Published Oct 12, 2016Dance music made by bands can often lead to pretty average outcomes. Electronic musicians with a penchant for punk, on the other hand, often yield far more interesting results. This is where Powell and his debut LP for XL Recordings come in.
For all intents and purposes, Sport is a punk record: It's got simple, catchy bass lines, nods to counter-culture and the ability to get you thoroughly riled up. Instead of a plenty-pierced misanthrope shouting in your ear holes, however, Powell offers an experimental, punked-out version of techno. And though dabbling in this kind of middle ground always poses the risk of sounding neither here nor there, Sport really is both; this is techno-punk at its finest.
"Jonny" could be slipped onto a Sounds of 1977 comp were it not for the cheeky filters employed throughout, while "Junk" sounds like someone managed to broker a collaboration between Helena Hauff and the Fall at a derelict carnival. Overshadowing both, though, is "Fuck You Oscar." It's the first proper track on the album, and as such, it's our introduction to questions like "What is going on here? How do I describe this to my friends? And why can't I stop slapping my kneecaps?"
Whether Sport is really for digital punks or leather-clad clubbers remains to be seen, but regardless of audience, this is one of the most interesting records to come out this year. (XL)