T-Power : Long Time Dead

Nu skool breaks from avant-garde junglist T-Power...

Mr T-Power may have been the man that unleashed the monstrous ‘Mutant Jazz’ in 1995 – and unwittingly spawned the tech-step drum’n’bass movement – but he’s resolutely not someone who rests on his laurels. Like fellow avant-garde junglists Photek, Spring Heel Jack or Squarepusher, T-Power has no truck with blueprints or formulas.

In fact, on ‘Long Time Dead’ he’s torn up the rules, shoved them in his mouth, masticated on them for a while and then spat out sticky globs of jacking tech-funk. The result is that ‘Long Time Dead’ owes nothing to hyper-intense breakbeat pressure and everything to nu skool breaks.

In fact, this is a connection reinforced with the vocal inflections of Amaziree on ‘Running’ – she first cropped up on Freq Nasty’s debut album. Other guest vocalists include UK rapper Blaze, Aroura Borialis (who has worked with Tricky) and Mee (Sound Zero), all adding their distinctive harmonies to the mix.

But it’s the beats that ultimately shine through. ‘Kool & Deadly’ puts what sounds like a Roland 303 through a blender marked ‘distorted machine funk’. The angular electro rumble of ‘I Like That’ (co-produced by Si “Buckfunk 3000” Begg) sounds like Africa Bambaataa jamming in zero gravity with just some sort of foghorn bass machine for company. It’s about beats and basslines people. T-Power is taking it right back.

Kieran Wyatt