New Beta Vol. 2

Diagonal Diagonal 041 LP
  • LP: Ltd. to 420 copies
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Powell loosens up and reaches out on the 2nd New Beta playground for Diagonal, budging bones and buns in seven hot-stepping, curiously emotive permutations that swerve from Æ-style abstraction to pointillist electro-acid and a brace of mutant diskotheek breakers. As with the first volume, he’s clearly still gassed off his new hardware, resulting a nerve-jumping fizz and crack that sounds like he’s jamming with fingers directly in the jack ports.

Like some cyborg antagonist who can’t stand to see humans plodding four square do-si-do in the dance, Powell fractures and gels the groove in wickedly freakish exercises, increasingly finding himself attracted to near beat-less structures to give his dancers and listeners more jelly limbed options for kinaesthetic interpretation and f**king weird feels.

On PosTAe he prangs out in sincere tribute to arch ‘borgs Autechre with a hot mess of haywire modular plongs, before Sneak 2_05 catches him cutting back to the ascetic funk of his earliest 12”s, this time sharper, serpentine, before Rudeboy, Let’s Funk catapults us into something like a scrap between Trevor Jackson and Luke Vibert, all clipped drum clatter and acid zig-zags itching for the sweat, farts and perfume of the ‘floor.

Slippy Pig jabs the B-side into play with some of the EP’s nattiest, stepping impulses drawing a line from The Normal thru Ed Rush’s Wormhole via The Bocaccio, then Drumz VIP darts like some deviant jazz-funk oddity from West London, with its dissonant flourishes making way for the febrile blatz of Hoi!! and the EP’s surprise standout in the richly colourful and dynamic phrasing of Strobe, perhaps the smartest/goofiest iteration of Powell’s new sound in circulation.

Powell: New Beta Vol. 2

PosTAe Powell
Sneak 2_05 Powell
Rudeboy, Let's Funk Powell
Slippy Pig Powell
DruMz VIP Powell
Hoi!! Powell
Strobe Powell

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