Livity Sound - Livity Sound

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  • First there was Punch Drunk, the Bristol label that Tom Ford, AKA Peverelist, set up to showcase the more experimental end of dubstep. As the label grew older, it became a breeding ground for experiments with techno and house, but its roots were firmly laid. Then came Livity Sound, which appeared on a hand-stamped white label in 2010, and became Ford's way of venturing further afield. With two versions of the same track on the first release—one by Pev and one by Kowton—the first Livity 12-inch was quietly revelatory, stitching together jungle, dubstep, techno and dub into a patchwork that felt entirely singular. Made of chiseled grey stone, tinny drums and seismic basslines, Livity Sound tracks are a stone-faced reaction to the staid and trendy house fetishism that erupted all over the UK at the same time. Pulling in fellow Bristol artist Asusu to round out their sound, the trio made Livity Sound one of the most exciting labels in bass music, techno or whatever else you might want to call it. Just listen to the first three tracks on their self-titled compilation. Pev and Kowton's "Raw Code" (originally released on Hessle Audio) has that inimitable low-end smack that feels like free-falling onto concrete. Then there's Kowton's "More Games," a fantastically rusty tune that channels the aesthetics of early grime with all the precision of a sawed-off shotgun. Pev's wobbly dub rollers "Erosions" and "Salt Water" still sound as impossibly slinky as ever. Having all these tracks in one place also sheds special light on the lesser-known Asusu, whose more techno-minded outlook provides a wonderful palate cleanser amidst all the swung broken beats. The whisper-quiet tension of "Too Much Time Has Passed" and the rubbery "Rendering" show how the Livity template can impress even within the stricter confines of 4/4. Like any good compilation, Livity Sound comes armed with a few new bits (which will have been released separately by the time you read this). And though they've now been at it for a few years, there's no indication of diminishing returns. Pev's new collaboration with Kowton, "End Point," for example, feels like a synth-infused successor to the Punch Drunk masterpiece "Clunk Click Every Trip" in all its tremulous glory. Not sequenced in simple chronological order, Livity Sound feels like a real album even when you know it's not. That's a testament to the unity of their aesthetic and the clarity of their vision, with three years' worth of tracks from three different producers all sounding like they could have been made in the same session. Even if you know most of these tracks by heart, it's hard not to feel excited about them all over again as you take in Livity Sound's peerless two hours.
  • Tracklist
      CD1 01. Pev & Kowton - Beneath Radar (Kowton Version) 02. Pev & Kowton - Raw Code 03. Kowton - More Games 04. Pev - Aztec Chant 05. Pev & Asusu - Remnants 06. Asusu - Sister 07. Pev - Erosions 08. Asusu - Rendering 09. Pev - Livity CD2 01. Pev & Asusu - Surge 02. Kowton - Jam01 03. Pev & Kowton - Vapours 04. Asusu - Velez 05. Pev & Kowton - Junked 06. Pev - Saltwater 07. Pev & Kowton - End Point 08. Asusu - Too Much Time Has Passed 09. Pev & Kowton - Beneath Radar (Pev Version)