The club music Oscar Powell wanted to hear didn't exist, so he made it himself. He's now released six EPs and a compilation of the stuff, and it's the most inventive and hard-hitting dance music I've recently heard. His tracks combine the attitude of post-punk with the physicality of techno and the adventurous spirit of experimental music. Powell's drums are a meticulously crafted mess, which makes dancing to his tracks both fun and challenging. Powell runs a label called Diagonal with his best friend, Jaime Williams, and in the spirit of Powell's records, they mostly release leftfield electronic music you can dance to. The revered techno artist Regis was an early supporter, advising Powell to start Diagonal and remixing a track on its first release. Russell Haswell, the famously bloody-minded multidisciplinary artist, has released two records on the label and has become something of a mentor to Powell. These friendships have contributed to Powell's uncompromising views on his music and the scene around him. He sometimes feels disillusioned at the formulaic nature of contemporary club music but, as he told me, he doesn't think of himself as the antidote so much as an alternative. Nevertheless, his music and views raise questions about what we expect from our dance floor experiences.
Previous editions –
- 2017 &