Pop has always been about persona above all else. Some stars like to announce up front that they’re acting a role – Zigy Stardust springs to mind – whilst others live within the confines of a their own faux personality in the glare of the media. It’s difficult to remember the exact origins of Jamal Pode, an injoke between a few friends from a few years back about a fictitious rapper, but the name has soldiered on, the moniker given to the work of one Michael Powell. Whether or not they’re still imagined to be the brainchild of an black american man remain to be seen.
The work has always been weird and massively varied, taking it’s reference points from all over the place and stuffing them together regardless of how cool they are. Latest album Degenerate Art, is an aural Rorschach test of your teenage years – the cooler kids will linger around the more Neptunes inspired aspects of the noise, there’s the energy and celebration of The Go! Team’s debut for others, whilst most will simply spend their time admiring the fact that anyone could dare try and pass off a sample stolen from Gilette Soccer Saturday.. Pode is reaching for a sound that has been heard before in various different guises, but the weirdness of the whole piece keeps it ticking over wonderfully. A lot of experimental electronica is happy to let itself wash over you, but whether he’s real or not, Pode is an artist that pokes and prods until he’s heard.