System Upgrade by Dieselboy (Review)

By the middle of the CD, I was beginning to really look forward to hearing someone from this stable of artists take on something downtempo and textured.
System Upgrade - Dieselboy

Drum n’ bass shares more in common with anime than just cover art and a similar fanbase. Even if it’s a corny plot and full of little girl chipmunk voices, my inner space cadet still likes to watch robots exploding from one-fingered kung-fu chops. Or maybe its like Seinfeld’s comparison of sex and pizza: “Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.”

It’s fun music, even if it all does start to blend together after awhile. Like all music forms, there’s often subtle differences that separate the artistes from the rest of the pack, and I did have a hard time finding that on this compilation disk. Said task wasn’t helped by the artists being mixed one into the next. That may make for a scene with solidarity and identity, but it also made separating tracks 2 – 6 hard, and for a neophyte like myself, damn near impossible. One artist’s song fades into another, and it just sounds like the song has had a key change, rather than a complete stop. Methinks my ears have been spoiled for this type of music by the kitchen sink aesthetic of The Third Eye Foundation’s Ghost.

By the middle of the CD, I was beginning to really look forward to hearing someone from this stable of artists take on something downtempo and textured. This failed to happen. This is probably a CD better experienced in a club, rather than my bedroom. It’s like the CD was telling me “If your lame ass wants to slow down, go put on another CD. We in techno do stimulants, not depressants.” So on and on the CD went, fast as funny cars. Not bad at all, but not incredibly inviting for repeat listenings.

So I never got some Mick Harris-style slug baiting, but a standout track did come with FACS +B Key’s “Antics,” which seemed to have a lot more ideas to get out than the rest here. To be honest, I saw the word “Moonshine” on this disk and was a bit leery, having worked in a music store where that name seemed synonymous with a lot of house techno that was not my bag. This disk didn’t make that impression completely go away, but in the future I’ll be less loathe to check out a drum n’ bass artist that I didn’t hear about because they remixed one of my “rawk” bands.

Written by Pearson Greer.