Ralph Lawson is a legendary figure in the dance scene. Spawned from the legendary Back to Basics club night in Leeds, Ralph has championed electro-house music by first being a DJ and then a producer. He is the brain child behind 2020 Soundsystem that is a live band playing dance music in a funky way.
It's good to see dance pioneers looking for a live format for their sound. It shows a certain amount of progression and entertainment value that is appreciated in this current age. 'The Sweatshop Studios' is the first disc on 'No Order' and shows an array of sounds ranging from the electronic to p-funk. It's definitely the p-funk influence that sells it for me. Fernando Pulichino on bass creates an infectious dirty sound with slap on some of the tracks. Combining that with the synth sounds synonymous with dance music and electro bleeps it all adds an ethereal edge however the essence of all the tracks are made to make you stomp. 'Tape' is a pulsating track that very much holds loyal to the energy of Basics showing progressive music at its best. 'Grey Clouds' is a more instant and catchy tune that has good use of guitar chords. There are also guest vocals from Dominique and Glen from The Glass on 'No Order' and 'Won't Bother'. Their vocals to me create a city chic lazy style that has a lot of character and attitude. Diane Charlemagne, who sang on 'Inner City Life' with Goldie, showcases on 'High' which for me is the best track on this first disc. The drumming is very cool also on this track.
The second disc 'Live At Sonar' really does capture the essence of Sonar, Barcelona and if you've ever been you realise that this can only be a good thing. This disc is more experimental and sound-scape orientated than the first which appears to be more song based. So this makes for great comedown music and showcases lots of interesting sounds.
Overall it's great value for money. You're getting a lot of well made tracks that have real class and style about them. It's utilising the creativity of p-funk and mashing it with contemporary electronic sounds. It has an attitude that can be respected and a groove to make you move. Cool.
Check their myspace to see what a range in influences these guys have.
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