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Two things above all anchor Livity Sound. The first thing you notice about the label, founded by Peverelist in 2011, is the percussion. Livity is not the first Bristol imprint to draw from and build upon the bedrocks of contemporary British music –– dubstep, garage, grime –– as well as a more headsy corner of the techno tent –– dub techno, electro, Detroit minimal and whatever you’d call A Made Up Sound. The difference with Livity is the intricacy in the production, as if every artist is given a brief to build a club track using only elements of a modest size.

Putting a finger on how a Livity release moves is tricky, but you suspect that’s the point. Typically, the records take pleasure in not being the loudest, brashest voice in the room – instead, presence is earned by precision. Hi-hats chatter, detailed effects adorn the margins, synths buzz, and taut, dry drums pause at odd moments or deviate on a surprise left turn.

As you’d expect for a label existing in the shadow of the UK’s towering history of soundsystem culture, bass plays an essential part. On these records basslines are not used as a cudgel to flatten you with, but rolled out in a more tactile manner. Sometimes there’s no bass at all, with a focus on the space left behind. Overall, there’s a quiet confidence throughout the Livity catalogue, imbuing the records with staying power that some contemporaries in the field lack.

By 2013, these qualities had seeped into the public consciousness. At first, you knew what you were getting – whether the insistent rattle of “Velez” or the creeping menace of “More Games,” the records always came from the trio of Peverelist, Kowton and Asusu. It certainly didn’t hurt that a compilation of the label’s first two years in action had 18 tracks shared between just those 3 credits (or that they would haul tables of tangled hardware to festivals as the label’s popularity grew, performing live together as a namesake Livity Sound trio).

Then came an expansion of the vision. In the mid-2010s, some of the finest producers of the modern age began releasing on Livity Sound and its inverted sister label, Dnuos Ytivil. Scan the catalogue and find Laurel Halo, Batu, Hodge, Randomer, Simo Cell, Facta, Two Shell, Leif and more – all musicians cut from a similar cloth to some extent in their ability to move with subtle grace while turning a party inside-out.

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