London party crew Twin System have joined countless other labels (more the merrier) in releasing isolation-smashing lockdown charity compilations. It’s called Victim of the System. But what system, I wonder? For me, it calls to mind two that compete for our compliance. First, the sound system, in all its polylithic glory. Then “the system”, encompassing capitalism, marketing, surveillance, racism etc. These evils function systematically to control bodies and minds. But so do sound systems, instead enshrined with a force of positivity, not destruction. Could this 28-track compilation represent the latent energy of the UK’s fleet of speaker stacks? They have lay dormant during lockdown, their little red “on” lights ready to blink open like the eye of a behemoth rudely awoken from slumber.
One track amongst many on this release – which also features Mosca, Hajj and Otik – that truly warrants beastly comparison comes courtesy of Fake Rolex‘s Mucho Sueño. “Save me” utters its expressionless refrain, dwarfed against an avalanche of pummelling kicks that form the track’s stern, one-note bassline (who needs a melody when compressed low-end percussion sounds this good, this devastating). What I’d give to feel the rattle of this on a fat rig now…
We have a distinctly unsound system of power in the UK. It has turned its back on vulnerable communities, leaving labels and artists to plug the gaps by raising money for causes such as Brixton Soup Kitchen, as this compilation does. Since its earliest days, dance musics have mobilised people to disturb wider systems of oppression through the absolute vibratory power of speaker stacks. Even during lockdown, starved of sub-bass, we feel the warmth of its resonance.
Victim of the System is out July 18th on Twin System | Pre-order here