- A self-confessed basshead, London's V.I.V.E.K has worked harder than most to ensure the continued presence of deep and spacious dubstep in the capital. On top of releasing a string of largely great EPs through Mala's Deep Medi, he's recently gone one better and built his own soundsystem in response to a lack of decent clubs in which to experience the full physical heft of his music. His new System label is named after the club night where his rig resides, and this first 12-inch offers suitably sub-loaded fare to match.
"Asteroids" is as vast and cosmic as its name suggests: there's precious little to it, save a huge void carved out by a sub-bass drone so deep it's practically inaudible on home speakers, which leaves space for a few snare hits and percussive bleeps, each drowned in reverb and leaving a trail of vapour coasting in its wake. "Over My Head" is a vocal version of the same track, its female narrator, Mel Dymond, "drifting forward with eyes open wide" through the heart of the gulf.
Where a great deal of purist dubstep now feels frustratingly clean and lacking in the rawness of the genre's early days, "Asteroid"'s pulsating subs are forceful enough to induce intense sensations of vertigo, elevating it above the majority of V.I.V.E.K's contemporaries. It's easy to hear why he built a custom system to showcase this stuff on, though—without suitable amplification it's a very sparse listen, and lacks the immediacy of his earlier releases for Deep Medi. Om Unit's remix of "Over My Head" seems acutely aware of this. He bolsters it with rolling cymbal tics and a springy, triplet-led rhythm that appears to run both backwards and forwards at the same time—a disorienting counterpart to the original's sensory immersion.
B1 Over My Head feat. Mel Dymond
B2 Over My Head (Om Unit Remix)