After two EPs and a few Björk remixes, Houston-born Berliner J’Kerian Morgan intended for their first full-length album to explore empowerment. But then they lost their flat, a circumstance familiar to anyone living the theatre absurdism of rented accommodation. “Mentally, I could only work on music once every three months or something”, Morgan says, and that’s just how ‘Power’ sounds; messy and candid, in a way that imitates movement and turmoil.
Noises violently ping left to right, in a way reminiscent of Oneohtrix Point Never’s recent work, sound-name-checking the adrenaline rush of Chicago footwork. But every now and then a voice fills the headphone space. Listen to ‘Hunted’: “Brown skin masculine frame head’s a target / actin’ real feminine make ’em vomit”. The teasing schoolyard chant feels clumsy and too close for comfort, only in the fraught way of authentic writing.
‘Nerve’ knowingly skews hip-hop braggadocio of today’s mumble rap casualties. It’s hard not to think of the tragically short lives of today’s mumble rap stars, cut down by the trappings of fame.
Over the last few years, a movement has been developing within the niche of deconstructed club music; one which seeks comfort in discomfort, self-care in aggression, a sound woefully monopolised by white, heterosexual men ostensibly for white, heterosexual men. It’s surely a stroke of genius that the middle section of this album’s 6-minute title track is waterlogged by a metal-as-fuck, double bass pedal jig. While ‘Power’ doesn’t appear to be a work of Morgan’s full force, with precious few distinguishing moments in today’s wealth of experimental electronic music, it certainly feels consistent with the movement at its best.
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