Peverelist will return to his Punch Drunk label with a collaboration from fellow Bristol producer Hodge.
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Peverelist will return to his Punch Drunk label with a collaboration from fellow Bristol producer Hodge.
The Bristol-based Livity Sound label will issue its fifth release this week with a new single from Peverelist.
Bristol duo Peverelist and Kowton combine on the first Hessle Audio release of 2013.
Just four releases deep and Livity Sound has expanded operations with the launch of a sub label cunningly named dnouS ytiviL.
Compiled by Honest Jon’s co-owner Mark Ainley and Mark Ernestus last year, Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa collected several tracks of Shangaan, the electronic version of a traditional South African music with a massive following, despite its localised nature. When it was announced that Honest Jon’s were planning a series of Shangaan remixes, it probably had many wondering how its typical 180bpm speed could possibly be reconciled with the west’s more conservative 100-140bpm range. The results have been impressive, with Ernestus, Anthony Shakir and Oni Ayhun previously supplying reworkings that have used the source material to rebuild the tracks from the ground up, concentrating on tone and colour than more literal reworkings, and it’s telling that the series actively avoids the word “remix”.
This third 12” sees the unlikely pairing of Peverelist with Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer reworking the Tshetsha Boys. Following their album of reworks from German jazz label ECM, Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer are perhaps the ideal choice for a project like this, with a result that is far more danceable than that collaboration. The minimal bassline and hypnotic bounce on their rework of “Nwampfundla” is typical Villalobos, but the appeal lies in the snatches of melody and vocals from the original track which float in and out of audible range. These fragments capture the original’s melodic charm whilst filtering out its gaudier excesses and almost trick you into believing you’re listening at the original speed, such is the disassociative trickery of the production.
Peverelist’s remix is a complete curve ball – clocking in at under 120bpm it’s certainly not his usual fare, its nonchalant handclaps taking its cues from the more shuffling bass infused house that’s been coming out of Bristol recently from the likes of Kowton. His rework of “Uya Kwihi Ka Rose” goes even further into micro elements than Villalobos does, isolating a specific tone and subjecting it to a syncopated stutter that appropriates Shangaan’s body shaking marimba rhythms, and using his particular talent for stripping tracks right back, leaves a loose skeleton of the original. Like Villalobos & Loderbauer, he isolates enough melody to convey the spirit of the original, but shambling within a spectral reverb it takes on an eerie new quality.
At a time when music critics and fans alike are more than happy to endlessly debate what the next stage of dubstep’s progression should be called, Hessle Audio present 116 & Rising – a rich demonstration of how the label has progressed over the past four years and an exciting portent of where they might go in the future. Whichever format you choose to sink into, when you come out the other side you can’t help but be fully impressed.
As anyone who has followed the label’s progression will attest, it’s natural that the triple vinyl edition contains the most swagger, with the design work from regular collaborator Will Bankhead looking stunning across the gatefold sleeve and the twelve new and exclusive tracks spread across three slabs of vinyl, two to a side. Furthermore the inclusion in this edition of all 24 tracks on CD makes it the smart choice to indulge in.
If you can see past the temptation to merely sit and admire the artwork and actually bask in the music on offer, you will be richly rewarded with an array of brilliant material from the Hessle camp. Mainstays such as Elgato, Untold and James Blake naturally feature alongside contributions from the two thirds of the Hessle Audio decision-making team that produce. Flexing their status at the top of the game, Hessle can also call on new tracks from Addison Groove, Peverelist and D1, which is clearly a move to show which of their contemporaries has helped to shape the direction of the label since it launched in 2007.
So far so impressive, but how does the actual music sound? It surpasses expectation and has you gripped from the moment Elgato’s “Music (Body Mix)” starts. Along the way Blawan serves further notice that he’s got the best drum flex in the game on “Potchla Vee” which might just work in the rattle of a can of spray paint. Sitting next to this is “Stifle”, the one Pearson Sound submission, which sounds like a 23rd century twist on “Din Da Da”. Fans of David Kennedy are well stocked though, as he graces 116 & Rising with no less than three Ramadanman productions – perhaps finally putting this alias to bed?
Elsewhere, Cosmin TRG’s “Bijoux” is every bit as impressive as the four tracks that made up A Universal Crush, his EP for the Rush Hour Direct Current series (this reviewers favourite release of 2011 so far), whilst Joe invokes the spirit of West London circa 2001 on the tinny broken sensation of “Twice”. Amidst such celebrated company, Addison Groove might just steal the show on “Fuk Da 101” which combines dexterous sampling of urgent vocals with a cacophony of crazed percussive touches.
More words could be said on the music that features on the second CD but followers of Hessle Audio will be familiar with the brilliance of tracks such as “Fram”, “Rut” and Martyn’s ever excellent remix of TRG’s “Broken Heart” and happy to have them on CD for the first time, whilst late comers will delight in experiencing these and the nine other inclusions for the first time. With such a detailed musical representation of the label’s past, present and future, you might wonder why there was no thought given to the inclusion of sleeve notes. However the music is strong enough to speak for itself, and perhaps enough people spend far too much column space discussing their music anyway?
The output from Bristol (second home of dubstep, lest we forget) has been particularly impressive of late. There’s been Pinch’s “Boxer”, Gudio’s debut artist album Anidea and some great stuff from Komonazmuk, Appleblim and the Soul Motive camp. Amongst those leading the way, however, is Peverelist, aka Tom Ford, whose meticulous approach in everything from production to label management to A&R has meant he has become one of the key figures in Bristol’s dubstep scene and beyond. As the owner of Punch Drunk imprint he has been responsible for putting out records from the likes of Guido, RSD, Pinch, Shortstuff and Hyetal. This 12” sees the label boss teaming up with Hyetal, whose previous productions “Phoenix” and “Pixel Rainbow Sequence” have garnered huge attention from across the bass music fraternity.
Kicking off with “The Hum”, the contrast of the deep, murmuring hum of the b-line, percussive hiss and twinkling, dancing synthetic skittering of the melody is immediately striking. After a moment of doubt, where the two layers of sound are distinctly separate, it seems they accept their differences and move along in unison thereafter. The pattering drums and rippling swathes of synths which bathe the beats become more and more prominent as the track progresses. The influences and echoes are many, but it is hard to put your finger on exactly what each part reminds you of why, suffice to say that the sound is very much of that elusive “Bristol Sound”.
On the flip, “Rrrr” compliments its A-Side counterpart with a rather different flavour, but equally as impressive in terms of sonic quality. A bewildering intro paves the way for a more sparse, stripped back and intensely meditative piece. A swirling synth dies out to expose a creaky sound repeated with hollow, loping beat and gentle onomatopeiac rustlings embedded into the very fabric of the track. Textures are muffled and withdrawn, with intriguing whirring moments, rattling elements, neat blurs and bleepy arpeggios towards the end. It’s a contemplative venture all round here from Peverelist & Hyetal – hats off!
Rooted Records manager, Punch Drunk boss and key player in Bristol’s dubstep heritage, Tom Ford makes his voice heard once again amongst the hubbub of sounds emanating from the cultural pinnacle of the South West. His last release was his debut album Jarvik Mindstate, which gained virtually unanimous support from across the board.
Carefully considered, well paced and (unsurprisingly) impeccably executed, Peverelist’s “Better Ways Of Living” begins smoothly, with finely graduated, filmy layers build on filmy layers, connected by hissing percussion and slow, drawn out sliding SFX. Rolling bass, fidgity Scuba-like beats and warm instrumental chirrups and stabs throb and continue to build to a climax as we near the end of the tune. In fact, the track certainly bears comparison to Ramadanman and the Hessle Audio camp, in all its shuffling, melodic glory, though, of course, this is Peverelist’s signature sound to the core. Offering a new perspective, a new way of listening, the message in the title is most certainly honoured here.
The curiously entitled, “Fighting Without Fighting”, on the flip, retains that trademark techno-infused-dubstep essence, fused with melodic loveliness, though is an altogether moodier venture. Hypnotic rhythms, a morphing b-line and pummelling kicks drive the main body of the tune along. Cavorting and darting round the sonic boxing ring with an almost tribal pattern at times, Peverelist manages to hit home with a mildness and notable integrity to his swing. Very much the sound of now, with echoes of the before and after, this is a stunning 12” and a must have for the connoisseurs. Belinda Rowse
The perfect accompaniment to a summertime nap, Jarvik Mindstate will lull you to sleep with an erratic sequence of numbing industrial drones and wails before drawing you back to consciousness with its more rigid, upbeat second half. It’s an exercise in structuring as Bristol’s Tom Ford aka Peverelist deftly manoeuvres his crisp percussion and playful synth lines off the expanse of space he creates with every pulsing echo.
A key figure in Bristol’s flourishing dubstep scene with specialist label, Punch Drunk Records, under his wing, the softly-spoken Ford produces the ultimate hybrid of dubstep and techno, the offbeat tendencies of the former held firmly in line by the latter’s unremitting flow.
Aptly named after Robert Jarvik, the American scientist who developed the world’s first artificial heart, Ford’s debut full-length throbs moodily through opener, “Esperanto’s”, lonely horns and “Bluez’s” mismatched organ jabs to “Yesterday I Saw The Future’s” delightful seagull chatter and the melodic trip that is “Infinity Is Now”. Of particular note is the haunting “Revival”, which sees fellow Bristolian, Pinch, inject his eerie, psychedelic vibe through the halls of this looming, abandoned mansion of a track. With Jarvik Mindstate, Peverelist proves himself to be the most delicate of innovators.
Review: Bec Crew