Back in 2006, Bristol producer Peverelist (a.k.a. Tom Ford) released the 12,Ē "Erstwhile Rhythm,Ē a brilliant fusion of dub techno and dubstep that was a high-water mark, even now that a mini-deluge of Bristol-meets-Berlin tracks have followed in its wake. Since then, dubstep has spiraled off in a dizzying variety of directions. While itís still defined by the bin-rattling wub-wobbly club tracks, new styles and iterations are evolving at a blistering pace, as producers incorporate elements from hip-hop, IDM, ambient, jungle, and dub techno.
With the scene in such a state of creative flux, itís remarkable that Ford, who is a veritable vet, still makes music that sounds so innovative. Though he has a slew of releases to his credit, Jarvik Mindstate is only Peverelistís first full-length release. In interviews, Ford has described the record as a series of snapshots, rather than an "album," with its more linear narrative flow.
Nonetheless, Jarvik Mindstate is not a disjointed record; itís just that each track is strong enough to stand on its own. And there are some glorious tracks to be had here. The title is a nod a to Fordís longstanding fascination with how technology has been inserted into everyday life Ė Robert Jarvik was the inventor of the first artificial human heart. The music, though cool and digital to its bones, crackles with life and warmth.
Itís a rare producer indeed who combines intricate rhythmic patterns, subtle melodies, and wriggling basslines in as evocative and idiosyncratic a manner as Peverelist. The CD version of the record contains a pair of classic tracks Ė the wondrous marriage of junglist swing and longform techno, "Infinity is Now," and the extraordinarily eccentric (and deceptively simple), "Clunk Click Every Trip." The seven new tracks exclusive to the album are equally exhilarating. Some of the finest moments come on tracks like "Yesterday I Saw the Future" and the title track where Fordís love of the rhythmic intricacies of jungle come to the fore. And even a relatively straightforward techno track like "Not Yet Further Than" has a strange Peverlist twist, a slightly perverse melodic line, an off-kilter rhythm to keep things interesting. And, of course, thereís the bass, which, throughout, is a wondrous thing.