V.I.V.E.K: Asteroids – ep review
V.I.V.E.K – Asteroids (System Music)
12″ / DL
System music boss & underground dubstep purist V.I.V.E.K. just dropped this mighty fine 12″ track.
V.I.V.E.K has delivered some extremely solid releases in the last year, including ‘Out of Reach/Kismet’ on Deep Medi, and ‘Against the Tide/Trinity’ on Tectonic. But by the time they were out, he already had bigger things in mind: To build his own sound system, aiming for unparalleled and uncompromising sound, and launching a night to put those bass bins to good use.
And then there was System.
For that matter, V.I.V.E.K teamed up initially with Deep Medi’s Mala, though he’s currently running the project on his own. Taking place at The Dome, an unpretentious venue in north London, System has been going on all the way through 2012 and recently celebrated its first anniversary, featuring guests Benny Ill, Commodo and Kromestar.
The crowd describes these nights as something unique that goes beyond the mere audible and becomes an overwhelming physical feeling, let alone an amazing vibe not seen in London since the golden days of DMZ. As if this wasn’t enough, this year Mr. Sharda is taking the game to the next level by setting up his own label. Its first release is the heavily anticipated ‘Asteroids / Over My Head’.
The instrumental original ‘Asteroids’ sees V.I.V.E.K taking a turn in a slightly more delicate direction than his usual. A simple yet beautiful three-note pad comforts the listener like a warm blanket through a meditative journey as the track unwinds. After a contemplative intro, various layers of bass and the occasional mid-range construct a rock-solid backbone that pulls through you, building a magnetic atmosphere that makes every molecule of your body respond to the oscillating mysterious sound. Driven by a minimalistic beat, with great attention to detail nonetheless, diverse snare drum samples are used, each one with its own distinctive tone and amount of reverberation, thus creating a truly amazing sense of space.
On the flipside we find a vocal version renamed ‘Over My Head’, featuring fresh talent from Ink Project’s Mel Dymond. Adding vocals to an originally instrumental song is always a touchy subject, as most times the result makes no significant improvement over the original. It could even ruin a track beyond help for some. This is not the case. Quite the contrary, her soothing voice and deep lyrics go hand in hand with the mesmerizing vibes of V.I.V.E.K’s production, adding a whole new dimension to it.
The package is completed with an excellent 170-bpm rework from the man known as Om Unit. The elusive producer responsible for Aeolian and Transport, some of the most remarkable EPs on Civil Music, has managed to push the tempo without compromising the captivating sensitivities of Mel’s vocals. Using mainly samples from the original production, he has constructed his usual half-step beat pattern with some minor tweaks, but it has to be the mantra-like repetition of ‘The only good system is a sound system’, one of System’s catchphrases, that is the critical element in this intense, spine-tingling and highly effective remix.
As this is probably V.I.V.E.K’s most consistent work to date, we really could not choose a favourite cut even if we had to, as this is one of those massive releases that demand to be enjoyed in their entirety. Vinyl lovers don’t have to worry about it, as no track has been left behind in the wax edition. It’s safe to say that this year no record bag will be complete without it, so grab your copy and don’t forget to keep an eye open for upcoming System events and releases.
Mel Dymond is on Soundcloud.