Following two extended players on Livity Sound in 2017, plus a string of equally solid releases on Hidden Hawaii, Rupture, Appian Sound and Dnuos Ytivil, London-based producer Forest Drive West, real name Joe Baker, steps up to deliver his debut long player on Peverelist’s iconic Bristol-based record label. Not just another addition, this represents a milestone for both the artist and imprint, considering ‘Apparitions‘ is just the third full-length to be released on Livity Sound, after two heavyweight efforts from Kowton and label founder Tom Ford himself.
Continually proving its fearless approach to techno derivates, Livity Sound set no boundaries for experimentation and oblique genre-mangling, deftly escaping all kind of artistic constriction. For this album, as with his previous releases, Forest Drive West draws his inspiration from the realms of jungle and dub techno, “distilling a rich history of UK musical influences into fresh new forms“, as the label accurately remarks. True to the Bristolian legacy, this one mixes the usual set of rolling drums, low-end atmospheres and a surgical approach to sound design, but configures them in new ways.
Although a dancefloor oriented number, ‘Apparitions’ features sparse ambient moments throughout its runtime. The wide span of influences at work in the album interacts in various ways throughout the eight tracks, overlapping here and there as it happens in ‘Cut and Run‘, where echoing pads evoke dub atmospheres clashing with jungle-y drums. This is also the case for ‘Vertigo‘, while in other tracks as ‘Transmissions‘, ‘Phaze-Shit‘ and ‘Circle‘ the mood appears milder and more linear.
Last chapter is another story, with ‘Traveller‘ mirroring Livity Sound signature blends of lushly brushed post-industrial atmospheres and essentialised rhythmic backbones, while ‘Cannibal‘ operates as a wild, hypermodern 150 BPM jungle workout, cleverly delineated by ‘Particles in Motion‘, the one and only beatless cut of the album.
‘Apparitions’ LP is out now on Livity Sound, order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. Cut And Run
7. Particles In Motion