This Saturday we welcome the enigmatic producer and DJ Man Power to Dalston Superstore's laser basement for the last Bust Yo Nut! Championed by the likes of Sean Johnston and Test Pressing, but still keeping his identity a mystery, Man Power has been steadily remixing and releasing records whilst only playing a handful of DJ sets around Europe. We managed to send a few questions over email to find out what we could about him...
This is only your second gig in England, how do you intend to maintain your air of mystery, especially DJing here in London?
I like to cover my face when I play. I think I will do this at Dalston Superstore.
That is, if it is really me who turns up to play. I'm not trying to be deliberately mysterious, but I honestly feel that my face is not essential for someone to enjoy listening to my music. I wish people would look at the DJ less, and look at each other more, when they go out to dance.
If you had a manly super power, what would it be and how would you use that power for good?
I like the anonymous part of being invisible. This holds many naughty possibilities. Not sure that I want to use it for good though.
Where does Man Power originate from? Your Soundcloud says Tokelau, your RA page says France, rumour has it as Eastern Europe somewhere... if Man Power has no fixed geographical origin, where does the concept of Man Power come from?
I like the idea that music can be something that exists outside of physical geography. Genres and influences will always be present, but everything is shared so freely now that the idea of national identity is becoming less meaningful.
The concept of Man Power is something that is unfixed. There are certain sounds and feelings that I return to, but they are dictated by machinery and feeling rather than a place.
Arpeggios feature heavily in a lot of my music, which lends a feeling of time. There is something very 1977 about an analogue arpeggio, which is one of the things that lead to the Man Power imagery. The name is supposed to be a slight homage to the producers of disco and electro like Cowley and Parrish etc.
What's the latest release or remix due out you can tell us about...?
Next record out should be my remix for an amazing Mexican Live act called Zombies In Miami. It's due out on Jennifer Cardini's Correspondant Label, which is among my favourite labels in the world right now. I loved the dark new wave sensibility of the original, so I wanted to stay true to its feel. I have added a bit extra disco stomp to it, with a ridiculously overblown hair-rock guitar line, which hopefully gives my version an over-the-top appeal.
You've recently been working with former Dalston Superstore special guests Sean Johnston of A Love From Outer Space and Last Waltz amongst others. Who would you most like to work with that fits the Man Power sound?
Sean has made an amazing remix of one of my songs. I have also been very lucky and Raudive has also remixed one of my upcoming tracks. I love his blend of discordant techno. It's very spacious and powerful. I think we both have a love for dark synthesisers too.
I also love the beauty and melody that the Hivern artists display, particularly Marc Pinol, Pional and John Talabot. Hivern is another label I am fortunate enough to be releasing my music on, and I hope people will think I am a good fit for their sound.
I am a very big fan also of a lot of Japanese artists right now, and would love to work someone like Cos/Mes or KZA in the future.
You've previously cited Patrick Cowley as an influence- does this extend beyond his music and into the films he soundtracked such as School Daze? Is film scoring an avenue you'd like to pursue under the Man Power moniker?
I love Patrick Cowley. His remix of Donna Summer will forever be the greatest piece of dance music ever made. I also love his soundtrack work, as well as that of artists like Vangelis, Moroder and Tangerine Dream.
I would love to work on soundtracks. I have a fascination with the connection between sight and sound, and I think enhancing a piece of cinematic art with your idea of how it should sound, would be a very rewarding experience.
You're clearly a lover of homoerotic imagery. What, in your opinion, was a better decade for manly men, the '50s or '70s?
The imagery was chosen because it is provocative. Depending on your outlook the images I use can be viewed as homoerotic or as naive and innocent. They can also be viewed as either arousing, repulsive, amusing or passé, depending on the viewers particular prejudices.
I am drawn to using the images from the ‘50s, as I find that conceptually these are the more decadent due to the attitudes that were present when they were taken. They often have a butch quality which was distilled somewhat by the ‘70s.
What outside of music (and pictures of men) influences the music you make?
This sounds pretentious, but I am never consciously aware of anything that influences what the music I make sounds like. The music is normally an edit of some form of experiment that I have attempted without any clear objective at the start.
When I finally start pulling the separate parts together in to some type of music, then certain aspects of genre and style start to reveal themselves, but I've never knowingly put them in there and I am never sure how they've actually come to be there.
Your album is due out this autumn- what is it called, what label will it be out on, and what's one highlight from it that you can share or tell us about
The current working title is (Sh)E.D.M., which is an exclusive for this interview and will probably get me in trouble with the very beautiful and talented Jennifer Cardini who runs the Correspondant label, who are releasing the record.
Correspondant is a label that I am in love with, and Jennifer and Noura from the label have been wonderfully supportive and full of advice for the music I am making in general. They have truly allowed me to make the album I want to create.
I wanted to make something that was more than a collection of dance music 12 inches, and they have been 100% behind this decision. I think I am more excited about this album than anything I have ever done before.
If you had a time machine, what dancefloor anywhere/anywhen would you like to visit?
Without a doubt that would be the original Cosmic club in Italy in the late ‘70s. The experiments that Daniele Baldelli and Mozart did still sound absolutely mind blowing when listened to today. I was lucky enough to hear Baldelli again this summer, when I played at Unknown Festival in Croatia last September. He held an entire audience under a spell for the entire time he played and was still incredibly masterful. Very inspirational from a DJing point of view.
Join Man Power this Saturday 8th February for Bust Yo Nut at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 3am.