Fuelled by the Berlin-based duo’s love of club music in all its forms ‘FJAAK THE SYSTEM’ is FJAAK’s most definitive album to date, a winding sonic odyssey that surveys the rave landscape, dipping between frantic euphoria and deep contemplation. Featuring sizzling collaborations with Modeselektor, Skee Mask, Red Eye and J.Manuel, the album draws a bold line under FJAAK’s 15 years of mischief and mayhem, pulling together 23 tracks (culled from over 300, no less) that truly reflect the duo’s boundless enthusiasm for the dancefloor. Grazing UK breakbeat, techno, 2-step, d’n’b, jungle, trip-hop and ambient, these elasticated, hybrid bangers paint a vivid picture of FJAAK’s utopian club ideal, a place where genre boundaries evaporate and only the groove remains.

Since graduating in audio engineering in the early 2010s, FJAAK have been challenging the logic of a maddeningly conservative club scene with their hardware only live shows, DJ sets a myriad of record releases. In 2019 they launched the label and platform Spandau20 with a steady flow of records and a mixtape series featuring new talent and established artists. With their rebellious attitude and notoriously energetic live sets, the duo have brought back a crucial lost ingredient to the rave: playfulness. It’s not just blood, sweat and tears either, FJAAK’s advanced technical knowhow and love of synthesizers and drum machines helps them formulate a sound that’s conscious of dance music history, but focused on a brighter, more equitable future.

Fittingly, the album opens with ‘Unity’, a brief cry from FJAAK that urges listeners to overcome their prejudices and focus on the music itself. Then we’re thrown right into ‘And You Feel’, a searing blend of nostalgic pads, snatched diva vocals and factory-strength breaks. A conscious balancing act between tranquility and rushing adrenaline, it’s one of the album’s most unashamedly emotional moments. And by the time we reach ‘Redemption’, dynamism takes hold completely: ear-ringing drums feed the sound system, and squelchy, acidic TB-303s twist into peak time. For FJAAK, it’s a track that confronts the harsh reality of a music industry that’s not always kind to artists, highlighting the relentless struggles in a furious rush of pneumatic kicks and a merciless synth throb.

The mood shifts into intricate dark territory when they team up with Modeselektor on ‘Horsepower’, a track that captures the giddiness of their studio sessions. A rush of stepped breaks, lysergic pads and untamed glitches, it’s a trip towards ecstasy that’s a testament to the four producers’ mastery over their craft. Using wailing, stretched voices and pounding kicks, they blur the boundaries between the organic and the mechanical, whisking their sonics into a passionate method. Elsewhere, they pause for breath on the blissed-out, aquatic ‘Glove Box’, and enlist Munich’s Skee Mask on the electro-tinged ‘Black Ice’, bringing in FJAAK’s former member J.Manuel to slow down gritty breaks into a contemplative whirl on ‘Wind Mill Hill’.