In 2018, Resident Advisor referred to Man Power as ‘intergalactic house music’ which, while barely scratching the surface of his musical predilections and output, is about as close as anyone has come to wrapping it up neatly.
In the five or so years that Man Power has existed as an alias of Newcastle’s Geoff Kirkwood, it’s become pleasingly difficult to pin down what it’s all about but there has been a media, record label, nightclub and dancer consensus that it’s very much worth paying attention to. A discography that takes in Life & Death, Hivern Discs, Optimo Trax, ESP Institute and Correspondent as well as his own beautifully curated Me Me Me and newly minted Now Now Now imprints is not to be sniffed at. Neither is his club diary, a busy list of great, good and legendary spots where people go to enthusiastically get down to getting down to the latest sounds the modern DJ can muster.
What makes Man Power difficult to categorise is what makes him so vital - each record, each set and each remix is unique. Drawing on house, techno, Italo, disco, post-punk, new wave and beyond, Kirkwood’s ability to bend well worn genre tropes to his own will is quite something. He’ll also, occasionally, decontextualise an embarrassing pop record to bafflingly rapturous responses, too.
As with any DJ/Producer biog, this doesn’t quite work unless it contains name drops aplenty so, as a fun game, try to unearth another artist in electronic music who has had a firm thumbs up from such a disparate bunch as Ben UFO, Elton John, Bryan Ferry, Andrew Weatherall, DJ Harvey and DJ Bone recently..