Part of our Albums of the Year 2016
Livity Sound present Utility, the keenly anticipated album debut from Kowton. Emerging onto the underground circuit back in '09 with a UKG-indebted roller for Keysound that blended Berlin dub techno with an OG dubstep sensibility. Kowton has consistently pushed FWD his sound with choice cuts on labels such as Idle Hands, Hessle Audio and Whities. But it's on Livity Sound that he has cut his best dubs.
While it is a collection of expertly built club killers, Utility flows from start to finish with an expertise that feels like it was produced with the intention of blowing minds as well as speakers when deployed. From the whispered voice ghosted into the UK techno emerging from the shadows at 4 am in the smoking area of Corsica Studios on Sleep Chamber to the Berghain at midday Sunday shuffle dub of Bubbling Under, Utility crossed scenes of bass-rooted underground music whilst maintaining a unique flow often hinted at, but rarely achieved within techno albums.
This is a proper teeth-grinding, head-nodding ride that owes as much to mid 90's Bristol drum & bass as it does to late 00's warehouse techno but all capped off with a signature sound that is undoubtedly Kowton at the controls.