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out today ? Planningtorock – Powerhouse



“Lyrically devastating, open-hearted memoirs of a difficult past always shot through
with redemptive sense of future… the best electro-pop of the year” – DJ Mag

“Just about the most perfect comeback we could have asked for… playful, seductive, but ultimately challenging” – Clash

“An undeniably emotional and intimate game-changer” – Exclaim

“Like an emotional sledgehammer… candid tracks relating to childhood and family life that push very different buttons… one of the very finest albums of 2018” – Gay Star News

“An intimate revelation” – The Guardian

“A refusal to be boxed in or live by anyone else’s terms, it throbs with freedom, pleasure and unexplored possibilities… 8/10” – Loud & Quiet

Today Planningtorock releases their radical fourth album Powerhouse via Human Level / DFA Records. Powerhouse marks the Berlin-via-Bolton producer’s most intimate album to date, a kinetic, self-produced record flush with attitude, humour, vulnerability and swagger.

To accompany the new album release, Planningtorock has been busy writing and producing the new ‘Powerhouse’ live show. Through storytelling, personally filmed biographical videos, spoken word, dance, stage design and lighting, Planningtorock seeks to create a show that is not only a concert but an intimate musical live experience that creates empathy and reflection, joy and comfort together with the audience. The show will feature all the songs from the Powerhouse album and further showcase new songs written especially for the event. Performing together with Planningtorock will be a cast of talented queer, non-binary, and trans identifying  performers, both disabled and able bodied; the choreographer and dancer Ian Kaler, and the dancers / performers Maija Karhunen and Ambrita Sunshine.

The show has been co-produced by the Schauspiel Theatre in Leipzig and Berghain in Berlin, and will premiere at Berghain January 16 and 17, 2019, then January 20 at La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris. Further shows in Dresden, Munich, London and New York to be announced.

The full ‘Powerhouse’ live show will be preceded by an album release party, with the Transmissions Transgender Apocalypse club event at Vogue Fabrics Dalston in London tomorrow, November 10.

Planningtorock Live Dates (More TBA)
Nov 10 – Album release party, Transmissions: Transgender Apocalypse, Vogue Fabrics Dalston, London – tickets
Jan 16-17, 2019  – ‘Powerhouse’ Live, Berlin, Berghain
Jan 20, 2019 – ‘Powerhouse’ Live, Paris, La Gaîté Lyrique 
W, Planningtorock’s critically acclaimed 2011 debut on DFA, revealed a visionary and politicised producer. It offered up deeply queered art-pop – tense, atmospheric dance music cut with classical flourishes, and spell-binding androgyny. But it was 2014’s All Love’s Legal (“a masterclass in left-of-centre dance music”, Mixmag), released on Rostron’s own imprint Human Level, where Planningtorock, with banner-ready slogans (‘Patriarchy Over And Out’, ‘Let’s Talk About Gender Baby’), revealed their ability to combine pop-oriented music with a political message. Powerhouse offers up something infinitely more personal: emotionally-charged, biographical anthems drawn from Rostron’s lived experiences as a non-binary genderqueer artist, experiences around family, identity and music itself.

Powerhouse was written and recorded across Berlin, London, New York and Los Angeles. It comes couched in the precision-tooled synths that have become Rostron’s signature, though critics and fans will hear a subtle, ear worm-y shift in style here: from the Noughties US r&b swagger of ‘Transome’ and the bubbling oldschool ‘90s house of ‘Beulah Loves Dancing’ and ‘Non Binary Femme’, to the funky, flute-laced ‘Much To Touch’.

The striking, pitched-down vocals that shook fans of W are as radiant as ever on Powerhouse. It was pitching that gave Rostron’s then-hidden inner self an authentic, external voice; and it was pitching that enabled them to come out, beginning “this long, complex and very much still evolving process of living their non-binary genderqueer self”. For Rostron, pitching became the sonic embodiment of taking T (testosterone). Listen closely, for example, to the lyrics on W’s ‘Doorway’ and you’ll see a through-line connecting that song with the refrain on Powerhouse’s ‘Jam of Finland’:  “I feel a transformation in me / All those empty spaces in me / Are filling up with me…”

Ultimately, Powerhouse is a celebration of liberation, a groove-filled record that sees Rostron consolidating power both personal and artistic.

Get both Planningtorock releases (the brand-new album Powerhouse and 2011’s acclaimed record W) at 20% off here!

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