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Playground Exclusive: “Possible Sounds Of Möbius”, Sistema's Debut Album On Natura Sonoris

The Spanish electronic underground's cult figure par excellence has finally recorded a full-length, and we bring you the online stream

Manel Ruiz has been on the Spanish electronic scene since the dawn of time. Well, since the mid-nineties, anyway, when he used to call himself DJ Ébola, holding residence at the Moviedisco club in Barcelona. Some time later, he started the brief but intense neo-electro project Neue Lärmklassiker (a name he later used for his own label, also short-lived, operating in the field of techno-dub). Widely seen as a kind of accursed poet of the club music scene, Manel has been recording intelligent techno for years, of a highly complex and nostalgic brand, which remained unreleased, hidden, although a small group of avid fans kept him going, fighting against the tide of oblivion. During the last decade he started a new project, Sistema, which covers all of his output, apart from his adventures with Marc Piñol in Umbral, consisting of a fistful of tracks and EPs on labels such as Paradigma Muzik. But in all those years, he had never recorded a full album displaying all the facets of his music (influences ranging from Aphex Twin and The Black Dog to Tangerine Dream, Mike Dredd, Rephlex, Skam and Warp, the holy trinity of golden-age IDM). And just when we were about to give up hope, guardian angel Henry Saiz, head of Natura Sonoris, appeared to set the record straight.

Sistema is releasing his debut album on Monday, 14th May, on Natura Sonoris. “Possible Sounds Of Möbius” is, as you will hear, absolutely spectacular: a high-quality techno gem that fearlessly looks into the mirror of the great classics, with a distinct nineties flavour, drawing you into labyrinths of asymmetric rhythms and absorbing melodies with every track. Many of the titles contain his characteristic plays on words, somewhere between naïf brilliance and easy rudeness. The album will be out on CD and digital, and, apart from the 13 original tracks, will feature remixes by Steve Moore, Wooky and bRUNA & Minksi, the icing on the cake that is this album. It rights a historic wrong and is a new milestone in electronic music made in Spain. Manel himself will now comment on each track. “ Sparing in words, like Chuck Norris,” as he says, but rich in sound.

Possible Sounds Of Möbius

This record is a compilation of tracks I've been making over the past ten years, more or less. Some of them are somewhat premeditated, others are built from a chord, a noise, composed more consciously or subconsciously, but I think they've all got a texture in common, and a feeling of sounds I try to make warm and surrounding, like a Moebius strip. I wanted to tell little sonic stories which, together, are perceived as the vertices that could give shape to the strip I'm imagining. I would like to thank all the remixers for their fantastic contributions to the record.

1. Entrée

I've always like tracks that tell little stories, I suppose because of my listening a lot to Isao Tomita and Suzanne Ciani.

2. Humo

This track was on the first single on my now defunct Neue Lärmklassiker label. After hearing some stuff on Kompakt, I wanted to experiment with the shuffle beat.

3. Nodo Rmu

This one's a bit odd: emo-orchestral techno-dub, with a dirty lo-fi sound.

4. Corte de Pölar

An old track I made looking for a cold atmosphere, influenced by Mouse on Mars' “Frosch” and anything by Boards Of Canada.

5. Alfa-Alfa

An interlude to separate the tracks with something more abstract.

6. 1976

This is like The Human League's “Travelogue” with a bit of new beat, for lack of a better description. I was looking for a late-seventies, retro-cosmic sound.

7. X La Phase

This track is much in debt to my whole collection of early Rephlex and Warp tracks, less glitchy and less complex. It's mostly inspired by CiM, one of my big influences.

8. 20903

Similar to “1976”: dirty retro electronica.

9. L’inter Na

I love this one, it's very freaky. I always wanted to be in a band that mixed the sounds of Black Diamond Heavies and Neu!, and this is close to what that would sound like.

10. Sección de N y Ña

I can't really explain this one. I suppose it's something of a sonic tale.

11. Observatorio de Stars

I love Tangerine Dream, Asia, Yes, Genesis and the like.

12. Plànol Paral.lel

This track is similar to “Entrée”. When I get tired of hearing them while making them, I slice them up, kill them off.

13. Nodo 6

I suppose I'm subconsciously influenced by Mike Oldfield, who puts music to a Kinesthesia base.

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