Review: Hot on the heels of the release of his first single of 2021, the bustling, breakbeat-powered rave intensity of 'Sorted', Man Power returns to action with something equally as impactul. In its original form 'Monkey' does a brilliant job in balancing euphoric and sleazy electronic elements, with sparkling chords and excitable stabs vying for sound space with jacking house drums and a near psychedelic acid bassline. Those thrillingly wayward TB-303 sounds come to the fore on the accompanying 'Beyonders Testify mix', which also features ethereal flute sounds, foreboding bass, sparse electro drums and some lovely vocalisations. To round off a typically quirky EP, the Geordie producer gets into throbbing techno mode on late-night workout 'As The Cube Is To The Square'.
Review: No idea who GUN are (other than that they're almost certainly not the 90s guitar band) but here they come to Man Power's Me Me Me with three tracks served in a total of seven mixes. 'El Carbonara' is a dark cosmic/Italo chugger that's given an acidic, proggy makeover by REES & Sahar, while with 'The Reef' you can choose between old school Italo-house (Beef Mix), 80s/electro-inspired nu-disco (Fall Forward & Grainger Remix) or straight-up acid (Acid Dub). The standout for yours truly though is 'Boput', which is dark, slow and moody AF in its original form before the Kiaki Remix takes it darker, slower and moodier still!
Review: We don't know much about Deo'Jorge, other than that he's a New York-based DJ/producer who has run or managed countless events over the years. This outing on Me Me Me appears to be his debut EP and if so it's a hugely impressive first outing. The three original tracks on show each cannily combine throbbing, Italo-disco style arpeggiated basslines, thumping beats, sparkling synthesizers and the kind of Balearic musical flourishes often associated with Norway's space disco specialists. It's certainly fitting then that one of those, Prins Thomas, provides a predictably epic, constantly-rising revision of 'Sparking Plugs' that emphasises Deo'Jorge's subtle musical nods towards krautrock. In contrast, the Hardway Brothers' revision joins the dots between throbbing cosmic disco and the breezy brilliance of 'Sueno Latino'.
Review: Not much is known about Colors In Waves, the latest artist to release on Man Power's label, but one thing is certain - if you're looking for a distinctive take on house and techno, you've come to the right place. "Ultraviolet" starts the release in murky mode, with analogue riffs underpinned by a niggling acid line. On "Conservation of Attention", a similar tone is audible, as murky sound scapes are fused with a warbling bass, but on "Vulture", Colors In Waves throws off the lo-fi sounds in favour of spaced out Italo synths, while "Magnet" continues this journey, riding a throbbing groove. Roman Flugel's trippy take on the title track completes this exemplary release.
Review: Following years of extended service on DFA Records, Juan Maclean and regular collaborators Nancy Whang and Nicholas Millhiser have begun popping up on all manner of labels (most recently Aus and, more surprisingly, Going In - the latter with a 52-minute ambient track). Here they debut on Me Me Me, flitting between driving and percussive disco-house (the loopy and hedonistic 'I Can't Explain' and the celebratory release of 'City Life Disco'), sweaty early morning house sleaze ('Leave Me When You Can') and hazy hypnotism ('Ain't No Thing Baby', where echoing flute sounds occasionally rise above a tracky but unusual groove). Alinka provides the EP's only remix, a tooled-up, nu-disco style revision of 'I Can't Explain' that somehow sounds both loose and locked-in at the same time.
Review: Next up on Man Power's label is this collaboration between two of Bristol's most respected underground producers. The title track is a dramatic affair that resounds to soaring strings and a cascade of tripped out electronic tones. "Airheads" follows a similar aesthetic trajectory, but sees the duo add in a pulsating bass and clicking percussion to drive the musical elements. Meanwhile on "Buffalo", they go deeper. Teeming with expansive synths and underpinned by a lithe, wiry rhythm, it makes for a distinctive take on Detroit techno. Man Power's epic remix of "Airheads", where the melodies reach euphoric levels, completes this excellent EP.
Review: Take it back to the mid-20-teens and Newcastle Upon Tyne's Man Power, aka Geoff Kirkwood, was only just getting out of bed. With early releases on Jennifer Cardini's Correspondent and later John Talabot's Hivern Discs, Man Power has taken it all the way through ESP Institute, Optimo Trax and Throne Of Blood to Skint, DFA and of course the project's home label, Me Me Me. With a spotlight over three years of remix work that sees Me Me Me lift a selection of remixes made over Bryan Ferry to Daniele Baldelli & DJ Rocca, Man Power takes it back to the roots with a rework of Woolf vs Projections and Tronik Youth! With the heaviness of Man Power's remix to Ess O Ess a highlight too, expect a touch of acid, EBM, Italo and kosmische inspirations woven in and around bustling drum machines, analog synths and plenty of Man Power.
Review: Craig McNamara aka Last Magpie was behind a series of releases on Electric Minds and Hypercolour, but by 2015 he decided to take some time out from music to live the quiet life in the Lake District. Now he's back with a debut album that speaks to this period of reflection. It moves in tone from the sweeping ambience of "Feelings From The Depth Of My Soul" to "Exited", a more tense, droning affair, but that dreamy sensibility is also audible on the low-slung, deep house of "Esmarelda" and "Redemption". At the same time, Kissing Stones shows that McNamara hasn't lost his knack of crafting dance floor grooves, as the title track's electronic rhythm and the dense "Looping" both demonstrate.
Review: Economy is Man Power's second artist album and follows a collaboration last year with Juan McClean as Juan Power. "A Day Seems Wasted When We Don't Meet" starts the album off in a brooding manner, with its booming bass and ghostly melodies unravelling over a skeletal rhythm, and "Jesus Toy" follows in a similar mode with its hollowed out drums and eerie synth lines. On "It Was Only An Orange", robust drums see Man Power draw on his love of disco, allied with woozy synths and ticking percussion. While there are more uptempo tracks here, including the insistent "Tygers", the real strength of Economy lies in Man Power's ability to craft teased out, atmospheric chuggers like "Boneyard".
Review: This is DIY 1990's second release on Man Power's Me Me Me sub-label and sees this emerging artist draw on a range of underground influences. There's the title track's electronic pulses and raw break beats, while on "Vita", DIY 1990 opts for a synth-heavy, Italo Disco track with its warm hooks and dubbed out claps pushing the arrangement into a blissed out direction. "Apolo" also mines melodic influences, but on this occasion against the back drop of a niggling acid line, while "Obsolencia Programada" is a raw electro affair, led by steely 808s and dubbed out percussion.
Review: A DJ for the past decade, including a residency at Manchester's renowned HomoElectric party, Gina Breeze is now translating her skills behind the decks to production. Issued on Man Power's label, this release starts with the title track's trippy, groove. Peppered with vocal snippets and infectious hooks, it's an alluring electronic disco affair. Gina goes deeper on "Freak"; recruiting Ted Rogers to do vocals, she combines a warbling bass and tight claps to create a hypnotic underground house track. The label has tapped two remixers; Schmutz turns the title track into an ominous, churning chord techno workout, while Stevie R pushes in a radically different direction with a low-slung disco remake.
Review: Clearly inspired by US house and techno, Irish pair Schmutz drop a fine dance floor EP. "Leipzig Push", with its shuffling drums, booming bass and outer-spaces tones, sounds inspired by the like of Shake and Theo Parrish. On "Underwater Yoga", the bass is to the fore again, with a menacing low end supporting UR-style melodies and a series of epic break downs. Meanwhile, "Sweep" is more ominous as Schmutz combine a menacing low end with frosty synth shards. The label has tapped Bryan Kessler to remix "Yoga", and the German artist drops a stripped back, drum-heavy take that's tailored for long mixes.
Even My Cigarettes Taste Like You - (5:11) 130 BPM
Punx Eat Little Kids - (5:57) 127 BPM
Time To Upgrade Your Mind - (5:48) 130 BPM
My Snare Is A Weapon - (7:27) 126 BPM
Rough Club Poetry - (5:12) 130 BPM
All Drums In - (3:13) 120 BPM
You Aint Tired - (3:36) 151 BPM
Review: Bryan Kessler goes all drums in for a release not to be overlooked in the annual 'best of' lists that go around this time of year. And we'll be the first to say, don't sleep! Rough Club Poetry is Bryan Kessler's way of throwing down a new dialogue at this generation's ravers, dropping drum tracks as raw Steve Poindexter, Mike Dunn and those Disco Nihilist cuts from Running Back. Find the hits in "All Drums In" - a banging electro-acoustic number - to the roof raising "My Snare Is A Weapon" and percussion assault that is "Time To Upgrade Your Mind". With streaks of post punk, 80s new wave and vogue threaded through the rest of the LP too, it's "You Ain't Tired" that'll slap you round most.
Review: The mysterious Vyvyan (whose true identity is a closely guarded secret) returns to Man Power's Me Me Me label with this four-track EP. Opener 'Voices In Time' comes on like a cross between minimal and mid-00s electro house, while a more percussive and in-your-face remix from Elliot Adamson closes out the EP on a driving, acid-flecked note. In-between you'll find loopy tech-houser 'What They Do' with its hip-house vocal and incessant, rough-edged bass throb, and 'Tableau', which treads similar ground to 'Voices In Time'. All told, the EP's four jagged, energetic cuts defy easy categorisation, and as such could work on quite a range of dancefloors.
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".
Secuenciias Y Substancias (radio edit) - (4:00) 129 BPM
Review: Having previously released on Lobster Theremin, DIY 1990 now make an appearance on Man Power's Me Me Me imprint. "La Ruta Natural" is an intense slice of pulsating techno, led by wild acid squelches and a blistering rhythm. On "Secuenciias Y Substancias", DIY 1990 also drops gurgling 303 lines that recall Hardlfoor at their peak over steely drums and percussion. In contrast, "Reinicio" is far deeper and more mournful, as ethereal melodies swirl in over rolling back beats. There are also radio edits of "La Ruta Natural" and "Secuenciias Y Substancias", with both alternative versions focused on causing maximum dance floor impact.
Review: The latest volume in Me Me Me's "Now Now Now" series - the fifth in total - comes from Lee "Last Waltz" Forster and Oli "Traela" Warriner's Forriner project, which debuted on Man Power's imprint two years ago. They begin in fine fashion via the weighty, arpeggio-style bass, layered percussion and horror soundtrack chic of "Rum Chata", before channeling the spirit of Manchester proto-house heroes and Latin music obsessives T-Coy on the bright-and-breezy throb-job "Pale Blue Dot". "David Peckham" is a fine chunk of tropical-tinged nu-disco/house fusion, while the Club Tularosa remix of "Rum Chata" is a dark, percussion-laden sprint through peak-time dark room dynamics.
Review: For the third installment in Me Me Me's Now Now Now series, they have tapped Italian A7S for a collection of wicked tracks. Alex Scarica is a Parma-based DJ and producer, who is also a resident at the club Red in his hometown - which is inside of a deconsecrated church. He debuted on Abstract Theory Records out of Bologna earlier in the year and if this release proves anything - he's certainly rising up the ranks. From the darkly low slung groove of "Gardeniod", to the slinky and hypnotic journey of "Mach Picchu" which calls to mind the sounds of fellow countrymen on Life & Death, to the deeply emotive bounce of "Elements" which comes with a handy radio edit - this is hot!
Review: Publicity-shy man or woman of mystery Vyvyan won plenty of plaudits for 2018 debut EP "Source Me", a suitably sleazy mish-mash of dancefloor-centric tropes that propelled the shadowy artist towards rising star status. The good news is that this follow-up for Me Me Me is just as good. "Coat Bra Pants" is a quirky affair, with the producer wrapping saucer-eyed rave style riffs and mind-mangling electronics around a bombastic, sub-heavy bassline and sweaty, loose-limbed drums. The accompanying remixes are suitably strong, too. The star of the show is Running Back boss Gerd Janson, who first serves up a bouncy, turn-of-the-90s style ravey house "Remix" before laying down a "Cosmic Dub" that re-imagines the track as a wayward dub disco epic.
Review: Following the appearance of one of his tracks on last year's Me Me Me compilation in aid of refugees, Ben Caldwell now makes his full debut for the label. NNN02 fluctuates in style and sound from the scatter-gun sirens and pumping bass of "Sixteen" to the brooding techno chords of "Impernum" and the deep, balmy house of "Bub". In recognition of Caldwell's across the board approach, Man Power's imprint has commissioned remixes which range from Wes Baggaley's firing , percussive version of "Impernum" to Jay Ward's abstract, glitchy version of "Bub" as well as a more user-friendly 'radio edit' of "Sixteen".
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: This latest chapter on Man Power's Me Me Me sees Bristolian Christophe step up to the plate, a producer probably best known for his superb releases on Futureboogie, but who has also previously featured on the label as a remixer and contributor to last year's charity compilation. His new thriller "Rok The Hall" is a jacking and acidified thriller of the retroactive kind - think classic Trax Records. It then receives a very Mr Fingers sounding remix by Danish artist Johnny Aux. The TB-303 antics return on the euphoric and emotive energy of "Like That" which also receives a worthy rendition - this time by the ever reliable Frank Butters.
Review: Over the last few years, Ian Blevins has released a handful of uniformly excellent EPs on some seriously storied record labels, not least Lovefingers' ESP Institute and Aussie imprint Not An Animal. Predictably, his latest outing - a label debut for Man Power's Me Me Me stable - is also rather good. Many will fall for the dreamy warmth of "Serpent", where elongated, alien-sounding chords and gentle acid lines cruise along above a sweaty, loose-limbed analogue house rhythm, while "Unse" is dark, druggy and foreboding with Orbital style lead lines and restless, heavyweight drums. Austin Alto's remix of "Serpent" is as saucer-eyed, breezy and melodious as analogue-rich house music gets, while Kiwi's take on "Unse" mis metallic, sub-heavy and driving with occasional melodic flourishes.
Review: Earlier this year, Irish producer Marcus Lambkin delivered his first new material for two years as part of Me Me Me's second all-star "We We We" EP. Here the former DFA man returns to Man Power's label with a typically solid single. There are three original cuts to choose from: the gently spacey, funked-up deep house throb of "Cubed", the deep Chicago jack-meets-Balearic acid rush of "Rotation" and the sleepy warmth of "The Life To Come", where elongated chords and rich electric piano motifs ride a chunky, bass-heavy house groove. Edmundson re-imagines "Cubed" as a blissful chunk of deep house/two-step fusion, while Vin Sol wraps "Rotation" in raw analogue bass, mind-altering stabs and undulating acid lines.
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: Austin Ato is Colin Bailey of Oban, Scotland who has released previously on the likes of Fantasy Streetwear, Phonica and Futureboogie. He is back, this time on Man Power's always reliable Me Me Me imprint with The Sound Of : this is a belter of an EP which features the funky and lo-slung party vibe of "Dah Dah Dah" or "Ben's Vibe" doing the business in super soulful fashion - the latter in particular with its George Benson sample. Also of worthy note, check the neon-lit euphoria of "Maelstrom" nailing some throwback acid house vibes. Following up terrific releases on the label by Elliot Adamson, Artist Deleted and Vyvyan - the goods just keep on comin'!
Review: More mystery material from Man Power's Me Me Me label, which of late has delivered a number of fine EPs from publicity-shy producers under hush-hush aliases. Vyvyan (real identity withheld) is clearly a confident guy or gal, as the two original tracks showcased on the EP - the fuzzy, sub-bass-heavy, dub disco meets drunken acid house shuffle of "Source Rocks" and the dirty, late night analogue hum of "Wu Me Seh" - are pretty darn hot. Happily, the remixes are rather tasty, too. There's a druggy, dark, Italo-disco-inspired rework from Bristol-based Welshman Christophe (he of Futureboogie Recordings fame) and a fantastic rub of "Source Rocks" by Paul Woolford that sounds like a cross between his Special Request project (albeit pitched-down a bit) and Pet Shop Boys classic "West End Girls".
Track Deleted (Discodromo's Belgian remix) - (6:02) 123 BPM
Track Deleted (Bezier's Short remix) - (8:08) 130 BPM
Track Deleted (Bezier's Long remix) - (11:12) 130 BPM
Track Deleted (Vyvyan remix) - (6:37) 124 BPM
Review: Apparently, we'll never get to hear the original version of "Track Deleted", as the mystery producer involved was a little worried about getting gripped for crimes against sampling. Instead, we'll just have to make do with these tasty revisions (which, incidentally, are free of any trace of the offending sample). Honey Sound System sort Bezier steals the show with a pair of chiming, bustling, 130 BPM revisions that thrillingly change shape several times as the track progresses. His Long Mix, in particular, sounds like an unlikely collaboration between Orbital and Patrick Cowley. Elsewhere, Vyvvyan's version is a grinning sprint through punk funk/deep nu-disco fusion, while Discodromo's all-action Belgian Remix fittingly sounds like a long-lost, new beat-era Ghent warehouse anthem.
Review: Raj Pannu has worked with everyone from Giles Peterson to Richie Hawtin and Ninja Tune to the BBC, so it's quite a coup for house label Me Me Me to release the esteemed DJ's first ever recorded material. "FSOP" is a fittingly inspirational affair; live drums and loose percussion power its ramshackle groove, a bass that belches like a searchlight in the fog gives it extra muscle and its jazzy, out there textures lend it a suitably mysterious undercurrent. In short, it's a mini-masterpiece. Me Me Me has drafted in Cosmin TRG to reshape it, and he turns it into a claustrophobic slice of peak-time techno, its bass imploding in a tonal climax as dense percussion clatters away in the background.
Review: Fresh from lighting up Futureboogie Recordings' Summer Riot VI EP with the piano-laden delight of "Spero", rising star Forriner delivers a fine debut EP for Man Power's Me Me Me label. There's loved-up positivity by the boat load to be found on "Goodnight", a spacey, synthesizer-heavy workout that sits somewhere between Italian dream house, pitched-down Motor City techno and glistening nu-disco. The producer's love of glassy-eyed synthesizers and gently unfurling melodies is explored further on the similarly delicious "Fizzy Pinballs". Shit Robot takes on remix duties, first transforming "Goodnight" into a sleazy chunk of dark-room Italo-disco (the "Remix"), before layering copious amounts of delay-laden percussion atop a restless dub disco groove on his EP standout Dub.
Review: Wake Up marks a belated return to action from Liam Wachs, previously famous for helming the Desert Sound Colony project on Scissor & Thread. Now operating as DSC, this four-tracker is Wachs's debut solo release under the freshly minted alias. He serves up two top-notch original tracks: the loose-but-punchy deep house cut "Wake Up", where trippy, textured guitar and flute sounds combine with dreamy pads and a jaunty analogue synth bassline, and the Balearic techno throb of "Coming Round", which includes a stylish vocal from Wachs and some seriously rugged electronics. The accompanying remix package is headed up hotly tipped newcomer Elliot Anderson's sleazy Italo-disco style makeover of "Wake Up" (arguably the EP's standout moment), though Rex The Dog's rolling-but-wild house remake of "Coming Round" is also pretty strong.
Review: The latest missive on Mexico-based Geordie Geoff 'Man Power' Kirkwood's MeMeMe label comes from two previously unheralded talents, James Hadfield and Danny Lynton. "Soak" is a warm and toasty treat, which layers cut-up African vocals and woozy chords over a shuffling, loose-but-locked in disco-tech groove. For those looking for potential "moments", the track boasts a wonderfully wide-eyed, Balearic-minded breakdown. It comes accompanied by a trio of impressive remixes. Kirkwood's own Man Power remix is a trippy, Afro-acid treat, while Axel Boman turns the track in a sparking chunk of Balearic/two-step garage fusion. The wonky, metallic and deliciously bass-heavy Bird of Paradise remix completes a fine package.
Review: It's been a while since we last heard from Last Waltz, a fact partly explained by solo success enjoyed by one third of the North East combo, Geoff 'Man Power' Kirkwood. Fittingly, it's on his recently launched MeMeMe label that they've resurfaced, whipping their tops off for a spiraling, synth-laden sprint through Italo-disco territory on the excellent "Tunnel Snakes". Elsewhere, they drop a dash of Balearic deep house in the shape of "You've Changed", and doff a cap to basement-bothering early Danny Tenaglia productions on "Itchy". If that's not enough to get the juices flowing, the EP also contains a fantastic Red Axes & Naduve remix of "Tunnel Snakes", which turns the track into a post-punk influenced chunk of tropical voodoo madness.
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.