Over the last five years, Powell has asserted himself as one of the most distinctive and difficult artists operating in electronic music today. Diagonal, the label he started back in 2011 in London just celebrates 7 years this year, having released music by the likes of Autechre, Russell Haswell, DJ Stingray, and Karl O’Connor, and Powell’s own recordings, released via Diagonal, XL Recordings, Mute Records and more, have already become classics. Taking in acid, techno, computer music, punk, late 90s tech-step and everything in between, Powell music is absolutely its own thing — mad, unpredictable, provocative, but always carried by its own infectious sense of groove — and has rightly earned him critical acclaim across both underground and mainstream press. As Pitchfork wrote of debut album Sport which dropped on XL last October: Powell music thrills and mystifies in equal measure . . . and strips dance music of its sophisticated patina, returning some of the rough-and-tumble rush that Powell remembers from his teenage days —taking drugs and dancing to jungle. In 2017 Powell returned to fray with two vinyl only extended players, New Beta Vol. I and New Beta Vol. II – Fourteen upfront and disarmingly colourful tracks that harness a renewed energy following an intense period of production behind his densely packed debut album, Sport [XL, 2016]. Now thanks to a looser approach and influx of new ideas and machines, the results frame Powell at his most playfully experimental and nuanced, revealing new aspects of his mongrel sound not heard in previous releases. “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.” Towards the end of 2017 Powell launched ‘New Beta’ live A/V with Vincent de Belleval. Like some cyborg antagonist who can’t stand to see humans plodding four square bro-si-bro in the dance, Powell fractures and gels the groove in wickedly freakish exercises, increasingly finding himself attracted to near beat-less structures to give his dancers and listeners freakier feels and more jelly limbed options for kinaesthetic interpretation. In July 2018 XL Recordings released New Beta Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 EPs digitally and on streaming services; a 13-track body of work that points to an exciting new future for the London artist.