Craftsmanship, unity, culture. These are the three strongest frequencies that resonate through every role V.I.V.E.K plays in UK bass music and contemporary dub culture: Artist, label owner, deep-drawing world-touring selector and the man behind one of London’s most important dances, SYSTEM.
It’s in his roots: Southall born-and-bred, V.I.V.E.K has been immersed in soundsystem culture since his earliest musical footsteps. A student of eminent systems such as Aba Shanti and Jah Shaka, total respect to the culture’s rich heritage is evident in all his operations from his vast dot-joining line-ups that span from dub to jungle to the way he values and celebrates music on his highly collectable vinyl-only imprint System Music via his evergreen remix of renowned singer Johnny Osbourne on blueprint imprint Greensleeves for more.
Arresting full attention and imagination both as a DJ and producer since he emerged in the late 2000s, V.I.V.E.K’s music has been pressed and blessed on key imprints such as his own System Music, Deep Medi and Tectonic. His creations are a crucial brew comprising everything from heavyweight bass hypnosis to flighty, steppy garage hybrids via sweet dub soul and all-out low-end pressure. His self-built custom sound system SYSTEM, meanwhile, is a unique force of nature in UK bass music culture; the most prominent modern system to be established this decade, it’s a whole new chapter in the UK’s longstanding and illustrious history of barrier-breaking sound system communities. As such, it attracts committed fans from around the globe and selectors from across system spectrum.
His label System Music has the same treasured, trusted status; not only as a source of legit never-to-be-repressed artefacts that prize the real value of music, but also as a key platform for encouraging forward-thinking, powerful system music from across the OG – freshmen continuum. Karma to Kromestar, Sleeper to SP:MC, LAS to Egoless: System Music’s celebration of bass music’s sonic scope and nurturing of talent and craft ensures its consistent buy-on-sight ranking.
Most importantly it’s as a selector that V.I.V.E.K’s position is the most vital. The selective tailor of rich, immersive and eclectic sessions, few DJs dig as deep, join the dots or draw for dubs quite like this east London operator. Accentuating his influence as a producer, engineer, dubsmith, label curator and system builder; his creative excursions as a DJ, both on the dancefloor and the airwaves broadcaster on the likes of Rinse FM and Radar Radio, galvanise his status as one of the most respected, influential and singular artists who is driven by nothing but craftsmanship, unity and the sense of culture UK bass music and contemporary dub culture needs to thrive and inspire.
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