Pev & Kowton "Raw Code" b/w "Junked"

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From the perspective of media outside the UK, Bristol's Peverelist and Kowton have been more closely associated with dubstep than certain peers—for instance, the Hessle Audio trifecta of Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, and Pangaea—who came up in the same era, but soon got lumped in with the new vanguard of bass music. Judging from "Raw Code" and "Junked" though, Pev & Kowton have made good use of their time as stranded dub warriors. Lacking the genre-transcending wingspan of Shackleton or the crossover-tempting buzz surrounding the aforementioned Hessle Audio crew, Pev & Kowton burrow further into the neglected dub-science aspect of dubstep, employing a physically tangible sense of experimentalism that gives these tracks their legs.

To start with, there are the flutes. 2012 had a good run of flute tracks with the likes of Portable's "A Process (Flutramental)" and Maxmillion Dunbar's "Raw Flute Swing" remix of Suzanne Kraft's "Feel," but "Raw Code"—whose main riff will already be familiar to some due to its inclusion in Ben UFO's Fabriclive 67—saturates the airy, metallic tones with sandpapery analog grit and sets them against raw Electribe banging. It's not a particularly appealing combination in theory, but it's a purpose-built meeting ground between Kowton's stark rhythm tracks and Peverelist's more colorful excursions. Though it lacks the a-side's obvious hook, "Junked" has the same creaky heart, as it's decorated with hi-hats sharp enough to induce winces, and bass drums and toms with a detuned, flatulent edge. Pev & Kowton invest their energy toeing their sounds right up to the edge of dub's precipitous drop, which imbues this 12" with a sense of continuity and innovation, sensations that have been conspicuously absent from much of the somewhat deracinated house and techno UK producers have turned to following dubstep's implosion.