Powell’s previously vinyl-only EPs New Beta Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are today released digitally and on streaming services, a 13-track body of work that points to an exciting new future for the London artist.
Previously issued on his Diagonal label last year, the New Beta 12”s were originally intended as a way to explore fresh musical ideas after the release of his 2016 debut album on XL Recordings, Sport.
“I called them New Beta because the idea of ‘beta’ was setting up this mechanic where I could just experiment again,” Powell says. “It was like everything was a work in progress and the idea was to find a way to put out music that would enable me to push towards a new direction.”
While Powell’s earliest EPs collaged sinewy club tracks out of old post-punk records, and Sport added colour, euphoria and a wicked sense of humour to his unique sound, the New Beta records offer an insight into how his sound has evolved and where it might go on the follow-up proper to his debut album.
Although New Beta is rendered in crisp hues thanks to Powell’s recent explorations in analog synthesis, these tracks still nod to past structures. While New Beta sees Powell examining his signature style through new lenses, these records also show a side to Powell not seen before.
“Some of these tracks are the first time I forced myself not to fall back on old processes and I would say they reveal more of myself as an individual,” Powell says. Despite this newfound sincerity and a raft of fresh reference points, New Beta Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are two records that couldn’t have been made by anyone else.
Stream / purchase New Beta: https://powell.lnk.to/NewBeta