SHA News // System Of Survival / Needle And Thread [BPitch Control]
Artist: System Of Survival
Title: Needle And Thread
Label: BPitch Control
Release Date: 24th August 2012
Imagine life as a colourful patchwork of snapshots – its extraordinary and defining experiences as well as its little surprises and banalities, all shuffled and laid out in no particular order or pattern, yet inextricably bound together, lined up and exposed to any interested observer.
This kind of insight into lived experience, into memories retained, cannot simply be described as autobiographical: an autobiography cultivates an image, takes a stance and situates the person in a desired social and cultural context. The patchwork described here, on the other hand, displays fragments of ambiguous significance.
The observer if fed an unannotated and apparently random selection of data that require their own interpretation, yet also reflect the observer’s own experience and therefore mingle with their own memories. It is in this form that we welcome the long-overdue and keenly awaited debut album of the Italian DJ, remixer and producer duo System Of Survival – “Needle and Thread”.
The twelve tracks of “Needle and Thread” combine to form an imaginary journey through the musical world of the protagonists. Their output is rich and varied, for it is based on almost twenty years of highly successful musical collaboration: Pietro ”Bingo” De Lisi’s soul and funk background, Alex Carpetieri’s roots in Detroit and Chicago techno, their first joint success in the clubs of their home city of Salerno and finally their big break in their current centre of operations – as residents of the legendary Circo Loco / DC10 in Ibiza.
“Needle and Thread” tells of never-ending Balearic party madness; it reflects the intimate, creative atmosphere of the DC10 crew and presents house as a globally celebrated and universally understood formula. Bingo and Alex are masters of this formula in all its varieties: each of the twelve tracks contain pieces of the complex musical patchwork that defines the pair’s artistic background – but not in the sense of a retrospective or obvious citations. Rather as playfully thrown together fragments, removed from their context and plucked out of time, thus able to shift and transform, but nevertheless universally recognisable.
System of Survival take these building blocks and construct their very own house universe, preserving it throughout the entire album – beats at a restrained tempo create a calm, powerful pulse; classic sounds and melodic figures of hazy beauty that repeatedly drift by like mist, lending each and every track that unique balance of dance floor energy and intense cerebral cinema.
The mixture reaches maximum intensity in the delightfully weightless synth pop track “W Pitch Down”, the track “X-Pert” that fans will know from System’s EP “Rough Everytime”, and the bass-line bomb “Attitude”. This is where Bingo’s penchant for 80s techno classics and blaxploitation films makes itself heard – although once more without resorting to simple citations.
Three tracks feature inspired performances from selected guest vocalists. System Of Survival invited some old friends into the studio, including Anna Gi (on “X-Pert”) and Pietro Caprioglio, aka Autre. The latter, best known in Italy for his releases on Roundabout Sound, Kosmophono and System Of Survival’s own label Ianvs71, lends his captivating voice to the title track.
The album’s ‘star guest’ is undoubtedly the Hercules and Love Affair singer Shaun J. Wright. He instils a perfect 90s old-school house vibe into “Attitude” and stamps his distinctive charm on this album highlight. The most unusual track is surely “Crash What” – a cool, down-tempo number that starts off with quirkily tweaked Joey Beltram sound snippets, then suddenly transforms into a captivating pop track with crooner vocal samples.
Once more System Of Survival go about their mission with consistency and poise, breathing a completely new, forward-looking character into their sound patchwork of the past. What would be more appropriate than for System of Survival to release this great first album on their own label Ianvs71? Originally this was precisely their plan, but as so often a coincidence changed the course of events: while being driven by a friend from a Circo Loco gig to Ibiza Airport Ellen Allien heard “Needle and Thread” on the car stereo and was mightily impressed – and the rest, as they say, is history…