Review: Livity Sound has come a long way since surfacing as something like white label for Peverelist, Kowton and Asusu's music - the latter's "Sister" a bonafide gem! Over the years it has expanded its roster to the point of becoming a landmark within UK bass music - especially that of Bristol! If you wanted to catch up with what that sound actually is, still fresh as f*** in 2021 - Molten Mirrors: A Decade Of Livity Sound is your port of call. For the first of two parts, it's Batu in the mix with a feel-good yet grubby, junkyard industrial banger "Melts Into Air" which sits nicely next to the abstracted beats of Two Shiel's "Big Style". With deeper mysticisms comes Azu Tiwaline's slower "Nissa" next to the faster polyrhythms of Forest Drive West's "Lost Signal", with Facta, Al Wooton and Cando spreading some hypercolor synths and high fidelity beats in their sessions. And check out the leftfield selection of warped, jazzy breakdowns by DJ Plead that makes for a perfect segue into Bakongo's "Ashy".
Review: Adding a wild card flavour to Livity Sound ever since appearing on its Dnuos Ytivil sub-label back in 2016, Forest Drive West has used the parent label as his more club-centric vibe. This EP follows his 2018 Aspirations album, and leading with the linear kicks and offbeat hats of "Dualism", Forest Drive West heads its production in the direction of misty techno designed to be heard in the woods - before turning toward a more classic Italian polyrhythmic sound and atmosphere via "Ritual". That saddles up next to some Leo Anibaldi-like basslines in "New Day" with something of a bonus track coming in "Scorpion" which sees FDW hook up with the live and acoustic drums of Australian instrumentalist Lucky Pereira.
Review: Continuing their permeance into contemporary techno culture Delsin Records outta Amsterdam bring together a refined selection of stalwarts and newcomer artists this annual compilation. Scour down the list and you'll find bonus numbers from the likes of Forest Drive West with his classic rhythmic style to headliners like BNJMN, Natural & Electronic.system and WAV, aka Wata Igarashi & Voiski! Intrigues include amethia recordings purge Varuna, all time classic John Beltran (in "Euphoric Dream Ocean") and cosmic broken beat experiments from Wladimir M (think Planet E and Evo Lute). Furthermore, find tracks from electro wizz CiM and go deeper into italian-style techno variations with VC-118A's "Crunch" and of course some OG electro from Delsin legend Versalife. To 2021 and beyond!
Review: Tale Of Us did it, Blawan did it, Special Request too, and many others at the top of their game find their hype bonafide with a silver & green plated R&S debut. Joining that list alongside other contemporaries like Djrum, Ada Kaleh and Benjamin Damage is rhythm, UK bass and percussive techno specialist Forest Drive West. Channeling a harder, slightly darker tribalistic and UK style for the rave-minded R&S, each track here sees deeper Italian techno in breakbeat form meet with shady Bristol rave and dubstep atmospheres. Throw in the splash of jungle in "Curved Path" and you've got a EP that covers what any R&S / FDW fan needs. Rave 2.0
Review: Mantis is a new sub-label from Delsin, and it launches in style with a release from Joe Baker aka Forest Drive West. Fans of the UK producer's idiosyncratic releases for Livity and Whities will find much to love here. "Hidden Places" stars the EP in ominous mode, with evocative, swirling shapes floating up over a muscular, sinewy bass and spine-tingling percussion. On "Invisible", Baker heads towards the dance floor with an eerie rhythm bolstered by surging bass that supports haunting textures. It's only a temporary flirtation however, and by the time he reaches "Radiance", a murky soundscape guides the listener towards a subdued finale.
Review: Forest Drive West's dub-artic explorations finds itself in the Scandianavian fjords of Denmark with navigational support from dub techno beacon Echocord. Like a subaqueous blip on a sonar's radar it's "Creation Dub" that sets this record its course into the deepest, sinkiest realms of DT. With more stylistic rhythms introducing themselves into tracks like "Parallel Space" and "Drift", fresh rhythms and coldlier winds still offer slight touches of aurora borealis. Conforce sends in the chords with his remix to "Parallel Space" which go off like flares floating above the depths of a subterrain space they came from.
Review: Following on from two Eps on Livity last year, Forest Drive West drops his debut album. It captures the producer's unique fusion of techno, abstract sounds and jungle, and gets off to a frenetic start with the high-octane, percussive "Cut and Run". At the other end of the Forest Drive West spectrum is "Transmission", a deep, throbbing slice of techno and the mesmerising minimalism of "Circles". Apparitions also sees the UK artist flirt with sound scapes and abstract textures, typified by the dubbed out "Vertigo" and the moody sub-bass tones of "Phaze-Shift". Characterised throughout by Forest Drive West's distinctive sound design, it is one of 2018's finest long players.
Review: Static is Forest Drive West's second release on Livity - he/she also put out an early release on its sub-label - and features the act's most impressive material yet. On "Static", a minimal, steppy rhythm prevails, led by a mysterious synth, flickering percussion and a resonating bass that shifts up and down a few notes. "Escape" is more textured, and resounds to eerie sound scapes and swirling shapes. On this occasion, the beats are tough and dense, the bass plunges with submarine speed and there are even some Sandwell-style bleeps, but even this mysterious-sounding track can't beat the wiry wonder that is "Static".
Review: Mysterious UK producer returns with more grey area perspectives, courtesy of Felix K's label. These three tracks lurk in the grey area: the space between techno and drum and bass. The first version of "Persistence Of Memory" is a textured dub techno experiment, redolent of classic Basic Channel by way of Italian hypnotic techno sensibilities. A raw, brazenly analogue and bass heavy thumper represents the second rendition, much in the vein of Clone Basement Series or Livity Sound: keeping in mind that he appeared on the latter with his previous EP Jinx/Scanners earlier in 2017. Persistence Of Memory 3 shows a side of the producer not seen since his Jungle Crack EP last year. This is a pure techstep: late '90s style and calls to mind the early work of Trace or Ed Rush & Optical where this producer possibly returns to their roots.
Review: Forest Drive West has previously appeared on Livity sub-label Dnuos Ytivil, and this EP for the main outlet is just as impressive. "Jinx" resounds to hushed voices and scary animal howls from deep within a haunted forest, while in the background a brittle, dissected rhythm plays away. "Scanners" also draws on abstract sound and textures, with electronic burps and belches summoned up from below ground. However, on this occasion, the groove is straighter and more rolling, and its drum-heavy, percussive approach sounds like a freakish, malignant take on the late 90s West Coast house of labels like Grayhound and Siesta.
Review: Forest Drive West is a new producer who is putting out his debut on Peverelist and Kowton's label. It must be a daunting task to release on Livity Sound, but it's one that the London-based artist rises to in style. Clocking in at over ten minutes, "System" moves from eerie drones and shadowy vocals into a drawn out, voodoo rhythm, with tribal drums gather intensity before crashing in on the arrangement. On the flip, "Show Them" is more direct, with the producer putting the drums to the fore and allowing a bleak synth tapestry to gradually float to the surface. It's a hugely impressive debut release.