V/A :: Livity Sound (Livity Sound)

With each track allowed to stretch out an average of six minutes, ideas are allowed to develop, moods to establish, thoughts to be completed.

va_livity-soundShipshape and Bristol fashion, Livity Sound is the flagship label of Tom Ford (Peverelist), Joe Cowton (Kowton) and Craig Stennett (Asusu) and it’s just launched its first compilation, a double disc set containing everything it has released on vinyl plus two tracks on Hessle Audio and four unreleased, collaborative tracks.

From the same fertile soil out of which clawed the pared-down beats of British dubstep in its heyday (Shackelton, Skream, Digital Mystikz, Appleblim, Pinch, this list could be made very long), the trio boasts styles complementary enough to engender its own softcore dubstep continuum. The basic credo swears fealty to raw sound system culture. Rough edges and wobbly contours are welcome, and the opening and closing versions of “Beneath Radar” bear witness. Peverelist (now credited as simply “Pev”), who also runs the irreplaceable Punch Drunk label, has more bounce than hard boniness to his sparse rhythms—”Aztec Chant” is almost steel-drum calypso—and stretches solid but flexy flesh over his skeletal superstructures. Kowton´s bass is meatiest and his style the most techno-driven, Asusu the most atmospheric, on both grand scale and in small increments (such as the close-up and far-away “Rendering”).

While Pev’s “‘Erosions” gives us the greasy eyeball, his “Livity” buzzes like a giant, happy hummingbird through the bamboo. He and Asusu cause a blackout by battering the main grid on “Surge,” and as regular service is restored, the tracks become increasingly stripped-down, beginning with “Jam 01” by Kowton. The bongomaniacal “Vapours” and “Junked” by Kowton and Pev (the latter featuring additional mixing by Digistep of Dubkasm) are tight-lipped, building-up discountenanced pressure until breaking out in a just-kidding smile with Pev’s “Salt Water.”

With each track allowed to stretch out an average of six minutes (works particularly nicely as Asusu’s penultimate “Too Much Time Has Passed” creeps along), ideas are allowed to develop, moods to establish, thoughts to be completed. Peverelist is the dominant presence on Livity Sound, appearing on eleven of the seventeen tracks, alone or with one or the other of his cohorts, who do not appear to have done any work together. Yet. Something to look forward to.

Livity Sound is available on Livity Sound.

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