Review: According to Lovefingers' typically eccentric sales notes, these two tracks from Man Power (AKA similarly quirky producer Geoff Kirkwood) will "put a wrench in your holiday". Kirkwood has been globetrotting a lot lately, and both cuts here sound like they were inspired by visits to hot, steamy countries. He kicks things off with the subtle positivity of "The Tourist", where swirling chords and tumbling synthesizer melodies ride a busy, bouncy, and pleasingly off-kilter, tribal drum groove. While excellent, it lacks the surging positivity, glistening Balearic touches and wonky analogue bottom-end of flipside "Oye", which sounds like an Adriatic anthem in waiting.
Review: Mexico-based Geordie Man Power has been on the rise for some time, picking up plaudits for the quality of his releases on Throne of Blood, ESP Institute, Hivern Discs and Correspondant. Now, he's decided to go it alone, launching the MeMeMe label as a vehicle for his own productions. "Tachyon" is something of a sleazy, late night treat, with the British ex-pat concentrating the action around a deliciously dirty, mutant Italo arpeggio, nagging electronic loops, and punchy drum machine percussion. DJ Tennis takes the track in a different direction, smothering Man Power's sleazy groove in melodious marimba lines, drowsy chords and elastic electronics.
Review: London-based Bad Passion Project, aka Chris Stoker (Ess O Ess) and Andy Bainbridge (Machete Savane), finally unveil their new label Not An Animal Records For their first release they present an EP from friend and frequent collaborator "Man Power" known for music on Hivern Discs from The Backwood, aka DJ Kent and & Ess O Ess. "Power Theme" is a bouncing hybrid of leftfield techno merged with synth pop, which builds to a dramatic Italo-fuelled climax. Ess O Ess' remix takes the track on a trip into organic techno territory, while the second original production presents yet another musical mongrel, this time with a blend of robotic, arpeggiated disco meeting fuzzed-up and over-blown heavy rock pomp. The Backwoods swaps the original's brashness of Le Clerc for lightness, depth and beauty, stripping the track back to its melodic components, adding percussive counter-melodies and underpinning everything with a hypnotic and pulsing house baseline.
Man Power/Xen - "The Zen Of Xen" (Parts I & II) - (12:54) 125 BPM
Man Power - "Heart For Yes Like For No" - (4:51) 127 BPM
Man Power - "Hubris" - (6:38) 125 BPM
Review: Following up great releases recently on My Favorite Robot, DFA and Calypso, the mighty Geoff Kirkwood aka Man Power returns to Correspondant. The Mexico based composer makes a welcome return with these three truly singular trips. From the spooky, technoid tunnel vision of "The Zen Of Xen - parts I & II" featuring the seductive vocal talents of feat Xen, Kirkwood continues to impress by way of "Heart For Yes. Like For No"a neon-lit and adrenalised EBM/nu-disco mutant, while the powerful closer "Hubris" brings on those euphoric desert rave vibes - the Arp chords throughout will no doubt elevate you to a higher state.
Review: After a slew of releases for labels like ESP Institute, Optimo and Correspondant, Man Power returns to his own imprint. It's only his second release on Me Me Me, but the UK producer has pulled out all of the stops. "Valhalla" draws on spell-binding strings and a brooding bass to create a sumptuous, spaced out slice of electronic disco. According to Man Power himself, he tried to be majestic when writing "Valhalla", and it sounds like he succeeded. Next on his to-do list is big room house, which is the aim for the title track: there, dramatic woodwind swoops in to support mysterious vocals, brooding bass and the kind of dramatic builds that would be more common on an Ame record. Clearly, Man Power has achieved both of his goals.
Review: Geoff Kirkwood aka Man Power has a small but enviable catalogue, with releases on labels such as Correspondant and ESP Institute. For his latest outing, he delivers on Optimo Trax, another respected outlet for left of centre dance music. On the title track, he drops a pulsing groove, around which he adds in eerie textures and some spoken word samples, which appear to come from US politics. It makes for an unusual, hypnotic dance floor track. "HDS" follows a different tact; it sees Kirkwood deliver subtle break beats - one of the longest running themes on Optimo Trax releases - reverberating vocal chants and a droning sound scape, as another unnamed vocal narrative plays out. It makes for one of the best left field releases of 2017.
Review: By his standards, Geoff "Man Power" Kirkwood has been relatively quiet this year. In fact, this tasty outing on Four Thirty Two is only his second solo outing of 2018, following double A-side single "Valhalla/Fidelity" back in September. Those looking for heady peak-time release should check the throbbing, all-action electronic motifs, jammed-out electric piano solos and jackin', Chicago style drum fills of glassy-eyed opener "Outrider" and the Balearic-minded nu-disco/house fusion of "Vista", where deep space chords and mesmerizing motifs rise and fall above a rolling rhythm track. Roman Flugel brilliantly re-imagines that track as a pulsating chunk of Italo-disco/hip-house fusion, before bonus cut "Poly Pop" offers a wealth of sun bright synth-pop melodies, cheery riffs and deliciously heavy analogue bass.
Review: Despite releasing a rake of EPs over the past two years for Correspondant, ESP Institute and Optimo Trax, Man Power aka Geoff Kirkwood shows no sign of slowing down. The talented artist's latest missive appears on the newly minted DGTL label, and is an essential release for anyone who follows his idiosyncratic sound. "The Duellist" is the big track here, focusing on slinky piano keys, a buzzing acid line and frosty synths over a sleek, pulsing groove. "El Mago Del Tiempo" has an epic feeling, with Kirkwood fusing sublime synths with an electronic disco rhythm. Meanwhile his weird side, which is never too far from the surface, bubbles up on the slow-motion "Put Your Hands On The Car (& Get Ready To Die)".
Review: Geoff "Man Power" Kirkwood has been friends with Futureboogie Recordings founder Dave Harvey for years, so it's little surprise to see him releasing an EP on the on-point Bristol imprint. "Barranquilla Trifle" is arguably one of his most ear-catching cuts to date, too - an exotic, humid and mind-altering fusion of bubbly electronics, glassy-eyed synthesizer riffs and hustling drum machine beats propelled forwards by wave upon wave of mind-altering acid lines. Mancunian hero Ruf Dug's accompanying "Zouk Remix", which sounds like a long lost synth-zouk classic from the original Balearic era, is arguably even better. The cosmic deep house shuffle of bonus cut "Kaon" completes a superb package.
Review: Next up on Me Me Me is label owner Man Power with a riotous release. It starts off with the pulsating "Night War", which fuses dramatic stabs with a solid, pulsating electronic groove. On "1011", Man Power opts for a more grimy approach, with a scuffled rhythm and staccato beats underpinning churning chords. Meanwhile "Sweet Cornelius" sees him deliver a more stripped back take on this track, with noisy bleeps and rickety drums prevailing. On "Night War", he opts for a more upbeat approach, as wild electronic stabs unfold over a pumping groove and incessant snare rolls. Rounding off the release, Zombies in Miami delivers a tough, acid-heavy take on "War".
Review: Man Power (AKA long-serving DJ/producer Geoff Kirkwood) has gone to great lengths to play down the significance of this sophomore set, even going so far as to slap the words "This is not an album" on the front cover. However you want to describe it, "Now Now Now 1" is a quality collection of cuts. Beginning with the atmospheric, bleep sporting mid-tempo throb of "Ghost", Kirkwood serves up an analogue rich selection of club-ready cuts that cannily meld elements of Italo-disco, freestyle, acid jack, tribal workouts (see percussive standout "Murder Depot"), big room humdingers (the piano-sporting, acid-flecked brilliance of "Bullwinkle") and hazy European tech-house (the horror-fired hum of "Simplex").
Review: Man Power has proven on many occasions to be adept at all manner of different moods within the hardware house canon, but on this occasion he's particularly focusing on creating an exotic feeling out of mechanical means. "Tropical Bastard" is a fitting title for this project for Not An Animal Records, with the original steeped in driving patterns of rhythm and melody that approximate a flavour of far flung lands while mutating the feeling into something more club-minded. Lord Of The Isles goes one step further with a remix that ramps the modulation up to devilishly wonky levels. "Tropical Bastard 2" is an entirely different beast that plays on a cinematic vision of tropical escape, but with an acid thread pulsing through it. Then the Frank Butters remix finishes the EP off with a more submerged, but equally mischievous take.
Man Power & Last Waltz - "Nee Shitteru" - (7:20) 117 BPM
Review: Geoff Kirkwood aka Man Power has appeared on a range of underground labels over the past few years and with the exception of Optimo Trax, it's ESP Institute that is most suited to his left of centre electronics. Working together here with Last Waltz - who has released on World Unknown and Tusk Wax - he delivers two fine jams. "Tistish" resounds to a muddy bass, noisy interference and some of the spookiest synth work this side of Legowelt's Squadra Blanco project. On "Nee Shitteru", the pair strip things back, but don't lose their sense of humour in the process, as tribal drums underscore vocal chants and rough acid lines.
Review: A decade has passed since Tom Bioly and Benjamin Frohlich launched their Permanent Vacation label with a compilation of the same name. This fourth instalment sticks to the same formula as its' predecessors, serving up evocative, emotion-rich music that's tickled the fancy of Bioly and Frohlich over the last two years. Predictably, there's much to enjoy throughout, from the hammock-fresh laziness of Carrot Green's dreamy "Vodou", and the instrumental, Balearic synth-pop of Fantastic Man's "Seaside Special", to the tribal drums, jazz bass and ghostly chords of Benedikt Frey's "Lucid Dream". They predictably finish with a flourish, following Mapache's hallucinatory deep house shuffler "Let Me Sleep", with the dubby Balearic beauty of Suzanne Kraft's blissful "Tiles".
Review: James 'Fucking' Friedman reckons that in the three years since Moon Rock Volume 1 came out on his New York City based Throne Of Blood imprint, interest and attention in ambient and cosmic music has broadened and deepened. Well, hey that's a fair call and with Moon Rock Volume 4, the label is once again rounding up a shitload of weird-ass kosmische sounds. According to the label, the compilation was conceived in sides; six distinct sets of music that move through a range of styles and sounds, from chill ambient excursions to darker droning noise. Danny Passarella's imaginary soundtrack "Carousel Rising"is guided by a clever use of arpeggio, Tel Aviv indie dance hero Moscoman impresses as always with more cosmic weirdness on The Edge Of The Earth" while Versatile Records legend Gilb'r presents "Arpeggio Island"which doesn't need much explanation. London duo Vactrol Park impress as always with another deep vintage synth exploration on "Islands Of The Delta".
Review: Having previously released Orange, Blue, Green and Pink "collections", Eskimo Recordings continues its' colour-coordinated theme with a Yellow compilation. As usual, the collection draws on material from both established names and lesser-known talents, and does a bang-up job joining the dots between hazy Balearic pop, nu-disco, indie-dance and colourful, soft-focus house. While it's all of a high standard, we're particularly enjoying the sparkling dub disco-goes-Balearic flex of Satin Jackets' dub of Du Tonc's "We Can Hold On", the trippy analogue bump of Man Power's "Fisky", the splendid rush of Luxury's baggy disco groover "Breathe", and the camp, Italo-disco thrust of "El Wild" by the brilliantly named Zombies In Miami.