When it comes to innovation within the grey area that exists between “bass music” and whatever is considered “techno” these days Peverelist has it covered. The Bristol-based producer has been on a roll since establishing his Livity Sound imprint with fellow producers Kowton and Asusu, whilst releasing extrapolations that were birthed from smashing techno and bass together. The label became a platform for artists like Alex Coulton, Batu, Hodge and Simo Cell taking unique voices and cementing them as waypoints into the aforementioned grey area.
However, with all that going on in the background, Pev still manages to pump out new music, whether it be solo releases or collaborative efforts with his fellow founders Kowton and Asusu, the Bristolian producer found new ways to mangle and meander between the lines of genre and dismantled the delineation altogether. That break between the borders is what leads to Tessellations, his new album just released on Livity Sound – a narrative that bears tributes to the past while establishing a sonic modernity that’s unique with every passing listen.
Interview by Mitch Stratchnov
"The magic is making something and having people enjoy it in an individualistic perspective."
Congrats on your new album ‘Tessellations’ – it’s a masterful collection of tracks that are enduringly left-field and rewarding each time one listens to it. Certainly, after a lengthy amount of 12-inch releases on various labels, it must have been quite nice to put out your latest album on your own imprint.
Thanks, man. It’s actually really hard to do without getting a lot of feedback – it’s also me A&R-ing it myself! This was me telling myself I’d never do it again after ‘Jarvik Mindstate‘ – and that sort-of changed when we (Asusu, Kowton and myself) vowed to do a few more album projects for the label.
If you’re an author, you have to write a book; and that’s already a lot of pressure – but in this case, you have to also edit and publish it before release. So it’s a tricky line to manage as a person who runs the label but also has to whittle down the track list for your own LP.
When did the initial idea come about to start working on album – was there a particular instance where you decided it was time?
The idea came about in conversation about the future of the label – I don’t really see myself as a producer; my main thing has been running the label and that was going well. I’m really slow at doing stuff as I’m running things, but Joe (Kowton) and I decided to make albums for the label at the same time – which is cool, but he just happened to make it three times faster than I could.
"With Livity Sound we have strived away from genres and personally I just move around with what I grow up with."
The album has a distinct tonality to it while delving into a narrative that is uniquely your own – the beginning and end tracks are somewhat ambient, and between all those you have tunes that meander within their structure, tributing rave with their chord progressions and striking that fine line between what’s considered “bass music” now and extraterrestrial techno. Was there a particular focus on the narrative for this record that you had in mind from the beginning?
I definitely had the beginning and end in perspective, ‘Wireframes’ was one of the first tracks I worked out, but I don’t think my approach was anything too analytical. I didn’t want things to get too bloated; rather I wanted to keep things succinct and short to support the narrative. It’s really for the listeners to interpret things – the magic is making something and having people enjoy it in an individualistic perspective.
Your productions are vigorously playful – no section of a track ever gets bogged down and there’s never a chance of wasted space within a track; that’s something that’s been present since the beginning of your production career. What have you kept the same and what have you changed since that time to keep yourself invigorated?
I’m no technical whiz-kid; however, you learn a bit as you go along. What changed was the switch in software I made a few years back, from FL Studio to Ableton, which was a massive learning curve. It took a chunk of time, but I figured out how to manoeuvre pretty much the same way I did previously and incorporate the ideas have been consistent from beforehand; with Livity Sound we have strived away from genres and personally I just move around with what I grow up with.
Techno, however, is something I didn’t grow up with – I discovered it later in my life and it wasn’t necessarily what I thought techno was back then, or even now. I guess my palette towards has always been about, just on the more curious side.
"I’m not really thinking about making music more so than I did years back, still just making music for myself and friends."
Livity Sound has been consistently releasing interesting “dance” music and looks to be steamrolling – it seems like there’s always room for innovation with the label. With the label now in its sixth year, where do you see things going in the coming months?
I’ll remain tight-lipped on who we will be releasing for this year (can’t ruin the surprise) but the vision is still the same; it’s music that we as a collective consider techno within our scope and we will continue to further that narrative as it keeps coming with whatever sounds take shape.
Finally, you’ve had fans listen to your music for a better part of a decade now – what do you hope listeners get out of ‘Tessellations’ when they listen to it for the first time versus when they heard ‘Jarvik Mindstate’?
You know, I don’t know really! It’s kind of an amazing accident that I’m still making music – 10 years later. I’m not really thinking about making music more so than I did years back, still just making music for myself and friends. Perhaps that’s just the best way to keep ideas fresh, keep it in the family.
Tessellations is out now on vinyl and digital formats, pick up a copy from Bandcamp.
1. Burning Sea
2. Under Clearing Skies
3. Still Early
4. Sheer Chance Matters
6. Slice Of Life
7. Further Inland
8. Brinks And Limits