Review of Spirit in the Machine Album by The Qemists

Here's a list of things you should do once you've bought the Qemists' new album:

The Qemists Spirit in the Machine Album

-Put it in your CD player

-Glue that CD slot up

-Turn the volume knob up to 'max', and snap it off

-Rave your ass off.

Spirit in the System, the second album by this Brighton based D'n'B outfit, is a gem, it really is. It's a high-octane, synth laden explosion in a bass exploration factory, and the way the album grabs you by the sensitive bits and blasts off to the moon is something to be in awe of. Each track features a guest vocalist (Ranging from Enter Shikari's Rou to The Automatic's Rob), each one singing/screaming/bellowing over what sounds like the pulse of an adroid built specifically to dance for seventeen hours in a dutch nightclub, the disc swinging through a whole menagerie of styles on it's journey. There's dubstep (Proper grimy, bass-stuffed dubstep as well, none of this new stuff), there's tinges of hardcore and of trance, the whole thing skewered with a Drum 'n' Bass tip that's impossible to ignore - and by 'ignore', I mean 'not dance like an amphetamine riddled nutter'.

I like this album a lot, as I'm sure you can tell.

On first listen, it's impossible not to notice the pendulum influence:- the two groups share a lot both musically and in production style, but The Qemists have a sense of urgency and of energy to them that Pendulum never had. The Qemists feel important and essential, a whirling torrent of beats and synthesis that makes you feel like you have to be there RIGHT NOW to hear them and to properly appreciate. Pendulum managed to lose their way and become a Drum 'n' Bass boyband in the space of three albums, whereas The Qemists just seem to go from strength to strength.

There are a few mis-steps here and there:- things don't quite kick in as expected in a few places, and quite often the tracks contain little more than two or three lines of sampled vocals, but these are things you will come to love about the album on repeat listens, no matter how much they jar the ear on an initial listen. (And don't worry about repeat listens, I had this album on repeat in my car for the best part of a week.)

Wholeheartedly recommended.

Chris Spann

Official Site -