Powell's minimal techno is woozy, fun

Sometimes you're a bit late to the game, as I personally am with the work of London-based Oscar Powell, who has recorded under his last name for Death of Rave, Liberation Technologies, and others. I may not have been scoping up his left-field dance 12"s from the last three and a half years, but they've all just been collected on one double CD, so I can now scare my neighbors with them. 

Released on his own label Diagonal (where he’s also put out music by likeminded freaks such as Skull Defekts, Death Comet Crew and the Streetwalkers), the well-designed 11-14 collects Powell's major output from the last three years. It's some of the best abstract techno I've heard in ages.

There’s a playfulness that one might associate with artists like Mike Paradinas, but it’s way less goofy and often has a hard edge to it. In fact, much of this seems as aimed to post-punk ears as dance ones, a fact clarified by song titles like “Wharton Tiers On Drums” and “Oh No New York.” 

The only problem is that now I have some new cool thing to obsess over! Here's a link to a live set from a year ago, OK.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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