Up it's called and Up it takes us - System 7's new album soars.
I get entangled in a wonderful, crazy dilemma when faced with a new System 7 album, each time I play it a track jumps up grabs me and says, "I'm the one! I'm the best!" and promptly blows my socks off (orange today if you wondered). The problem is that it's a different track each time...mind you come to think of it where's the dilemma in that? Not too long to wait before setting sail once more for new sonic horizons (can it really be 3 years since Phoenix?) I have no doubt that all Systemistas will adore UP - and blimey we need it. Anyway here's the word from S'n'M themselves...
Positive Noise: This opening track is one of our collaborations with A Guy Called Gerald. The intro section is taken directly from a live recording we made at Gerald's studio while writing this track. We're really happy with the combination of melodic chords and groove and Gerald's trademark throbbing bass sound.
Funky Gong: Funky Gong Minoru plays guitar and DJs with the Japanese band Joujouka also with our friend DJ Tsuyoshi Suzuki. This track is based on our remix of Funky Gong's track "Falling" and we came up with this great groove that we were keen to develop into a track for our album. This track mixes metal guitar with a definite electro edge. We've titled it using Funky Gong's name and the title will intrigue fans of our former band Gong.
Berimbau: The berimbau is a traditional Brazilian musical instrument used in combination with the wonderful Capoeira martial arts and dance moves. On this track we used samples of the berimbau with a deep tribal tech groove to create something that we find quite original. At one point we quote from the old System 7 track "7:7 Expansion" (a collaboration with Youth) that also used a berimbau sample. In addition we have a guest performance from Yuji Katsui of Japanese band ROVO on electric violin – he’s also a berimbau fan and he plays one.
The Mind Boggles: This is perhaps the most intense track on the album imbued with a heavy bubbling techno groove throughout, together with lots of pulsating echo guitar. The long intro build up starts with orchestral chords and dark harmonies.
At Last: A deep techno groove coupled with large amounts of Steve's trademark echo guitar. At one point in the multi layered guitars we use a sample from one of our own tracks "Sirenes" (collaboration with Laurent Garnier).
E-Fusion: Very much based around Miquette's dreamy EMS synthsiser loops this is in some ways the most psychedelic track on the album. The long outro is somewhat reminiscent of our ambient classic album "Rainbow Dome Music". It should be noted that while this System 7 album doesn't actually include a downtempo track, several of the album tracks have long intros and outros and this provides a representation of the ambient aspect of our sound.
Dolphin Smack (System 7 Remix): Dolphin Smack is a track by Josh Wink with a long ambient middle drop down section that we started to love to mix in with other tracks in our DJ sets and even in one spot in our live set. While in Berlin we had the idea that if we made a System 7 remix of Josh's track, as it's elements had worked so well in our sets it could work really well on the album. We contacted Josh and he liked the idea and sent us the parts - and later we sent him a semi-completed version that he approved - and so here it is, blending beautifully out of the previous track E-Fusion, and including some of Steve's famous glissando guitar.
I Seem To Be a Verb: Another collaboration with A Guy Called Gerald this track is a bit slower than the rest with a lyrical bouncy groove and a snatch of Twin Peaks baritone guitar.
Plasmatic Park: Ending the album with a bit of a bomb blast this track grows into a nasty groove and features heavily processed electric guitar ending with a wild solo.
The CD comes in a stylish gatefold digi-pak with a 4 page booklet.
Also available: Positive Noise 12-inch with exclusive mixes from UP.
Tracks: [67'18"]Track information:
Pass the Magic Hat