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Get Inside the Mind of Underground System: An Interview on the Tracks of their Dazzling EP ‘Looking In.

Kono Vidovic April 13, 2023 240 3 5


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Get ready to be blown away, as we sit down with the incredible members of Underground System, who have just returned to their home from home label, Razor-N-Tape, with their latest EP, “Looking In.” This 5-track masterpiece is a dazzling display of the band’s genre-defying sound, ranging from low-slung balearic grooves to driving left-field funk and urgent uptempo backbeats. With their signature flute and synth soundscapes, driving percussion, and catchy offbeat vocal hooks, Underground System has honed their unique sound to perfection on this record.

Underground System Press Pic 2022 Looking In EP

But that’s not all – on the B-side, RNT mainstays Nenor and Clive From Accounts have stepped up to the plate, taking two of the tracks into clubbier territory with a pair of remixes that are primed to get audiences on their feet and the room shaking. It’s a testament to the versatility and adaptability of Underground System’s music, and we couldn’t be more excited to hear more about it.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to be transported to a world of sonic wonder as we delve into the tracks on “Looking In” with the one and only Underground System.

Underground System introduce ‘Looking In’.

“This EP feels like a further exploration of juxtaposed elements that make Underground System stand out. Our hybrid production approach of marrying electronic music with organic instrumentation, tightly written song forms mashed up with minimalist grooves, and singing off-beat, sometimes ethereal, vocal content with focused lyrics. A live band working so closely with dance music labels is further proof of this concept. The EP title itself, ‘Looking In’, appears introspective at first, but eventually reveals itself to be anything but. Music that feels like Underground System, and wouldn’t be mistaken for anyone else.”

Underground System - Looking In EP

Looking In.

For the title track on this EP, it was a long form exploration of various genres we like to blend within the band, and a pointed lyrical climax that paints a picture of action in the face of

inequality. We dug further into stylistic gestures first explored on our debut LP, opening with chopped rhythmic flute layers, which for Domenica, who was a contemporary chamber music flutist in her past life, is a favorite element to experiment with. It features flute as the driving force of the groove and feels reminiscent of minimalist music; blending with the arpeggiator and giving it a texture that’s ambiguous to the sound of the instrument. The drums in this tune are performed by Chris Eggan (Chk Chk Chk) who also was the collaborating videographer/director to our music video ‘Sleazy.’

Sleazy.

‘Sleazy’ represents a progression in songwriting for the band. A lyrical (and visual. check the music video!) ode to spontaneity, loneliness, and fun with strangers in the big city. We were able to channel a certain mood and a tunefulness that we perhaps had been searching for but hadn’t found until now. We’ve been collaborating with Vito Roccoforte (drummer for The Rapture and Poolside) hanging in his studio and had the chance to work with him on this track.

A scrappy 808 drum machine combined with Vito’s live drums and percussion meets up with the slinky bassline and Domenica’s vocals that are caught somewhere between ethereal and forceful. For Domenica, it’s a special song because it’s the first time she experimented vocally with a softer tone on the lower register. The vocal sounds slightly reminiscent of Debbie Harry according to several people that work with us, which is a NY stamp of approval. On bass and co-production is our friend and Razor-N-Tape co-owner, JKriv.

Your Distraction.

Domenica says “This tune stuck with me immediately when Peter played the demo of the groove. It was just the bassline with the call and response of the synth lines. Sometimes in our writing process, lyrics and vocal melody come out quickly and this was one of them.” Our friend, Jason Lindner (David Bowie, Now vs. Now) worked on this one with us using different Roland synthesisers; playing synth stabs, and improvising on the guitar pedal driven sparkly sounds

featured in the track, which were further chopped up to accent their rhythmic feel. Chris Egan back on drums for this one.

Sleazy (Nenor Remix).

The band loves this remix, particularly in the sense that it’s a very proper remix that maintained and followed the entire vocal form. We also enjoy when remixers take more liberties or go

somewhere experimental with a song, but Nenor was able to expertly flip the groove while maintaining the quality and spirit of the vocal in a subtle way that takes some real maturity and depth as a producer. Not to mention it’s just extra fun with that big bouncy bassline at the drop and clever breakdowns sprinkled throughout.

Looking In (Clive From Accounts Remix).

An appropriate contrast of remixing style to the ‘Sleazy’ Nenor remix which kept the full vocals of ours intact, Clive took the most long form/dancey feeling tune on the EP into even groovier and dubbier territory. Love the hi-hat mix and swing that is pulled out to the fore, and the anchor of the track being another great big bassline punctuated with vocal chops and jazzy guitar work that’s sitting just right. Looking forward to playing this one out on wax for DJ gigs to come.

End conclusion.

In conclusion, Underground System’s “Looking In” EP is a stunning testament to the power of genre-mashing and creative expression. The band has managed to create a sound that is uniquely their own, while simultaneously paying homage to the many musical traditions that have influenced them.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with the band and gain insight into their creative process and the making of this exceptional EP. We encourage all music lovers to give “Looking In” a listen and experience the magic for themselves.

Thank you, Underground System, for sharing your time and talent with us. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for this dynamic group of musicians. To our readers, we invite you to engage with their music, connect with the band on social media, and show your support for this incredible group.


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Kono Vidovic at Dirty Disco
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Kono Vidovic

DJ | MUSIC CURATOR & SELECTOR | PODCAST MAKER | BLOGGER Professional online interpreneur. Coffee practitioner. Electronic music culture maven. Total music guru. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Food & sports fanatic.

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