Livity Sound, the Bristol-based label trio of Tom Ford (Peverelist), Joe Cowton (Kowton) and Craig Stennett (Asusu), announce the release of CD compilation Livity Sound. Since late 2010 their Livity Sound label has released a series of vital 12"s by all three producers. Low-key, hand-stamped white labels, with tracks cut loud for optimal sound system use, they contain some of the most exciting and visceral UK dance music of recent years - placing Pev's exquisitely balanced rhythm science alongside Kowton's grime-infused techno and Asusu's atmospheric, percussive club tracks.
Livity Sound gathers together all six Livity Sound 12"s released to date alongside Pev & Kowton's 'Raw Code' and 'Junked', which were released in early 2013 on Hessle Audio. These are joined by four brand new tracks, by Pev & Kowton and Pev & Asusu, which are due for release on two additional 12"s in the coming months.
The seeds of Livity Sound were planted in 2009 and 2010 as the dubstep community, both in Bristol and further afield, began to splinter. Ford had been an active member of the scene in Bristol for several years, running the Punch Drunk label and making his own music.
But as the mainstream side of the genre evolved into big-room rave music and pulled away from its sound system origins, Ford began to actively explore new territory, working at slower tempos while keeping the essence of his approach intact. Livity Sound emerged from the desire to define this newer music as its own independent entity: a raw and exploratory strain of UK techno, rooted in dub methods and sound system culture.
At the same time, Ford started sharing ideas and collaborating in the studio with Cowton, who over the preceding few years had released striking, sub-heavy house tracks via labels such as Idle Hands and [nakedlunch]. These early sessions birthed the first Livity Sound 12", which contained two versions of the stark and sci-fi tinged 'Beneath Radar'. Stennett, who had recently moved to Bristol, contributed the second Livity Sound 12", 'Sister'. Recognising that they shared a common vision, the trio assembled a live hardware set-up, which uses improvisation and dub effects to meld their music together into a thrillingly raw, unbroken whole.
There's plenty of echo on Livity Sound, even if it feels shallow and a little barren. It's part of what makes these tracks so disarming and hypnotic. Livity Sound is relentless without being aggressive or overbearing; it's just always there, tapping away. Like Basic Channel or Digital Mystikz before them, it would be easy enough to ascribe genre names to Livity Sound, but it's more fulfilling to think of them as delinquent nephews of dub reggae. The tracks, and the arid stare their grooves perpetuate, are like crop circles drawn into the UK hardcore continuum: functionally new, eerily primeval.