The man who goes by C Powers first came to my attention a few years back thanks to a nice grip of records I received from CGI Records’ owner Matt Weiner. Of the many highlights of the CGI catalog, one that stood out immediately was the C Powers EP entitled Up Neck, especially the track “Phoenix”.
Ever since, I have been checking his new jams and I have not been disappointed. We are in an era where seemingly every producer pledges allegiance to the sounds of American house music, but rarely do any of them capture the feeling of that music despite their attempts to make tracks that use all the typical sounds of the big three cities’ music. C Powers stands out by ensuring that funky rhythms are the first thing you notice when you hear his tracks. The vibe is upbeat, and the beats swing in a way that works on the hips first and foremost.
His newest EP, Fitness Check for Niche N Bump Records, continues down this same path, but with a bit of a twist. There are five total tracks but two of them are stripped down DJ tool versions of other cuts also on the EP. The idea lends the whole EP a kind of cut and paste vibe which feels very appropriate for these minimal jams. The tracks themselves sit somewhere in the realm of Nu Groove instrumentals, Clubhouse 12″s, and older Omar-S jams, which is clearly right up my alley. My personal favorite is “Fresco” with the vocal chops, though the Beatappella version of it is also killer and quite musical despite the very few elements at work. The Beats version of “Wysh Key” leads off the EP and that actually works well because it is stronger for the dancefloor in this form, but the regular version is also fun. Finally “Ask Less Kicks Beats” throws some grimy breaks into the mix along with what sounds like record scratches for a really fun DJ tool jam. All in all, a refreshingly funky take on classic house music.