Powell – Body Music review

Whatever about Powell’s debut being part of the zeitgeist, this second single sounds like it is striving to define rather fit in with the prevailing winds. Taking the industrial/drone approach to its logical conclusion, both “Have It” and “Nude” focus on malevolent, stripped back backlines and the occasional burst of white noise or disturbingly brutal bass licks. They sound primal and at times brutish, and yet both are surprisingly supple and spacious, like the breezes of air that rush in ahead of a hammer blow. They certainly make a refreshingly bleak change from the dense, gray-scale monotony that has become contemporary techno’s stock in trade.

“Search” sees Powell delve deep into the past and retrace EBM steps, with a brooding pulse emission straddling wiry rhythms. Ironically though, the most refreshing tracks are the ones with only the most tenuous connection to conventional electronic music. “Grand Street” marries the tinny drum rumble of bands like The Fall with a wiry rhythm section and more murderous bass. But the highlight is the title track: over a primal, noo wave rhythm, a scratchy, scuzzy guitar riff shares space with grungy electronic riffs. It’s raw and unpredictable yet at its heart is a sense of repetition that could only come from a techno producer. Like The Cramps getting it on with Dan Bell, “Body Music” may well become the memorable soundtrack for this long summer of discontent.

Richard Brophy


Tracklisting:

1. Body Music
2. Search
3. Grand St
4. Have It
5. Nude