London based collective Bad Passion Project – responsible for parties that have brought KZA and Theo Parrish to the capital – have chosen Man Power to put together the first release on their new label: Not An Animal Records. Each side of the record contains an original Man Power production coupled with a remix.
Both of the originals are aesthetically aligned through the ’80s influences they shamelessly sport on their sleeves. Some of these power ballad referencing elements border upon cheesy, but when placed within the context of Man Power’s chugging house template they do not feel overwrought. With a title such as ‘Power Theme’, it seems as if this sound is being delivered with a wry smile; true to its name, this song in particular would not sound out of place soundtracking a buddy montage from a VHS cop movie. There is also genuine dancefloor potential in the style. The slow, driving beat of ‘Le Clerc’ is reminiscent of labels such as Innervisions and Life and Death, but its knowingly maximal style could be an uplifting curveball moment if deployed alongside some of the darker sounds on these labels.
The remixes are also both stellar efforts. Ess O Ess – Jamie Blanco and Bad Passion Project’s Chris Stoker – rework ‘Power Theme’ for what is undoubtedly the highlight of the EP. Scratchy guitar licks and frantic skittering percussion make for a sleazy seven minute effort with the capability to whip any club floor into a sweat-drenched frenzy. ‘Le Clerc’ is reworked by The Backwoods, who add a tropical flair to Man Power’s piece, taking it away from the synthetic 4AM lighting of the original and into the sunshine.