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Refusing to be satisfied by the familiar, Supersystem has always been ready to destroy a song in order to put it back together again. Hip-hop, electronica, punk rock, so-called world music a little bit of everything has gone into the architecture. This destruct/construct reflex is groomed and refined on the NY/DC quartets latest long player, A Million Microphones. The record's eleven startlingly original tracks are saturated with African-tinged guitar, complex polyrhythms, atmospheric synthesizers, jaunty, funk-fried bass, and infectious beats.

To complement Supersystem's tight-knit arrangements, vocalists Pete Cafarella, Rafael Cohen, and Justin Destroyer have transformed an effusive stew of off-kilter lyrical observations into the most potent melodies the band has yet to pen. I think were spending a lot more time on vocals and melodies on A Million Microphones, says Justin, who also plays bass. Id like to think weve improved as singers. We work harder to pull a melody out of a song instead of tracing Johnny Lydon's footsteps for the umpteenth time.

For A Million Microphones, Supersystem headed into New York's Headgear Recording to work with engineer Jonathan Kreinik (Trans Am, Make Up, Out Hud, !!!). The new record is slower and a little more subtle, though I think, in many ways, it bangs harder, said Rafael, the bands lead guitarist and world music buff.

Abandoning its former incarnation as El Guapo, Supersystem has grown increasingly concerned with its songs hardwiring--hooks, rhythms, BPMs, sonic space, and the fractions of a second between head bobs and hand claps. Guided by crack drummer Josh Blair, the band continually searches for unexpected combinations of its melodic and rhythmic voices. You can teach most people to play notes on certain beats, said Justin. But what about the space between or around the beats? You can dance to Kraftwerk and you can dance to James Brown, but you dont dance the same way. Why? What makes a song (literally and figuratively) move you and how does it accomplish this? We think about this constantly. This prodding curiosity comes to fruition on A Million Microphones.

Each member's unique contributions result in an intriguing variety that carries Supersystem somewhat off the map. The band meticulously embeds layers of synth and syncopated bass rhythms into the thick, throbbing beat of "The Only Way Its Ever Been Done." "Joy's" swelling keyboards blend seamlessly with dizzying percussion and Rafael's signature guitar sound. Extending the explorations of Always Never Again, their previous Touch and Go release, the band shows that it can even make a harp sound funky on "Eagles Fleeing Eyries." All of the parts and pieces of A Million Microphones are on the same squad, working together to make Supersystem's unique vision of pop music come alive.