W+K planner Oscar Powell is a man of many talents. When he's not shaping groundbreaking campaigns for our clients, he devotes his time to making music as Powell and running his own record label, Diagonal Records.
In today's Guardian, Powell has been named as one of their "music stars that will break through in 2014". Ben Beaumont-Thomas writes:
"The dominant sound in techno today is one that goes back to the genre's grubbiest roots: the clank of 80s industrial and the sooty, angry Birmingham sound of Surgeon and friends. The tracks made by 30-year-old Londoner Oscar Powell sweat with the effort of trudging labour rather than the abandon of dance – but there is still a seam of funk running through the coalface, on cuts such as A Band or Body Music. Like Factory Floor, he also nods towards post-punk bands including Mars and Ike Yard, recreating their clatter and space with looped samples of live instrumentation. The coming year will see new tracks made with Birmingham legend Regis and electronic aggressor Russell Haswell get a release on Powell's own label Diagonal, all around his day job as an ad man; a little like PiL-era John Lydon, he's groomed yet subversive."
Here's a taste of the Powell sound:
and here's 'Fizz', a Powell track released through Mute's new label, Liberation Technologies:
If you like the sound of Powell and other Diagonal artists such as Russell Haswell, Shit and Shine, Death Comet Crew and the likes, keep an eye on Diagonal's site and Twitter to find out when they'll be bringing some "groomed yet subversive" noise to a venue near you.