The Qemists: Spirit in the System

The Qemists
Spirit in the System
(Ninja Tune)

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Since the members of The Qemists are experienced DJs and sound engineers, it is not surprising that their sophomore record, Spirit in the System, would be a fusion of several different styles. On the surface, it would be easiest to describe their album as a mixtape with a signature remix style, but that would be cutting short the actual talent displayed by The Qemists. The backing track for each song has a similar drum and bass sound, but each guest is able to bring his or her own style to the table, in order to make each song unique.

Shakira opens the record with loud, insistent, post-hardcore on “Take It Back,” one of the album’s strongest songs; the genre is revived later with “Dirty Words” and “The Only Love Song.” “Hurt Less” and “Fading Halo” are more along the lines of power-pop, featuring strong female vocals over a confident rhythm section. “Renegade” is the closest to rap music that The Qemists get. It feels right, though, to be dropped in amongst rock tunes like “Life’s Too Short,” “Apocalypse,” and “Your Revolution.” Whatever your taste in music is, The Qemists offer a little bit of something for everyone and seamlessly integrate it all into one smashing release.

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About Casey Hicks

Casey Hicks toils her daylight hours away in an office high above Manhattan in order to afford nights of passionately scribbling. The first song she remembers ever hearing is "Lola" by the Kinks. She thinks this explains a lot.
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