player of the event, the unparalleled soundsystem built to V.I.V.E.K’s specifications.


SYSTEM are on Soundcloud & Facebook.

V.I.V.E.K himself is on Facebook & Twitter as @VIVEKSYSTEM

All words by Favio ‘Overclock’. More by Favio can be read on Louder Than War here. Favio can be found on twitter as @thisisoverclock.

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