The Qemists

Spirit in the System

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The second Qemists record came hot on the heels of the first, which sounds surprising until you consider that most of the best tracks on Join the Q had been plucked from singles released a few years earlier. Nevertheless, Spirit in the System sounds like a mostly worthy successor. It certainly possesses the same relentless energy as before, although the roster of guest stars appears to have slipped slightly. (Enter Shikari own the highest profile of any feature here.) The Qemists still remain one of the few dance acts active in the 2010s who proudly bear the same standard that had been lifted high in the '90s by Wall of Sound and Skint artists -- uptempo breakbeats and rock attitude with no obvious accommodations to headphone listeners. It's sloganeering dance music of the highest order, with Enter Shikari doing their best Jay-Z impression on the opener "Take It Back" and Jenna G taking on “Hurt Less” with the type of throwback dance vocal that would make Shannon proud.

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