Livity Sound - Reverse Vol. 1

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  • When Peverelist and Kowton first joined forces with Asusu, it was a spectacular meeting of the minds. Here were three artists, all with distinct and recognizable styles, laying down a new map for where bass music could go. Livity Sound became one of dance music's most exciting and dependable labels, always with the same three producers making great records. With Dnuos Ytivil, they've brought in outside artists. Reverse Vol. 1 collects tracks from this cast of likeminded peers, highlighting Livity Sound's curatorial knack. The most obvious torchbearer of Livity's sound is Jacob Martin, AKA Hodge. He hails from their home base of Bristol, has collaborated with Peverelist and featured on the main label. His two contributions are Reverse's highlights, and you could easily be fooled into thinking they were Livity rather than Ytivil. Martin kicks things off with "Amor Fati," a track full of wobbly drums and eerie vocal samples. "Renegades" is sinister tribal house that bangs with an almost foreboding sense of funk. Martin sounds like he's purposefully trying to fit in with Pev and co, but it works. These were the tracks that helped establish Martin as one of the UK's most exciting dance music producers. The other artists take more liberties with Livity's formula, allowing their personalities to reshape its style rather than the other way around. Alex Coulton, who inaugurated Dnuos Ytivil back in 2012, dominates the comp with four tracks. His cowbell-heavy "Bounce" feels irreverent next to the greyscale seriousness of his own brash, dub-informed "War Games," or the crash-bang of Batu's "Spooked," which viciously incorporates the dynamics of modern grime into Livity's floaty template. Bruce's contributions are particularly wonky ("Tilikum" is basically "Raw Code" crumpled up like a piece of discarded paper), while Simo Cell—who, living in France, is Livity's only continental artist so far—offers a techier perspective in line with countrymen like NSDOS and French Fries. Vol. 1 ends with Peverelist remixing Alex Coulton's "Bounce," the only appearance from one of the head honchos. Tellingly, it outshines nearly every other tune here. Balancing Pev's unmistakable swing with the stoic thrust of the best Livity Sound tracks, the rework points towards how he, Kowton and Asusu have formed a rock-solid aesthetic, one that newcomers may still be wrapping their heads around. But maybe that's how it should be. Where the main label highlights the common ground between its core artists, Dnuos Ytivili underlines the differences between the others. Vol. 1 isn't the triumph that the first Livity Sound comp was, but it shows that Dnuos Ytivil is off to a great start.
  • Tracklist
      01. Hodge - Amor Fati 02. Alex Coulton - Bounce 03. Simo Cell - Cellar Door 04. Batu - Spooked 05. Bruce - Tilikum 06. Alex Coulton - Pointe Noire 07. Hodge - Renegades 08. Bruce - Just Getting Started 09. Batu - Clarity (Dismantled) 10. Alex Coulton - War Games 11. Simo Cell - Piste Jaune 12. Alex Coulton - Bounce (Peverelist Remix)