Tufnell Park is an area of North London that hugs the borders of the Boroughs of Islington and Camden. In the heart of the area there’s a venue called the Tufnell Park Dome, a space described as “Village hall – meets school hall – meets dirty back end of a pub.” Away from trendy East-end basements and the “secret Shoreditch warehouse” revival, dubstep spearhead V.I.V.E.K has been taking things back-to-basics with his hand-built and custom-tuned ‘System’. There are no line-up announcements, DJ booth, relentless queues, fancy decor or light show. No checking-in, i-phonographers or feed refreshing – the focus is purely on sound and vibe. People of all walks of life are coming together to get stuck in on the dancefloor and be healed by the frequencies on offer.
System Music is to be the first extension of this new dubstep mecca. Until recently the project was run alongside Mala (who explains in detail with Mixmag), but due to his increasing number of commitments, V.I.V.E.K is now flying solo, and has swiftly moved to develop it into a record label.
By the sounds of the first release (‘Asteroids’/’Over My Head’), including a characteristically weighty Om Unit remix, the material System Music has scheduled mirrors the deep and meditative character of the project’s ethos. This hardly comes as a surprise considering the consistently sub-driven 12″s he – real name Vivek Sharda – has dropped on Deep Medi and Tectonic over the years.
We invited him to take the reigns on this week’s YouTube Session, and have since been enjoying the musical and cultural delights of Krishnamurti, Bally Sagoo, Dave Chapelle, Sister Rasheda and Adam F.
Sister Rasheda – Hear My Cry & Dub
“One of my favourite dub tunes. I remember listening to this track non stop on my way to college on my walkman. Sister Rasheda’s voice just captivates me. Sometimes when I feel low, I turn to this. Very positive and uplifting vocals.”
Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
“Moving on to an absolute classic. I think everyone can in some way relate to the vocals. Sometimes you just want to get away as fast as possible from a scenario. I know I have!”
Adam F – Metropolis
What can I say! Monster riddim from Adam F. My favourite dnb track ever. I was fourteen when I heard this and it changed me forever. So ahead of its time and still sounding as fresh as it did 17 years ago.
Krishnamurti – Who Am I?
“From music to knowledge. Krishnamurti is one of the great thinkers of our time. His explanations hold more substance then others. I could listen to him all day. His voice has a powerful tone which makes me want to listen to him. Very few people have that.”
Ben Frost – Theory Of Machines
“This piece of music takes me to a far away land where the sun doesn’t shine. It was sent to me by Dan from Old Apparatus and I’ve listened to it everyday since he sent it. For me this is just a truly amazing piece of music. I cant explain it but it has a real emotion to it that resonates with me.”
David Gallo: Underwater Astonishments
“This clip is amazing. Just watch. Nature is a deep as it gets”
Bally Sagoo – Chura Liya Hai
“Growing up Bally Sagoo was at the forefront of Asian music. He was the first to mix in reggae styles and heavy bass into north Indian instrumentation. This track was a firm favourite of mine. I love the bass melody.”
Dave Chapelle On How Women Dress
“I’m going to leave you with a great sketch from man like Dave Chapelle. Don’t judge a book by its cover, because normally they are never what they seem. We live in a world where you can been seen as a specific type of person based on the perception you give, and the appearance you present. But these two instances can be a total fabrication. Keep it real as you’re only lying to yourself!”
V.I.V.E.K releases ‘Asteroids / Over My Head’ via System Music on March 25. More info here.