Sound systems are sacred. The transcendental power unleashed by a proper rig is a force bordering on mystical – a magic untouchable by even the music itself. Quality promoters, producers, and fans fully appreciate its importance: with the right setup, a party or even a sound can be elevated into something so much more. No artist harnesses the total potential of sound system music quite like V.I.V.E.K.
As a producer, a DJ, a label head, and an event curator, Vivek is better described as a sound system activist than through any of the roles alone. The lifelong musician and cultural conductor is an icon to the sound system scene. His impact upon the realm of dubstep and BPMs beyond is invaluable and ubiquitous. Vivek is the founder and curator of the System club night, an established staple in the UK landscape. Following the event’s continued success, Vivek launched the System Music label in 2013. The name says it all: for the UK-based artist, sound systems are everything.
Such is the essence of the System Music imprint. While not strictly a dubstep label, the platform is home to some of the most energetic and highly anticipated 140 releases in recent memory (including Kromestar – “Mere Sher”). The label is characterized by the depth of its tracks, rather than focus on any specific genre or tempo. Before the inception of System Music, Vivek released predominantly on Deep Medi, and the legendary labels share many common qualities. Their catalogues consist of music meant to be felt, both physically and emotionally.
System Music is also distinguished by its emphasis on dub-flavored tracks – momentous celebrations of sound system music’s (particularly dubstep’s) reggae roots. But the personality of the label and Vivek’s own musical imagination is most profoundly encapsulated by the imprint’s first release. Asteroids/Over My Head is a 140 masterpiece fated for dubstep’s history books.
The EP epitomizes Vivek’s signature style: even by dubstep’s standards, these tunes are deep. They don’t simply beg for a proper sound system, but necessitate it – the most resonant notes of “Asteroids” can’t even be heard on anything less. The tracks are visceral, immersive enough to drown in – almost literally. On a well-endowed dance floor, Vivek’s tunes rumble with the sub-frequent vibrations known to knock the air straight from one’s lungs. But – contrary to popular perception – dubstep isn’t always a violent affair. Here, quite the opposite. Vivek is a master of the meditative vibes that define the genre’s original tradition, sometimes soothing, sometimes creeping, and always thick enough to swim in.
And, of course, there’s an intimacy to Vivek’s productions captured by Mel Dymond’s vocals in “Over My Head”. Her poignant crooning floats through the track’s sonic layers in a hypnotic incantation that seems to describe the sound itself. The vocal element rings with the intensely personal resonance that gives dubstep its transformational power.
Today, Vivek’s legacy as a leader in sound system music and the corresponding culture is well-respected. As an artist and curator of the sound, Vivek holds a special place at the soul of the sound system movement. Keep an ear to Vivek and System Music, and check out Vivek’s agency page for tour dates, booking information, and more.