In this age of laptop-toting faux live electronic dance music acts, an actual band employing actual live instrumentation and vocals is a rare thing, especially when said band is delivering funked-out dancefloor bangers like 2020Soundsystem. The musical brainchild of Leeds-based DJ and esteemed 2020Vision label owner Ralph Lawson, the Soundsystem was formed in 2003 as a means of interweaving live electronics with his DJ sets and transcending the tried-and-true record-jockeying formula at the clubs.
Originally a duo comprising Lawson and percussionist Danny "Dubble D" Ward, the project became a quartet when Argentine transplants Fernando Pulichino and Julian Sanza where invited to join on bass and keyboards, respectively. Furthermore, the band began to experiment with guest vocalists, including an early collaboration with singer Diane Charlemagne, of Goldie's "Inner City Life" fame, although Pulichino himself has since taken up lead vocal duties.
The band has enjoyed increasing recognition since 2005, when they closed the Sonar music festival in Barcelona to an audience of 10,000 people, the live recording of which became disc 2 of their first album, No Order. The Live at Sonar disc is now widely regarded as a seminal work of live electronica and DJ/musician collaboration, and gave the band's sound more cohesion as they worked towards the completion of sophomore album, Falling, released in September 2009. Crossfade had a chance to catch up with DJ Ralph Lawson on the cusp of 2020Soundsystem's live performance at LIV on Saturday night and ask him what they're all about.
Sat., Nov. 7, 2009