Various Artists - Systems EP 1 ['95 Reissue]
Released 13th March
Originally released via Terraform Records in 1995, ‘Systems E.P. 1’ was certainly too ahead of its time to meet with success back in the day. That said, as years went by, so swelled the reputation of this sextet of visionary, alien-engineered jams, soon turning the once $1 bin find into a highly sought-after item on the second-hand market. Much to the displeasure of hardline speculators but for the greatest joy of skint ’90s sound lovers, KOC reissues the Systems experience in full force and effect.
Harbouring a trio of submersible ambient-tech and 303-driven breaksy weapons, Red Shift’s own dedicated A-side has lost nothing of its soul-fulfilling appeal. Getting the ball rolling, ‘3rd Moon’ skippers us to brightly hued sound niches, where trancey acid motifs merge with slo-moving ambient pads and uptempo breakbeat on a frenzy. Laced with a hint of bleepy abstraction, the more lascivious, piano-laden ‘Audity’ then shifts the scope to further introspective depths before ‘Himalayas’ takes us on a mind-expanding ride across imaginary snow-capped summits and lushly forested slopes.
Flip it over and here comes Ether and their mightily explosive ‘Detonator’ – a wild and woolly acid number that shall not go without conjuring up memories of the early Prodigy’s mid-nineties rave exploits. Not to be confused with that of his contemporary Australian counterpart, Escape Artist’s ‘Rain Eternal’ evokes the soulful RnB suavity of Sade’s classics, adorned with otherworldly organic warbles and addictive piano stabs. Constants of Nature vibey closer ‘Slow Symmetry Breaking’ rounds off the journey on a further distinctively atmospheric note, perfect to muster up the energy and drive to take it on the lam from our crazy world.
a1. Red Shift - 3rd Moon
a2. Red Shift - Audity
a3. Red Shift - Himalayas
b1. Ether - Detonator
b2. Escape Artist - Rain Eternal
b3. Constants of Nature - Slow Symmetry Breaking