Adamski‘s Number 1 hit Killer, featuring a then-unknown Seal, has defined him for a quarter of a century. A stone cold classic, whatever he did after it would be judged against it.
Now he’s set about casting four-to-the-floor aside in favour of a journey back through time to when the 3/4 waltz beat drove dancefloors. Marrying the tempo to electronica to create his own subgenre futurewaltz, he’s released a new, sprawling, 20-track album called Revolt that features David McAlmont, Congo Natty and Bishi amongst a handpicked selection of guest vocalists.
Totting up the albums that have influenced him most, this is Adamski’s This Music Made Me…
Devo – Are We Not Men? We Are Devo
This is the first album I bought, in 1979. I loved their pioneering use of sounds and their deconstruction of music while all the while being very melodic and groovy.
I can’t believe I’ve been their fan for 36 years and only just discovered an early song called Mechanical Man which is in 3/4 time (my obsession).
I’m working on a bootleg I can play in my DJ sets as we speak.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Flaunt It
Having seen them live in their early days, this album was actually pretty disappointing – especially the production (from one of my idols, Giorgio Moroder).
But their futuristic rockabilly riffs and manifesto still inspire me to this day. There is a subtle SSS reference in everything I do, to be honest.
David Byrne & Brian Eno – My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
When I was 15 or 16 I used to hang around with 30-year-old hippies who seemed ancient to me. I used to smoke bongs and get so paranoid I couldn’t move or speak.
But they turned me on to this, which is a seminal album of mashing good hypnotic music and inspired samples together.
The exorcism sample didn’t really help my mindset though.
An even older hippy turned me on to this, mainly because I loved The Cramps and he knew I’d feel the rockabilly element.
But more than that I realised that good strong music could be made based around minimal loops.
This was the first I had heard, and Alan Vega’s wonderful sexy voice and lyrics gels it all together with a rocking momentum.
The House Sound Of Chicago Vol 2
There is untold good house music especially from this era.
It sounded like aliens and/or robots collaborating with humans – mainly gay Afro-Americans, party people.
Even when I met some of these guys and knew what machines did what, the mystique was still there and it sounded like music from another planet, while being deeply
soulful and revolutionary on our planet.
Tripped out trashy psychobilly. I didn’t realise a lot of their songs were faithful covers but who cares they unearthed those little known gems.
Human Fly is stunning however, and not a cover. I loved those American bands (like Devo also) who had such a strong identity and unique sound that it seemed like they were families living in their own private universes.
I want to go and stay in a Travelodge in Ohio (where both bands are from) with my laptop and see if I can channel some of their flavours.
All the songs on here are beautiful and for the time had very forward thinking production (Smith and Mighty).
I don’t know why he wasn’t massive. Nothing makes sense.
My dearly departed friend, Ricardo da Force from The KLF, introduced me to this on the tour bus in the early ’90s and I played it on loop at his memorial and had a good weep.
The track Bassline still informs my musical stylings to this day.
Kurtis Mantroik is someone I’ve basically plagiarised on and off for three decades.
I’d rate him along with Kraftwerk and Suicide as a pioneer of electronic music and a great inspiration to many people, myself included.
The furore about him at the Grammys this year has been very entertaining. Personally I’d definitely rather listen to him or Beyoncé than Beck.
I love what he does, mashing up samples and avant garde music with clever and funny lyrics. That’s what I’ve loved for years and he still makes it fresh, even with Auto-Tune.
I can’t allow people’s (perceived) personalities interfere with my enjoyment of music.
Anne Dudley and Jaz Coleman – Songs From The Victorious City
Main tunesmiths from Killing Joke and the Art Of Noise (both huge influences on me) collaborated with Egyptian musicians and made such spirited and moving music.
I like middle eastern melodies and rhythms, so I couldn’t not love this.
Also the track In A Timeless Place starts off as a waltz, which is what i’m all about now.
Adamski’s new album Revolt is out now through FutureWaltz. Further information can be found here.