Bo Square is currently producing a new full-length album for a tentative release later this year. Also in the works are a soon-to-be-released Tino Corp 7" "Vice Versa Dub" (also appearing on the Brainwashed Records compilation "Brain in the Wire").
Venturing into the movie soundtrack world, music by Bo Square will be featured in the short film "The Three-Cornered Hat" now in post production and a hopeful candidate for Sundance.
Outer Space Suite
"This experimental breakbeat tracks feature comes in the form of of the rare appearances of Marshall Allen, the current frontman for the SUN RA ARKESTRA. Allen's cosmic alto sax work seems to have been a strong influence on the overall piece with many complementary details in instrumentation and sound effects. This is a complex and well-thought-out piece of drum & bass. It will take many listens to pick up on all the intricacies involved." - DMA Feb/March 2001
"Mike Powell, Tino Corp. executive board member and sometime Jack Dangers collaborator, silently unleashed this powerful piece of drum & bass fusion a few months ago to little fanfare. Even the inclusion of Sun Ra Arkestra saxophonist Marshall Allen didn't garner it much attention. Regardless, this record kicks: slower tempos, a chill, stony vibe and Powell's own occasionally dissonant guitar competently frame Allen's emotive, skyward solos. Flip for the hazy midtempo 'Numbers', where Powell's Meat Beat connections make perfect sense." - XLR8R #50
Top 10 Singles of 2000 / Groove Merchant - BPM
Sizing Things Up
"Sizing Things Up" is the abstract beats project for the "headz" from producer Mike Powell. This album is an expansion on his "Outer Space Suite" featuring Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), recently reviewed in this column. If nothing else the San Francisco Bay area fosters a breeding ground for boundless creativity; this has been evident on each new release from the fledgling label Tino Corp. The full 9:10 of "Outer Space Suite" is present, together with "Numbers," the other A-side of the first single release. The other five lengthy tracks are equally enthralling with a masterful use of rhythm and a twisted ear for samples and sound bites. I believe the mere mention of the titles should give the right impression of the "nu breaks" from the "nu beats generation." "Radio 2000" is loaded with broadcast (shortwave, CB, AM & FM) oddities, funky guitar, and beats. "Source of Every Sound" joins Mr. Powell during the peaks of one of his aural "trips," very fascinating and encased in a finely honed clippy drum & bass rhythm. "The Further Adventures of Happy the Clown at Burning Man" is a hypnotic down-tempo "nu breaks" track with an especially eerie otherworld tone; it could have only been accomplished with recorder in hand, on just the right dose of mescaline during our little party called "Burning Man." "Burn it down, burn it down!" I don't know if that sample was directed at the wooden man structure or at their blunt -- probably both. "Deje" is dark and I mean dark-alley-anything-could-happen dark. With the odd choice of gravelly male vocal sound bites of "ephemera" and "space" one can only relate to a cold short existence; there doesn't always have to be a happy ending. "South of Market Phone Trouble (Obsession) / Alter Destiny" winds the set up with what has to be the best sample in years: "practically every person who goes insane, wants to be." If you ever find yourself in San Francisco's South of Market area, the madness on this track and the whole album for that matter will make perfect sense. "Obsession, you're scaring me!" We should all be grateful that the Jack Dangers school of music exists. I am. Please listen. - Soundworks Aug 2001
"Smooth, urbane drum & bass, with wit and grit to spare. This drum & bass showcase by Mike Powell, former Meat Beat Manifesto sideman, also featuers Powell's mellow jazz guitar on several pieces, including 'Outer Space Suite,' where venerable Sun Ra sideman Marshall Allen contributes some mellow alto sax. Powell adds further embellishments via theremin, short-wave-radio samples and keyboards. The operative word here is tasteful - the sounds are funky and loose, but always under control. While the CD's seven tracks don't exactly tell stories, they seem guided by vague themes, with Powell giving each piece a satisfying shape through his skillful repetition of samples, rhythmic patterns and riffs." - AP Dec 01
"Septuagenarian saxophonist Marshall Allen, has teamed with electronic musicians half his age to produce some of the most memorable electronic jazz of this year by Bo Square. Powell composed the music and arranged its intoxicating stack of languorous sax, threadbare drum loops and hazy slabs of atmospheric sound effects" - PULSE
"Credited on the records are executive producer Bud Holdin and engineers/producers Ben Stokes, Jack Dangers, and Mike Powell. When asked what the experience of working with Tino was like, Mike responded, "I've never seen anyone hit the drums so hard! It was like he was trying to kill them!" Indeed. These beats rule. Each is minutes long, and often contain clever overdubs - percussion, vocal samples, spacey synth noises, and more. And not just funk or R&B beats, the material sways into jazz and Latin realms as well. With titles such as "Starksy Beats Hutch," "Ape Man Beat," "H-Bomb (Cha Cha)," and "You Have a Great Body," you know you're in for a good time. Tino rocks!" - Keyboard Dec 99
"...they're backing into breakthrough territory on post-hop, new-dub syncretic gems like 'Toasted Dub' and 'Body Dub.'" - San Francisco Bay Guardian, January 31, 2001
"Pressed on marbled green vinyl for maximum holiday effect, the disc does have lasting value beyond the holidays: The second side is filled with 20 minutes of scratch tracks - found-sound clicks, buzzes, chirps and off-color statements perfect for sampling, or just diving into an irony-ridden zeitgeist. 'We're looking at it as if it were a time capsule, a 1999 commemorative thing,' says producer Mike Powell." - SF Weekly Dec 22, 1999