System2 (Underground Audio/System2) Q&A

System2Who are System2?

Two guys from Manchester who have been around the industry for a good 10 years.  Launching a new alias but without giving away too much on who they were previous. The mystery suits us.

Your first release: Waxing Egos EP was just released on Underground Audio with your next release: Smoke & Mirrors EP appearing on your own label soon. What made you decide to set up your own label and how have you found the process?

We aren’t cutting any corners with the label.  Going out on both formats & putting money into artwork & good PR.  We have had a bit of a break from the industry from a different project have ended up with over 30 tracks ready for System2.  Starting up a label seemed like a logical way to get our music out there rather than wait around for feedback from the others.  We are still gonna be signing stuff with other labels but this seems a good way to get the ball rolling for us in our new venture.

Smoke & Mirrors is based around some seriously funky breaks. Where did you get your inspiration from for the track and can you talk us through how you produced it?

It’s very much a funk soul inspired track.  James Brown esk.  There is a small sample of him in there as you might here.  We have rolling kicks as the bass in the tracks. No official bass vst was used, just kicks.

sysliveWhere can people get to hear you play?

Coming up we have gigs at Dry Live in Manchester (March 22), HAUS in Liverpool (March 29), Gorilla in Manchester (April 12) we are hosting this party with Paranoid London & Hanfry Martinez.  We should have a gig in Northampton confirmed in the next few days for March 28, it’s just going through the last stages now.

How would you describe the scene in Manchester at the moment?

Healthy with lots of competition.  You have the big venues like WHP, Victoria Works, Sankeys, Albert Hall.  Then Gorilla, South, Joshua Brooks, Dry Live. Some wicked venues all hosting great parties week by week.  It’s tough as a promoter in Manchester at the minute.  Especially if you run something at one of the smaller venues & you come up against a 10 headliner event at WHP or one of the bigger places

Which artists have influenced you most?

We get our influences from a wide range of artists, but I’d say these producers have made in impact on our System2 work – Paranoid London, Apollonia, Marco Carola, John Dimas, Alex Arnout, Wade, Peace Division

What’s next for System2 in 2014?

System2 002 will follow the debut label release & we have John Dimas on board working the remix.  We have stuff signed to Kaluki too.  Got a huge backlog of music & hopefully people will get the chance to hear most of it in 2014.  We expect a busy year with releas

The Smoke & Mirrors EP is released on March 10 on System2’s own self-titled label



Luv Thang
4 Lux

Every once and a while a bassline arrives that is so dark it runs tingles up and down your spine. Welcome to Luv Thang. The new ep from Alden Tyrell and label boss, Gerd is a relatively uncomplicated affair but one which will have you pushing the volume (up). Not sure if I prefer the Instrumental or the vocal version featuring Jessie Allen’s sassy voice intoning the title. But perhaps that’s simply down to the Instrumental option and the chance to hear that epic, rumbling bassline plus rapid-fire snares all on their own! Meanwhile, Girls Can’t Swim dispenses with any form of melody to deliver what can best be described as twisted Tech. The choice is all yours.

release date: 22/04/13


CCS076_ArtworkAquarius Heaven
Parallela Mundi
Circus Company

Damien and Clement aka dOP aka, the strangely apt, Aquarius Heaven return to the fold with the exquisitely produced Slow Love for Circus Company. Which not only sees shimmering keys chiming beautifully across punctuating beats, but also has Brian Brewster’s commanding vocals play alongside Miss Kitten’s evocative delivery. And you’ve got to love the opening line, ‘I’ve been in and out of love since 1988′! Undoubtedly first rate this inspired production pushes boundaries while feeling just that bit timeless. Three remaining tracks explore different avenues of Brian’s voice with the tense electro rhythms of Caloni working notably.

release: May 6


Soul Button feat. Stee Downes
In My Stride
Underground Audio

Next in line from Underground Audio is this instantly pleasing production from Soul Button. Maybe it’s something to do with the new season but this puts you in mind of warmer climes, stiff drinks and electric dancefloors. Its high on atmosphere with warm pads and relaxed drums combing with Stee Downes enticing vocal on the Original version. Atapy then picks it up with energised bass giving the vocals more edge, leaving Habischmann to give the song a more melancholy backing which particularly suits the tone. Sasch BBC & Caspar finialise matters with the most urgent version that sets moody bass against perky beats to give the unhurried song yet another approach.

Make sure you check out the labels’ site!


Sid Le Rock
Busted with a Bag of Bliss
My Favorite Robot Records

The fourth artist album from Sid Le Rock invites into his world of brooding electronics and breathy voices, or should that read tempts you? It’s one to lose yourself in and one whose textures prove to be richly rewarding, although we are talking introspection – less light, more shade. Much like Depeche Mode’s new album sounds appear out of nowhere to excite and envelop you as the soundtrack constantly evolves over the course of the event. It’s tempting to say that there are no real standouts on Busted with a Bag of Bliss because this journey deserves to be relished in full. However, just for the hell of it the haunting decadence of Foreign Love and the pulsating syncopation of the opening Here We Are win for me.

release: April 22



UndergroundFablesVol1_ArtworkVarious Artists
Underground Fables Vol.1
Underground Audio

If you are not already acquainted with The Underground (DJ agency, Management Company and webzine) then you really should be, especially in light of this initial release on their brand new imprint: Underground Audio. A total of eight tracks comprise Volume one featuring the likes of Finebassen and Dale Howard whose Show Me How and Questions respectively sound suitably invigorating and forward thinking for a new label. JOBE’s excellent Something About Disco which as you can guess from the title explodes in bass fuelled delight accompanied by some, quite frankly, stunning vocal editing. The quality continues throughout as you will experience via the sound clips below, with the remaining music selected from far and wide, ranging from deeper to the funkier, while the emphasis always proudly on the word Underground.

released February 28 vinyl. 25th march (digital)


jammhot press pic 1Jammhot
Move Forward EP
Saints & Sonnets

Jammhot aka Matt Mason, Jamie Adams and Akara Etteh (as you might expect from Huxley and Jimmy Posters label) deliver first rate House Music that plays with your imagination just as much as it moves your body. Chrysalis opens with emotive strings, a playful jazzy bass and a haunting sense of melody that fire up the senses with a lush, cinematic production that is all about tone and texture. Wicked Walk eases the tempo letting its funky bassline provide the energy as another creative selection of sounds adorn yet another accomplished recording. Times When It Was Good, finishes the trio off on a more atmospheric note with crisp drums and yet more of that tasty bass in action.

release: March 11



Cat Walk 1500 x 1500Marc Askhen feat SOS
Cat Walk
The Classic Music Company

You can’t escape the sheer sassiness of Classic’s latest release. In fact, I dare you to try not to move to this effortlessly funky, and extremely infectious bassline, that is all about melody and punch. Marc Ashken’s debut for the label gets frisky with vocal treatments and a blatant subject matter that will have you hot under the collar – X-Rated. Love the simplicity of drums which command your attention with only the bare minimum of extra sounds to pad it out. The Zombie Disco Squad Sleeay Ze Remx gets darker with sleazier notation and strident cowbell, leaving the Acid Jam version to fire the whole thing up circa 1988/2013 while getting freaky in the process.

release: March 11



Enzo Siragusa Press Pic 5Various
Fusic Vol.2
Fuse London

Next in line from Enzo Siragusa’s Fuse imprint is Volume Two with further adventures into deeper territory opening with his and Leifko ‘In My Head’. Built around an insistent story telling voiceover which is backed up by an uncomplicated arrangement of sizzling percussion and unnerving synths this quickly becomes completely compelling. Next is Seb Zito’s Sunday Morning which proceeds to seamlessly build the tension with tough, tribal beats before dropping a fierce bassline alongside surreal voices. Rich NxT ‘Flux Two’ finishes with further unsettling vocals alongside flourishes of percussion and heavy stabs all feeling notably atmospheric.

release: March 11



I Saw You Last Night
Tactal Hots Music

This reminds me of one of my mid eighties residencies and if you’re of a certain age then this nostalgia will hit you all over again. Hi Energy played an important role in shaping the landscape of the early decade’s nightlife with the likes of Patrick Cowley and Bobby Orlando et al producing exciting/ vibrant up-tempo sounds that sprung from 70’s Disco. Wainscott takes the cue from that source, gives it a 2013 twist and plays it straight with tough syncopation, swirling fx and pumping percussion coupled with melodic vocoder vocals. Three different versions follow with a tougher Hi-NRG mix also feeling typically driving.

release: March 4