Dance deconstructionist T Power – Marc Royal to his accountant – has a breakbeat pedigree of cosmic renown under his
belt. ‘Long Time Dead’, the
third album under this particular moniker, sees him staying true
to a respectable genre-mashing ethos, even if it means wearing
a few ideas that have faded in the wash.
For all the album’s sliced and diced future funk, Detroit purrs, hip-hop frowns and acid fry-ups, it’s the song titles that put a
post-postmodern slant on proceedings. A wordless barrage of slavering anti-rock and pinpoint digi-squelch earns the name ‘So Long And Thanks For All The Fish’. While ‘American Psycho’ indicates the mindset of a man who isn’t just in it for the sonics. The counter-cultural allusions are equally as important.
However, when the vocal guests arrive that subtlety loses out to convention. The dark-vibed ‘Dangerous’ may earn its hip-hop stripes via Blade but his brazen self-aggrandisement can’t compensate for the tune’s lack of bite. So we must be thankful for the jittery electro-pulse of ‘I Like That’, featuring Si Beggs, and the Eastern Bloc rocking beats of ‘Cycles’ with its simplistic, eerie mantra “Socialism, communism, fascism” – reminiscent of all those ’80s new beat Marxist melodramatists.
It’s comforting to know that conscientious inventors are still banging out new shapes from old constructs. But the gauntlet thrown down by the likes of Shadow, Pole or Plastikman should inspire amazing ideas, not just good ones.