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Powell's fried acid techno makes hauntingly obtuse appearances in this ever changing, weirdly delirious long-player. At certain moments it's a merry chaos, various synth boxes spluttering nonsense into the sonic spaces; at other times it's hypnotic, understated groove, full of subtle developments and delicious tension.

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  • DIAG041
  • DIAG041 / Limited LP on Diagonal. Edition of 420 copies

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New Beta Vol.2 by Powell
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7/10 Ant Staff review, 08 November 2017

As with the first volume in Powell’s New Beta series, this is a vinyl only (i.e no digital) release and is limited to 420 copies. ‘New Beta Vol.2’ is a collection of loose hardware jams that gets going with his tribute of sorts to Autechre - like their recent work, ‘PostAe’ is a piece that squirms and wriggles along like a living organism. I reckon this is done on modular gear though, not software. Then there’s the crisp, skeletal electro of ‘Sneak 2_05’ with minimal, rudimentary drum pulse. It’s very spacious and clean sounding with lots of little rubbery squelches, hypnotic micro rhythms and big crunchy snares. The B-boy dub acid mentalism of ‘Rudeboy, Let’s Funk’ sounds something like an acid spiked, restless Meat Beat Manifesto.

‘Slippy Pig’ moves along with well lubricated skittering drums and a demented grunting bassline before the chewed up and spat out Rave of Drumz VIP. ‘Hoi!!’ sounds like he’s fiddling with and testing out a coupla modules with mate Russell Haswell. The last tune and highlight ‘Strobe’ plays out a rubbery rhythm over a spooked backdrop, unleashing some big bass business and teasing drums as it plays out. It sounds like he’s been having fun making these tracks, but there’s nothing particularly remarkable happening. I felt the same with the previous volume - but then if you put them both together as a more substantial body of work it could be more rewarding.


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