Pev & Kowton – ‘Signal 3/Low Strobe’ (Livity Sound)

Tom Ford (Pev) and Joe Cowton (Kowton) are preceded by their respective reputations, but the duo seem to reach new heights collaborating under the Livity Sound banner. Four years since its inception, and alongside fellow conspirator Asusu, their new(ish) collective has emerged as a jewel in the crown of Bristol’s underground community. You only have to cast an eye over the array of artists more than willing to get involved on the ‘Livity Sound Remixes’ compilation for proof that their peers hold them in very high esteem. Last year was devoted to pushing the aforementioned album, but now they’re back with two new and irrepressible Techno machinations.

Following a familiar recipe, ‘Signal 3’ opens to delicate, waif­like electronics; not unlike those encountered on several previous collaborations. But while the melodies may be brittle, the backbone most certainly isn’t. Oscillating like the seismic tremors of a devastating earthquake, the kick/bass combo seems to have been pulled from the murkiest depths of their sonic palette.

Pev’s impeccable aptitude for drum programming is demonstrated on both sides, but ‘Low Strobe’ is where it really shines through. As far as the title goes, it seems like they achieved the desired effect. The marching bass throbs with the dull pulse of a dying strobe light underneath a steely cacophony of cymbal and drum, before a haze of undulating synth descends to soften the tone (if only for a bit).

Possibly a bit unwieldily for the less­ seasoned DJs amongst us, both tracks are a little more substantial than their skeletal predecessors. Either way, neither strays too far from the tone and aesthetic that defines the project as a whole. Brittle and elegant, but simultaneously menacing and vigorous, the fifteenth Livity Sound is characterised by the same the beautiful severity as previous efforts.

‘Signal 3/Low Strobe’ is out now on Livity Sound. Buy it here

Matt Blair

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