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powell - Untitled (Rave002)
Powell marks up the 2nd release on The Death Of Rave, following Mark Leckey's debut entry, 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore'. Powell's 3rd release refines his ascetic blend of lawless New York no wave, cold European electronics and late '90s D&B with incisive vision and propulsive torque. The EP's standout 'A Band' emphasises a chimeric indistinction between the "real" textures of sample-spliced guitars and drums and the gritted tension of painstakingly processed electronics, somehow sounding like MMM producing for MARS, whereas the ductile, visceral wormhole of 'Acid' feels more like Bob Ostertag mangling Phuture. At its iciest, the bruxist thump of 'Rider' is an assured nod to Suicide, yet sliced with the precision of prime period Digital or Dom & Optical, whilst the loosely skewed but in-the-pocket groove of 'Oh No New York' is one of few contemporary examples that genuinely augments post punk tropes without merely reaffirming them. And far from stylistic tourism, these tracks are wrought with integrity and guile, forged with awareness of their sub-cultural history and coolly swerving its dead ends with a stoic intelligence and discipline that's sorely lacking from the reams of "yeah, we've got 3000 unreleased tunes on our hard-drive" set of producers: Powell may only have a handful, but they're probably better than yours.