Label Spotlight: Diagonal

It’s not entirely surprising that the British artist Powell once sampled Big Black’s Steve Albini; the Chicago noise-rockers’ volume and in-your-face attitude go to the heart of what Powell does in his own music and with his label, Diagonal Records. Co-founded with fellow Brit Jaime Williams in 2011, Diagonal pulls together an unlikely mix of sounds: the lurching rhythms of rockabilly, the clang of post-punk, and the eviscerating feedback of the contemporary noise scene, all of which get hammered into a lumpy approximation of techno. (You’ll also find Hall and Oates samples, Autechre remixes, and reissues of early avant-rappers Death Comet Crew in the mix; Diagonal’s vectors are nothing if not far-reaching.) The overall effect is a little like gargling broken glass with a manic grin on your face.