Monday, 21 December 2009

Peverelist – Jarvik Mindstate [Punch Drunk]

The Jarvik heart is an artificial heart, a mechanical replacement for the biological heart an idea that echoes Peverelist’s music and explains the artwork for this his debut full-length record. The music he makes has this mechanical soul a flowing tech infused blues in the vain of much electronic music from the past. The need to make machines have a human soul and connect to us has a long history from Kraftwerk through the finest Detroit techno producers and many of today’s artists. The artwork also looks a little like the insides of what you’d expect to be under the swamp tinged digital camouflage jacket of the Hyperdub compilation ‘5’ or some kind of Jungelist outfit. Jarvik Mindstate is the debut full length from a producer that’s always had my attention, Peverelist the head honcho of Bristol label Punch Drunk.

The echo-drenched fanfares of ‘Esperanto’ ushers in the album while drum patterns, masterfully programmed to create some stone cold grooves, deep shifting bass tones and techy melodic loops make epic futuristic shapes infront of your speakers. These are all traits of Peverelist’s sound every track has a subtle stripped back feel that opens up gradually and develops into something stronger than the sum of its parts. The super minimal half-stepper ‘Revival’ with another Bristol mainstay Pinch has an epic sense of space and dread, a darkness that’s barely held together by an unknown force. The fantastic ‘Bluez’ is up next, a track that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for some time along with ‘Esperanto’, the deep soulful organ melody that ushers in the bumping space bass really grows on you. The super dry mechanical sounds get drenched in a subtle merck and hypnotise relentlessly before prolonged synth pads and chiming robotic bells and that original organ loop drops in again and your left with a beautifully bitter sweat dance floor moment.

The title track ‘Jarvick Mindstate’ isn’t dissimilar to ‘Bluez’ with its looping organ style riff, but this time its altogether more urgent and tinged with electro snares that snap around the bumping kicks before descending into spaced out breakdowns and teasing hypnotic loops. ‘Yesterday I Saw The Future’ is another new track I’d not heard before the album and it’s an undoubted highlight for its booming bass lines mesmerising subtle melodies and watery underbelly. Its echoes Bristol’s jungelist past in its kick patterns and history he’s very familiar with. The beast that is ‘Infinity is Now’ a track that was released last year on Tectonic still hits the spot just as it did then, the twinkling twirling techy arpeggios get me everytime. Pev’s music stands the test of time well I would have been happy to hear older gems like ‘Roll With The Punches’ on here too, tracks I always find myself digging out.

The jungelist vibes are even stronger on ‘Not Yet Further Than’, with all its pent up urgent energy and distinct techno dystopian future soul that could soundtrack a chase scene in hover cars in a sci-fi film set in a flooded city. The uplifting housey chords on ‘Valves’ really echo Detroit for me, as do the skipping high hats. Pev’s touchstones are always highly filtered through his unique sound and come out as twisted mechanical-soul that works its way into your mind. Another favourite ‘Clunk Click Every Trip’ makes a comeback to finish the album off in fine style. I had a surreal moment playing this track at a club night at a gig venue where Sigue Sigue Sputnik just chilled at the bar in full on glam rock gear, its not something I expected to happen and the coincidence that Sigue Sigue Sputnik and ‘Clunk Click Every Trip’ rhyme was pretty funny. Anyway the track just slays it by building and building with the retro drum machine bleeps and reverb before dropping the perfect answer to all that build up, a sweat euphoric string section that gets you reaching for the sky… only to drop that away for another sublime build only to conclude at the very end of the track, goose bump inducing stuff.

Jarvik Mindstate is a hell of an album Peverelist pulled off a full length with ease showcasing his single vision and sound so well. For some that vision is going to be to much, just as some of his peers such as Shackleton whose darkness is sometimes over whelming but for some you’ll find yourself coming back to this album time after time. 2562 and Martyn pulled off quality techno-infused album this year as well yet Peverelist’s vision still sounds so different, it just goes to show that even the techno inspired dubstep producers can’t really be lumped in together so easily, the range is vast. It’s up there as one of my full-length highlights that’s for sure.

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