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2020Soundsystem – Falling

2020Soundsystem return with their second album ‘Falling’ and tour Europe in September / October and America in November.  ‘Falling’ sees the band coming of age and managing to develop their unique and distinctive sound.   The acclaimed first album “No Order” featured guest vocalists and a live set recorded at Sonar festival.  The task of the second album has been to develop the bands own vocals and most importantly to capture the energy and flow of their live performance.   2020Soundsystem have always been about live shows.  In fact live gigs came first, even before there were any tracks. 

Founder member Ralph Lawson explains what happened,
“The 2020Soundsystem has its origins in a request from Fat City Records in Manchester to make a mix for their 'Stars on 33' series.  I was totally bored of everything at the time and wanted to try something different.  I wanted to mix records from 1979-1999 and many weren't done on computers so you couldn't beat match them. I wanted to find a new way to mix them. I spoke about it with Danny 'Dubble D' Ward and he suggested that he played kit over the records and handled any changes in tempo and then made our own 'breaks' coming out of the tracks.  I would then mix the next record into the drums that were now tight. Basically the idea worked and I still love the mix we achieved.  We left the idea for a while but I became obsessed with putting a band together.  It had been a dream since my teenage years and became an itch I still felt I needed to scratch.  So when I was sent a demo by two Argentineans called Silver City (Fernando Pulichino and Julian Sanza) that featured live bass and keyboards I put 2 and 2 together and we made 4.   Our first gig was at BRB in Leeds in 2003.  It was more of a jam over my records as we didn't have any songs.  Over time we started to get our own hooks and those then became the basis of original tracks”.

This unusual way to start a band became the defining reason for their unique style. Their reputation as a live force spread quickly and they were invited to play the highly respected clubs Fabric, Back To Basics, The Subclub and Bugged Out!  At the time clubs were only just starting to accommodate live shows and these were usually only one man and his laptop.  Wherever they went the Soundsystem smashed it and confidence started to grow.   The guys hired out a studio space that picked up the name ‘Sweatshop Studios’ as all the work was getting done for no money.  Focusing on developing the jams into tracks became the mission and a purple patch in 2004 produced the first singles ‘All Systems Go” and “Experience”.   The band were surprised to see the singles sell well and gig offers increased.  Remix requests started to come in and the band duly obliged for Brighton based Mula and New York’s The Glass.  The work for the Glass was universally well received and became championed by John Digweed on his radio show and mix for Fabric Records.  A few gigs were arranged together with The Glass and the bands got on so well that they decided to go into the studio together and this produced two album tracks for ‘No Order’ including the title track. 

In 2005 the Soundsystem were invited to play the world re-knowned Sonar festival.  Not only did they play it but they closed the whole festival on the famous outdoor stage as daylight came up for 10,000 people.   This gig really propelled the project and offers now came in from around the world.  The band found festivals were the perfect place for a show of their size and have to date played many of the most important ones on the planet including playing to 25,000 people at Exit Serbia and Creamfields Argentina.   Other festival highlights include playing at Glastonbury, T in the Park,  Creamfields, Global Gathering, Skolbeats Brasil, Sync Athens, Homelands and Fortdance Russia. The group already realized that the key to their success was live shows so they arranged to record the set at Sonar including positioning several mics to capture the crowd noise.   They now had enough tracks to complete the first album and present it on two discs entitled “Sweatshop Studios” and “Live at Sonar”.   2007 saw the band touring ‘No Order’ across Europe, South America and Australia.  Notable gigs came at Watergate Berlin, Nouveau Casino Paris, The Loft Barcelona, Deep Madrid and Tribal in Manchester.

In 2008 it was another invitation by a festival that opened up another continent, this time America.  Camp Bisco is a festival in upstate New York run by a band called The Disco Biscuits, they are not well known in Europe but they are huge in the States.  They invited 2020 to perform at their 2008 Bisco and the band were shocked at the reception that awaited them.   “We had no idea anyone knew us in America”, explains Lawson,” but when we played they closed the rest of the festival down so we had a totally packed tent of 10,000 people.  We closed the whole weekend and hit one of those shows where you can do no wrong.”   As soon as they walked off stage they were signed by AM only (a major US booking agency) and within the year had clocked up 27 shows in 16 cities.

The ‘Live at Sonar’ disc is regarded as a pioneering work for bands mixing DJs with live musicians.  The band had created a whole scene in the states without even realizing it.  Now there are many acts doing a similar thing so clear decisions were made to try to create something new again on ‘Falling’.   An entire first version was completed using guest vocalists but was totally scrapped, which nearly led to the band losing faith, but as always perseverance prevailed and a second version was produced that found Fernando stepping into the role of singer songwriter.   ‘Falling’ manages to balance songs with dance tracks and still retain the overall flow and feel of a live 2020Soundsystem set. 
In September and October the crew return to Europe after a year in the States for a series of shows.  Starting at the infamous Bestival on September 11th, they then play Leeds Faversham Sept 24th and The Wee Chill in Glasgow Sept 26th before going onto to support Simian Mobile Disco at London Forum October 2nd.  There is a London album launch party at Tea Bar on October 3rd and then they continue throughout October with gigs at The Loft Barcelona, Goa Madrid,  The Deaf Institute Manchester, We Love in Edinburgh and many more announced soon.

Ocean (Ray Mang remixes) - 2020Soundsystem
Ocean (Ray Mang remixes)
£4.99 (VIS196)

Psycho - remixes - 2020Soundsystem
Psycho - remixes
£0.00 (VIS192D)

Psycho - TBD remixes - 2020Soundsystem
Psycho - TBD remixes
£4.99 (VIS192)

Broken - 2020Soundsystem
£4.99 (VIS190)

Falling - 2020Soundsystem
£8.99 (VIS185CD)

Falling (signed copies) - 2020Soundsystem
Falling (signed copies)
£8.99 (VIS180SIGNED)

Falling - remixes - 2020Soundsystem
Falling - remixes
£4.99 (VIS179)

Sliding Away (Johnny D Mixes) - 2020Soundsystem
Sliding Away (Johnny D Mixes)
£4.99 (VIS173)

Psycho - 2020Soundsystem
£4.99 (VIS167)

High (Llorca Remixes) - 2020Soundsystem
High (Llorca Remixes)
£4.99 (VIS145)

Can't Stop the Crew (Jesse Rose Dubs) - 2020Soundsystem
Can't Stop the Crew (Jesse Rose Dubs)
£2.99 (VIS141)

Tape (Prins Thomas remixes) - 2020Soundsystem
Tape (Prins Thomas remixes)
£4.99 (VIS137B)

Tape - 2020Soundsystem
£4.99 (VIS137A)

Grey Clouds - 2020Soundsystem
Grey Clouds
£4.99 (VIS133)

No Order - 2020Soundsystem
No Order
£4.99 (VIS132)

No Order - 2020Soundsystem
No Order
£8.99 (VIS130CD)

The Chase / Your Love - 2020Soundsystem
The Chase / Your Love
£4.99 (VIS111)

The Experience EP - 2020Soundsystem
The Experience EP
£4.99 (VIS108)

All Systems Go - 2020Soundsystem
All Systems Go
£4.99 (VIS098)