SYSTEM 1ST BIRTHDAY

With System Music’s inaugural release, SYSTM001, only a week away from release, we felt the timing was right to share, quite possibly Ben Donoghue’s finest work to date. Sacrificing much of the night to capture the invigorating atmosphere layered with the melodic euphoria uniting music and people, these photographs truly echo that breathtaking experience felt at the Dome in Tufnell Park last month. As expected, SYSTEM is going from strength to strength pulling dubstep back to its foundational roots, whilst making its followers fall in love with the sound all over again. If you haven’t attended a SYSTEM night, you really are missing out. Hopefully these images will inspire you, so enjoy the feature, and keep any eye on the SYSTEM fan page for the announcement of the next event.


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I was privileged to shoot the night before doors opened. When I arrived at seven, Vivek let me in, and then went straight back to setting up for doors to open at nine. Everyone was calm, but getting on with what had to be done. No sense of urgency, they knew what they were doing.

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These two were the first two in the queue, waiting to get a copy of the limited run of vinyls on offer that night. The guy was hanging outside before I got there. Dedicated.

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As a birthday special, Oxman & Papa Face from Dub Vendor were there selling Ska and Reggae records. The outlet was once labelled by TimeOut magazine as “the best source of Jamaican music in Europe”. There was also a live sax player, who had an effect box, similar to the siren Vivek uses. He could add delay, reverb, etc. to change the sound from the sax. He was playing riffs, as well as using the effects to carry erie sax noises across the floor.

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SYSTM001: VIVEK – Asteroids / Over My Head // (Om Unit Remix)

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The System roots music started at nine and finished around eleven thirty. There’s always a vibe with the reggae, people bouncing in their own space as the room begins to fill up. Vivek got on the mic when the room was full, welcomed everyone, then told us who was playing that night. Usually, it’s just one other artist, however everyone’s jaw dropped as he read out the list; Benny Ill (Horsepower Productions), Commodo, Kromestar. Benny Ill’s set was sick, and surprisingly, he was the only one using vinyl.

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Commodo was on after, and he smashed it. His remix of Mala’s ‘Miracles’ was a highlight for me, it tore the place apart… with a reload naturally.

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What I love about the System dance is that everyone knows their music extremely well. When the crowd hears an intro, they all simultaneously erupt into cheers, followed with a roar of ‘ahhhhhhh’s as the bass drops…

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The essentials; beer, food, and high grade.

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Vivek’s set was on point. He unleashed Badman VIP, doing to a crowd what it usually does. He also played some specific music to get the sax man involved as well. This allowed him to play his own riffs between tracks and at the various breakdowns.

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Always a welcomed sight at the dance.

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Lights came on around four and the night finished soon after. I distinctly remember security coming to the front asking Vivek, with a friendly manner to wrap up. But, seeing as they were skanking with the crowd, getting on the same vibe, Vivek played them some more tunes. One of the doormen even asked for “one more tune” as the barman was clearly sick of it and wanted the music off, lol!!

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Photos by Ben Donoghue.

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