UNDERGROUND SYSTEM BIOGRAPHY – 2018
UNDERGROUND SYSTEM is a quintessential New York City band.
A convergence of musical and cultural influences, the unstoppable female-fronted group of neo-afrobeat deconstructionists have cultivated a sound as inimitable as its members.
Owing their foundations to traditional afrobeat (and named after a Fela Kuti song), the band has built a national reputation around a seamlessly executed stage show, astonishing wherever they go, and compelling crowds to move with unbridled verve. Robbing american “afrobeat” of its derivative formalism, Underground System continues to reinvent their brand of global dance music, remaining a force determined to recreate, redefine, and reconstruct.
The band has released two single/EPs and several remix records on Ropeadope and Hell Yeah! (Italy), catching airplay tastemaking outlets such as BBC, WNYC (Soundcheck), KCRW (Los Angeles) and WPFW (DC) and press coverage from blogs such as Afropunk, Okayafrica, Afropop Worldwide, The Village Voice, Test Pressing, Timeout, and others.
In demand with large scale cultural institutions as well as festivals and club nights, notable recent performances include Central Park SummerStage w/ Seun Kuti & Roy Ayers, GroundUp Festival 2018, Sinkane Presents: Underground System at National Sawdust, Output Rooftop, Bowery Ballroom (NYC) w/ !!! (chk chk chk), Chicago World Music Festival, and National Sawdust w/ Tigue and Innov Gnawa.
2018 is a big year for Underground System. September will mark the release of their debut LP What Are You on Soul Clap Records, the much-loved New York City imprint known for their coupling of party-ready DJ culture and shapeshifting live acts. Departing from the extended forms typically associated with Underground System’s live performances and stylistic roots, this album is a deep 10 track look into the group’s mix of talented personnel and profound sonic diversity. Hints of afrobeat, no wave, world, electronic, contemporary classical, disco, house, and genre defying elements combine tightly to reflect a self-aware, edgy, and cohesive statement not currently being made by any other band.