As one third of the Livity Sound production crew and imprint, Pev has already supplied enough dancefloor heat in 2013 to power a midsize city for a few days. Livity's focus on raw, stripped machine funk has freed up Pev's own Punch Drunk label to pursue other dub-driven tangents. Most recently, the imprint played host to a varied EP from Bass Clef, offering several remixes of his "Stenaline Metranil Solar Flare." Earlier in the year, Pev linked up on Punch Drunk with fellow Bristolian, Hodge for yet another standout offering from the city's scene: the "Bells (System Mix)" b/w "Bells (Dream Sequence)" 12", which took the two producers down a decidedly dreamy and lush path. Now, Hodge has stepped out on his own with "Resolve" b/w "Prototype Fear," his first solo release for the label. The sonics are distinctly familiar at this point, but this 12" feels especially hungry.
Left to his own devices, Hodge favors a sound that retains the dislocated ambiance of "Bells" while attacking the rhythm even harder. "Resolve" suggests Basic Soul Unit's deliberate approach to sonic space, if it was applied to the blast-furnace intensity of AnD's tracks. There's also a more direct techno influence on this 12" than anything from Livity Sound, barring Asusu's "Velez." The extra detail Hodge makes a point of sticking in gives the track the kind of vertiginous momentum that Ancient Methods conveys so distinctly. "Prototype Fear" also impresses by adding just one extra layer of detail—a hoovering bassline that whips its bulk around restlessly. As soon as that bass starts sounding a little bored, a battery of drums encircles and lays into it like it owes them money. "Resolve" and "Prototype Fear" are tunes that work our brain with a ball-peen hammer, and as such, they're two of the roughest and baddest tracks to come out of Bristol this year.