Track By Track: Man Power – Man Power
Master of disguise Man Power – as seen above sneakily protecting his identity with his own hand, genius/Robin – is gearing up for the release of his self-titled album via Correspondant at the end of May. The international man of mystery may be letting his infamous shroud of being an enigma slip as this latest aural smattering unveils a little more about his true identity. No, it isn't Bruce Wayne. Mr Power gives us a guide through the upcoming album ith a range of colours, seasons and inspirations to elp calm your impending curiosity;
A start of Sorts
Colour – Silver grey.
Season – The very start of spring, just before the new life is evident.
Inspiration – Laurie Anderson – Big Science. The Blade Runner Soundtrack. Wendy Carlos.
Setting – The song was conceived in my old home studio back in the UK. Fresh from a very significant break up, and just before the start of my short lived university career studying literature. I don't know where the best setting to listen to it would be, but for me it conjures up an image of an abandoned ballroom, of the sort I can imagine in a low budget, early eighties film , with a post apocalyptic setting. I don't know if any film like the one I imagine exists, so I'm surprised to have such a specific feel in my mind. Maybe something like the the place at the end of Slipstream, where Bob Peck's android starts to feel he belongs.
Colour – A Dark, Angry Purple.
Season – The middle of winter.
Inspiration – Post Punk Electronica. Clean Early noughties Techno, and records at the wrong speed.
Setting – Before, during, and after a professional sexual transaction in a Mk3 Ford Fiesta, on a sleety night.
Colour – A kind of faded, burnt orange, as might be seen on a 70's vintage style T Shirt sported by one of the members of the band Ash in around 1997.
Season – Almost Summer, not quite, and at the end of what as been a very mild spring.
Inspiration – M J Rolfe. Me wanting to do a pop album but being too scared.
Setting – The cooler back room at an indie disco where the DJs play funk too, and can mix.
Colour – Mainly a woody brown with a grain, and a dull matte black, but with silver highlights in parts.
Season – Summer, but after the solstice.
Inspiration – Telex, Kraftwerk, and all of their imitators (like me). The Allo Allo theme song, and other, less self sabotaging, references for Gallic accordion music.
Setting – A man. Running. In a car. The car is driving on top of a train. The train is leaving the city and heading in to tree lined meadows. The red morning sun is coming up and replacing the light from the neon billboards which are being left behind.
forget to remember
Colour – A rather brilliant blue, with a stroboscopic yellow.
Season – Summer, before it's too hot. When it's just right.
Inspiration – E E Cummings.
Setting – A wide public space. Surrounded by people, but not crowded. You're the only one looking upwards.
Colour – Grey Blue.
Season – Autumn.
Inspiration – The same as track 1.
Setting – Starting off in the same place as track 1, but moving inside the android's heart as he is granted a reprieve. Although we all know this is an illusion that he's created for himself, and his fate is sealed.
Colour – Deepest blue.
Season – Winter. Specifically January the 22nd.
Inspiration – Ship Yard Closures. Everyone who has ever made amazing music on a Rhodes. The real world. Les Dawson.
Setting – It makes me think simultaneously of the moments when the clouds break and shards of jaundiced light start coming through and look like the trails from hideously polite meteors, and of the moment when the fuel has been expended from a crying fit and your chest is heaving more slowly but you can feel the pressure has gone and as long as somebody says something, anything, then you know that it'll break the tension, and no matter how unfunny it is you'll begin to laugh like an embarrassed idiot, and you'll start feeling better.
Tofu ist der Teufel
Colour – In truth I keep wanting to say orange for every song when I'm answering this question. Maybe the whole album is just orange. This is orange though.
Season – Summer. Whichever part of summer people decide to dance on boats.
Inspiration – The final songs on films from the 80s where they've succeeded and are now living out their lives in the Carribbean with the girl who's hand they've won, and their best friend (and his new girl). They're nodding to each other and raising glasses. One is on a boat, the other on the beach, or water skiing, or wind surfing.
Setting – A boat. Or on land I guess. Somewhere hot though.
Colour – I wanted to say blue to this one, which has now made me realise how many of the other ones I wanted to also say blue for too, so maybe the album is orange and blue. That's a horrible colour combination. I'm going to say a very red kind of yellow (which is basically orange).
Season – Autumn.
Inspiration.- Steve Reich. Phillip Glass. Manuel Gottsching. Pat Methany. Arthur Russel. My unconscious desire to imitate them. My inability to aptly do so.
Setting – Alone. In calm.
Colour – a very light and pale green bordering on yellow.
Season – Summer. It's blatantly summer. It's the most summery track on the album.
Inspiration – Americana. High School Films.
Setting – A field. A beach. Any kind of cliched summer setting. Maybe a prairie, or even a savannah.
Colour – Blue-white.
Season – Winter, specifically the last day of the year.
Inspiration – Fin is the last part of a 3 part motif, begun with track 1, and continued with lude. It's purpose was to bind the record together. The specific purpose of fin is to end the album.
Setting – Wherever you want to go next.
Man Power's self-titled album will be released via Correspondant on 25th May.
Man Power will be doing the TOPAZefemiro tour with Rebolledo on the following dates:
12th June London (ReviveHER. Venue TBA)
13th June Newcastle (Tourist. Former VENUE nightclub)
14th June Berlin (Tourist. Else. With Saschienne and Paramida)