By Ciaran Vernon
Photography By Nathan Hinzie
Within Edinburgh’s renowned Cabaret Voltaire, jawless ravers boogie as Conor and Sean perform in FLY club. Filling the intimate underground cavity with their groovy melodies. Five years later and LF SYSTEM have now secured a residency at the very same club night they began. Conor and Sean, both 25 and from West Lothian, grew up surrounded by electronic music.
Over the years, the boys have let their passion proliferate by growing up listening to Motor City Drum Ensemble, Detroit Swindle and Daft Punk. They joined forces in November 2019, after regularly sharing tracks and projects between one another, playing back-to-back as individuals, and the fact that they’re best mates. “We became used to always doing it together, and it felt right.”
LF SYSTEM has shined over the last year as they have had more time to focus on their music. Despite not being able to go out to clubs where they find most of their inspiration, they have collated a ridiculous amount of music, just in time for the summer of 2021.
Their self created concept People Want Music, 17 tracks across five EPs over five consecutive weeks, will be dropping this June. One of the tracks Dancing Cliche was named Danny Howard’s Friday Fire on Radio 1 last month.
The concept is a series of groovy disco edits the duo have collected and waited for the perfect time to release. Radiating a summer sound to boogie in your garden too. Expect nu-disco edits with a little Chicago-house twist.
After reaching back into their backlog of old experimental tracks, they produced, Sean explained that “It felt right to collect them all together and release them for people interested, hence the name People Want Music.”
Their first two EPs exude disco tracks like ‘People Want Music’, a unifying, upbeat disco anthem that echoes the likes of Mojido and Folamour, and Let’s Go, which holds a much more groovy jazz sound. The following three EPs combine silky vocals with melodic strings and brass elements, fused with that classically consistent kick reminiscent of Chicago house.
The duo’s array of creativity shines through in these tracks, ranging from the dance-inducing jumpy beats in ‘Be My Baby’ to the smooth kick in ‘We Made It’, which sensuously fuses velvety low vocals over sharp zingy sax. Claiming that these EPs mark the end of an era of disco editing, Conor believes their sound is evolving. “We still love disco and all the edits that come with it.
However, we’re moving on to our sound and where we want to be in the future.” Their five new EPs include bonus tracks from Theo Kottis, Ewan McVicar, and Elliot Adamson. Over the last five years, the duo pushed themselves. Having played their first club night together in Cabaret Voltaire, alongside Solardo, they claimed that it’s now like a home to them. Sean reminisced about how “we would go as punters almost every Friday night.”
Having played in a whole host of different Edinburgh clubs such as La Belle Angele, Mash House, Sneaky Pete’s, Liquid Rooms, Bourbon and the Leith Theatre, they hope to extend their repertoire of venues to DC10 in Ibiza one day. It is no wonder how diverse their tracks have become, basing their inspiration on such a vast variety of artists and club nights. Conor said that “going out and listening to different DJs across different venues gives us massive inspiration.”
Scottish nightlife has always been important to Sean and Conor, as regular attenders of club nights across Scotland. Conor remarked his favourite after parties are “anywhere there’s booze and a good time.” They’ll go anywhere that will have them, although according to Sean “Conor is usually chucked out quickly.”
The boys have let their sound evolve and like to stick to what sounds right to them. In the same vein as the likes of Loure, Loods and Kornél Kovács, the duo mirror that classic Chicago house style, with care-free, melodic synths and energising kicks.
Sean feels using retro hardware can bring new sounds to life. “It’s good being creative and seeing ideas come to life and just jamming on synths and making things happen.” Their music channels their blasé and playful attitude towards producing.
Without taking themselves too seriously, Conor and Sean seem to just enjoy what they’re doing. The response to tracks such as ‘Bourgie Bourgie’, has been incredible. Sean said that “we just made an edit for a bit of fun and to play out,” turned out to be a club hit.
‘Bourgie Bourgie’ has also been awarded BBC Radio 1’s BBC Music Introducing Tune of the Week. They also produced a remix of Barry Can’t Swim’s ‘Some Day I Will’. The remix echoes acid techno with the bubbly synths and high BPM.
Conor said, “he’s a lovely guy and we sent him pair of armbands to say thank you.” Not only can the pair produce sick tracks, but they have a witty sense of humour. After playing alongside Big Miz, LaLa, and Denis Sulta, Conor revealed if they had the chance to collaborate with some local talent “it would be Liam Doc. Doc if you’re reading this.”
However, Sean said, “in a dream world it would have to be Mr G so we could pick his brains and he could teach us a few things.” There’s hope yet, selector. Continually pushing themselves and grafting, their music is constantly evolving, and they hope to eventually be signed by labels such as Kalahari Oyster Cult, Shall Not Fade or Craigie Knowes.
Conor feels that “the sounds on these labels are always incredible, and it’s a sound we’re really into.” The duo prefer production to live DJ’ing, Conor and Sean are well-versed in production techniques. The duo combines both hardware and software, to produce music. Sean highlighted “the Roland TR-8S, the Behringer TD-3, the Juno-6 and the Juno-DS” as some of their favourites hardware.
Experimenting with this hardware helps the duo create a unique contemporary nu-wave disco. Quite rightly being named Danny Howard’s Future Fire for 2021, the duo is raring to get back into club culture post-lockdown. They will be playing at the return of the slam tent this summer. With their 17 new tracks released this year, the pair have shown their talent.
When you put your stuff out there, and with perseverance, anyone can let their creativity flourish. Conor remarked, “just wing it, work hard, and enjoy it.” After over a year without clubs, LF SYSTEM are giving the people what they want, and the people want music.