In just under a decade, Vivek Sharda – or V.I.V.E.K as you’ll probably know him – has become known for his efforts in pushing sound system music and culture. Since the producer’s first release (2007’s OTE001 via On The Edge), combined with outstanding releases on the Deep Medi and Tectonic imprints, V.I.V.E.K’s spent the last two years evolving into a dubstep force to be reckoned with…
In the depths of British underground music and sound system culture, V.I.V.E.K (like many other producers of his calibre) experienced the birth of dubstep – tracing the sound from its drum and bass, garage and dub roots. He started making his own music in the early 2000s, with DnB and dub, but didn’t see his debut release until the aforementioned debut of Natural Mystic/ Sunshine in 2007. V.I.V.E.K has a very clear signature sound – seemingly drawing from his own Indian roots (with use of tablas and other Indian instruments; see Motherland/ VIP) to create music with sharp mid range sounds, light snares and heavy low-end rumbles. Not to mention some beautiful melodic presence.
Feel It is one of the many (and there are a lot of them) iconic tracks V.I.V.E.K has engineered, revealing an obsession with that all-important ‘bottom frequency’. The track brings with it a deeply rooted message that appears in almost every element of his signature sound – as well as his record label and events. And both SYSTEM events and imprint play an integral part in the V.I.V.E.K story. Since its inception in 2013, SYSTEM Music has acted as a vehicle for the producer’s own material, as well as debuting what could perceived as the new wave of dubstep pioneers (Karma, LAS and Gantz). Not forgetting the occasional tsunami release that sweeps everyone off their feet (Mere Sher‘s recent release broke the internet after we all spent six years waiting for it)…
The SYSTEM events takes sound system music back to its roots; a night where both old and new music is played on a clean and weighty custom-built system. No frills, no fuss, just bassweight. In a time where 100% dubstep line ups are disappearing, both in and outside of the UK, and the term ‘dubstep’ is still associated with the commercial noise, SYSTEM has stepped up to become the event for fans of the original dubstep sound.
“The only headliner is the sound itself.”
In a 2013 interview, V.I.V.E.K explained his reasoning for wanting to create a system that was able to play the low frequency impact of the sound we all know and love.
“About four years ago, when things started happening for me, I’d hear my tracks and I’d think ‘That’s not supposed to sound like that! Where’s that low end, that low note, and that just got me thinking. I’d really like to build my own sound’.”
Together with Googs, a friend of his, the producer spent four years building, customising and tuning a sound system. The event gained a following as one that didn’t compromise on the one thing a dubstep dance needs – good quality sound. And the event’s philosophy is one you’ll find again and again in V.I.V.E.K’s work…
“Many sound systems play very loud bass, but we would like to play very deep so people can still stand in front of the speaker and it doesn’t hurt.”
Another of the things SYSTEM is known for is never releasing a line up. It’s a simple concept – but one that again points to a love of sound and the understanding of its important:
“What I found worrying was that people were so busy getting certain names to play at their night and then they cut corners on the sound. This is the other way around, it’s like, it doesn’t matter who’s playing, it doesn’t matter if I’m playing, it doesn’t matter if Mala’s playing. What matters is the quality of the system, that is the headliner at SYSTEM.”
With the SYSTEM dances, the crowd’s not coming for the DJs playing. The crowd (which is one that’s increasingly international) come because they know whatever artist steps up will spin a truly great set that reflects the dubstep scene in all its glory. Pure music, pure sound. And that’s what V.I.V.E.K’s music – be that his own tunes, those he releases or those he plays at SYSTEM – means to us. He’s done more for the sound in seven years than most other producers do in their careers and for that we’re more than thankful!
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- Johnny Osbourne – Fally Ranking (V.I.V.E.K remix) [Greensleeves Records, 2011]
- V.I.V.E.K – Meditation Rock [Deep Medi Musik, 2009]
- V.I.V.E.K – Kismet (Destiny) [Deep Medi Musik, 2012]
- V.I.V.E.K – Pulse [Deep Medi Musik, 2011]
- V.I.V.E.K – Grandfather’s Clock [Deep Medi Musik, 2010]
- V.I.V.E.K – Sunshine [On The Edge, 2007]
- V.I.V.E.K – Big Bang [Deep Medi Musik, 2011]
- V.I.V.E.K – Against The Tide [Tectonic, 2012]
- V.I.V.E.K ft. Mel Dymond – Over My Head [SYSTEM Music, 2013]
- V.I.V.E.K – Soundman VIP [SYSTEM Music, 2013]
- V.I.V.E.K – Diablo [Deep Medi Musik, 2011]
- V.I.V.E.K – Danger [GetDarker, 2012]
- V.I.V.E.K – Out of Reach [Deep Medi Musik, 2012]
- V.I.V.E.K – Sirens [Deep Medi Musik, 2011]
- V.I.V.E.K – Feel It [Deep Medi Musik, 2010]