Review of Systematic Colours Volume 2 mixed by Marc Romboy.
Don't you just love the label samplers that are really worth forking out for? Not just a mere showcase of previous releases by each artist/band on the roster, but a collection of fresh unreleased gems. Well, I do. Here we have label sampler 'Systematic Colours Volume 2' is sadly not that kinda release. It's more of a best of, if you will. Put together as a mix, much like its predecessor, Systematic Colours Volume 1 mixed by Stephen Bodzin, SC Vol 2 sees us graced with the mixing talent of Systematic Records label co-founder, DJ/Producer Marc Romboy. Some 5 years and 50 releases since the label started Romboy has brought Systematic to a very well respected place in the global house scene. Now for the 'house-phobic' of you, this isn't your average house. This is minimal house, with a hefty kick of the Chicago dance sound. Often pushing progressive, but not in a bad way. Rich and atmospheric synths amidst a myriad of clicks, glitches and an odd tonality that pitches it into the less than mainstream dancefloors all over the world.
Things kick off with a suitably stripped down beat, Marc Romboy Vs Chelonis R. Jones. Percussion shifting in pitch, disjointed use of reverb. The synth soon follows suit, modular stabs soon to be accompanied by a more than Prince-esque vocal. It's a nice touch. Inevitably the beat gathers pace and texture, and things start to get abit analogue. Audio Soul Project's 'Taking Shape (Version 2)' is about as trancey as it gets, but it's buried under waves of percussive flutters building morse code bleeps and swoops. The first half of the track is abit slow, but its worth waiting for a more cut-up approach. As the mix progresses the Berlin feel starts to take hold. That old school sound brought with the crisp, new and state of the art electronics of the Berlin electronic music elite. It's emotive, deep, yet enthused and motivated.
The mix shifts through stages. Stripping down, building up, sometimes seeming to almost pause altogether. SC Vol 2 is the sound of the European tech-electro-house underground. Bubbling up through the cracks in the pavement. At times its tribal, I wont say trance-like, cause its not really, but rich synthesiser tones build in resonance to wash through the rigid industrial framework. I'd rather call it shoegazey, but even that doesn't quite do it. I gather that if you're still reading its no doubt cause you're either a friend or you're reading this cause you're already into the sound. So I will say only this; If you're into it, and don't already own a lot of the Systematic back catalogue, go get this.