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. It will be the first time the Livity Sound label output is available on a digital format.
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. Drawing from his own inspirations of jungle, dub and techno, his 12" releases and Jarvik Mindstate album radically reimagined dubstep's sparse rhythmic template as intensely psychoactive, rolling grooves.
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. Their first live performance took place in a basement in Bristol in early 2012, and they have since played regularly at clubs and festivals throughout Europe.
Livity Sound's music to date has emerged from that dialogue between Pev, Kowton and Asusu. Imagining techno as futuristic and visceral sound system music, it's rooted by dazzling rhythmic interplay and dread sub-bass pressure that floods from speaker stacks to shake your organs and rattle your nervous system. Those core traits are expressed repeatedly throughout the music on the Livity Sound CD: from the shuddering thrum of Kowton's anthemic 'More Games' and the frosty subs of Asusu's 'Rendering', to the disorienting whirlwinds of synth and percussion that drive Pev's extraordinary 'Aztec Chant' and 'Livity'. The compilation's brand new tracks, meanwhile, are all collaborative efforts. Pev & Kowton's 'End Point' and 'Vapours' imbue Kowton's drum machine crunch with hallucinogenic synth shimmer, while the distorted siren whine of Pev & Asusu's 'Surge' makes it the most caustic Livity Sound release to date. Occupying the territory at which all three members' distinct approaches interact, Livity Sound plots a thrilling co-ordinate in the ongoing dialogue between UK dance music and sound system culture.