Powell follows up some huge releases (and billboards) with debut album Sport for XL. Following in the label's strong lineage of fellow left-field electronic (not just 'dance' producers, mind) producers including Prodigy, SL2, and Jonny L, Powell's sound is one that blends tight production talent with a strong knowledge of how to make proper bangers for a jilted generation.
Emerging five years ago with little announce but an instantly strong aesthetic both musically and design-wise, Powell's sound immediately stood out in a world of producers making techno that sound took its cues from post-punk, turning the style on its head, he made post-punk that had techno ideals. 2011 and 12's EP's The Ongoing Significance... and Body Music hinted at a sound that was more Suicide than Sandwell, but with the latter's team captain Regis providing a remix for Ongoing, these plates cemented Powell as a central character in the world occupied by Regis, Blackest Ever Black and the late night no-wave leanings of HTRK.
Having self-released his first couple of records and being enlisted for some further raw, electrified cuts on Mute's Lib Tech imprint and The Death Of Rave, Powell has found his permanent home on the legendary rave outpost XL. Sport is an LP that sounds like the perfect snapshot of his eclectic DJ sets and live gigs, Melon Magic NTS shows and the Diagonal imprint he co-runs with Jamie Williams (home to the releases from the likes of EVOL, Russell Haswell & Not Waving).
Sport is an eclectic/electric mix of late night, out and about snatches of pub chatter, fizzzzzy synth textures, flocks of angry bees stuck in a rack of Wasp synths and downtown NY, uptown Hackney out on the pi*s swagger. Powell's sense of fun really comes to the forefront of the session with tongue in cheek track titles like Fuck You, Oscar and Gone A Bit Bendy [NTS Chatroom Version]. Using the longer format to enlist the help of his gang, and minus the mouthy collab Maniac with Russell Haswell from a while back, there are guest spots on the dials from Loke Rahbek of Posh Isolation who turns in a swampy number that sounds like TG going disco, rippin' guitar fuzz on Frankie [feat Frankie] and Entr'acte's Dale Cornish whose production talents adorn the chopped out vocal lines that take center stage on Do You Rotate? Each track's a variation on the Powell sound, squelchy acid stabs, bone-dry tech-step drums and a wealth of off the hook samples. All stuck together with cellotape and glue to make one of the most entertaining and uniquely original 'dance music' records you are likely to hear this year, having been giving this a whirl over the past few weeks we can honestly say, like Powell's synths, its proper buzzin'.