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Pietro 'Bingo' De Lisi and Alex Carpentieri have generated quite a reputation for their music selection and production over the last 15 years. Identifying themselves as ‘dedicated purveyors of all that is good in house music’, and having the discography to back it up, System of Survival have had a massive influence on not only Italy’s house music scene, but on the international stage as well.
‘D-Votion’ marks the second studio album from the Italian duo, and the first release on their newest home, Get Physical Music. From the opening smooth pads of ‘Endless’, the album gives off an earthy warmth that can only come from a lifetime of experience. The album keeps the vibe subtle and engaging, while still keeping the dancefloor in mind. ‘Packing’ starts in the heavens and end on the floor, and ‘Searching for a Wave’ takes the torch from there with a gritty bass sharing space with thick, yet soft chords, but it’s the melody that is the highlight here, courtesy of Surfbit in a live studio jam session; it carries the track deeper into the night. This feeling of looseness, inspired by the jazzy groove is continues in the next track, ‘From Motor City With Love’; pulling the groove a good bit deeper.
‘Distortion Under Control’ throws us into a time machine, reliving the sounds and spirit that gave birth to House in the first place. The same could be said for ‘Lazy Days’, whose title leads us to believe just the opposite; the track turns out to be a rhythmic shuffler that delivers energy in all the right places. Next, the stunning vocals of rising Italian pop star Vhelade lends an enchantment to ‘Kutting’ with her stunning vocals, giving the track an unmistakable fire of passion.
‘Breathe’, a catchy soulful disco number goes on to give the sunny, late-summer vibe that ruled the 70’s, and is born again here for 2016 while still retaining a timeless quality. The low, rolling jazz tones of ‘D-Votion’ present a careful balance of the organic and mechanical, with an creeping, ominous bassline that seems to revel in its own presence. Salvatore Stallone lends a careful ear here, adding a smooth finesse to the mix with the xylophonic melody. The final three tracks begin to slow the album’s momentum, ‘Peacefrog’ brings a bouncy blend of vocal delays (via Brandy and Bianca) and electric- hustle whilst ‘The Bear, The Wolf And The Eagle’ hypnotizes with its rhythmic ambience and low-key approach. Finally, ‘Neon Sun’ takes us out on Roberto Bove’s live screaming electric guitars in a kind of dusty power ballad for a new age, leaving a lasting warmth long after the album has played out.
A lot has happened in the last 20 years of dance music, but one constant has been Get Physical right at the sharp end of the scene. The label has become a globally recognised symbol of quality, renowned for its always varied and vital house output.