ADMX-71 is the industrial moniker of Adam Mitchell aka Adam X, a respected Techno pioneer who’s been an influential figure in the New York scene since the early 90s. Following the ‘Redacted Files’ single in 2014, Adam’s back on L.I.E.S. for his dark, noisy, wide-reaching new album ‘Coherent Abstractions’. It summons up a powerful image of New York’s grimy, unfriendly past. You can stream the whole thing over at the Guardian.
To tie in with the release of ‘Coherent Abstractions’, Adam’s agreed to run us through a list of his all-time top Ambient/IDM/Downtempo albums. From Aphex Twin to ASC, there’s a whole load of gems. Dive into the rabbit hole below:
1. Anthony Rother – 62 Minutes On Mars [Fax Records, Germany] (2011)
Rother made many an amazing Electro track in the start of his career. Check the ‘Sex With The Machines’ single to confirm this. In the early 2000’s he changed pace and began altering his sound into more of an Electropop clash style. A lot of his underground Electro fans – or at least the ones I know – stopped following him because of his change into a more commercial sound. Leaving many unaware of his five amazing Ambient/Downtempo albums on Fax Records, recorded between 2003-2011. ’62 Minutes On Mars’ is the perfect name for this deep space mission into aural sound. It reminds me a bit of John Carpenter’s ‘Escape From New York’ soundtrack, but in no way copying it. The interplanetary atmosphere this album creates is like no other!
2. Monolake – Cinemascope [Imbalance Computer Music, Germany] (2001)
One of my top five deep electronic albums of the aught decade. Though I already owned a few Monolake singles prior to this release, it was this album that made me a Monolake addict.
3. Beaumont Hannant – Basic Manipulation [GPR, UK] (1993)
Pioneering IDM album which dropped around the same time as Autechre’ ‘Incunabula’ in 1993. Beaumont made a lot of amazing Ambient/IDM songs and is severely overlooked for his output and influence on the genre. His albums and singles from the early 90’s are easily on par with any of the known Warp artists of the era, and that includes Aphex. In my book, Beaumont is of legend status.
4. ASC – Imagine The Future [Samurai Red Seal, Germany] (2015)
My favorite album of 2015. The mood, sound design and production level is second to none. I’ve mentioned this album to my friends more than any other piece of music in 2015. Six stars out of five!
5. 7th Plain – My Yellow Wise Rug [GPR, UK] (1994)
This was a sleeper album in my shop when it came out, probably because Luke was so on top of the game for hard techno that not many wanted to hear deeper recordings from him at the time. This is one gem of a listening album. Perfect for a drive into the ruralness. I would love to hear Luke record some more listening music again in a mood similar to this.
6. Larry Heard – Genesis [Mecca, UK] (1999)
The pioneer and master of the Deep House groove released this masterpiece of an album at the end of the millennium. This storytelling affair digs deep into the melancholic depths of downtempo Techno, House and Electro. ‘Rain’, my top pick, is a completely goosebump-giving affair. I can listen to this in loop mode for hours on end.
7. Joey Beltram – Aonox [Visible, US] (1994)
This is an incredible edible and slept on album from Joey. It’s deep as deep gets but also tough as nails, with elements of rhythmic noise industrial induced in between the ambient soundscapes. Joey was light years in front of people with this atmospheric Industrial sounding body of work. This album is pure genius.
8. Call Super – Suzi Ecto [Houndstooth, UK] (2014)
Going into the deepest depths of reflection. A very strong body of work leaning towards the classic sounds of Detroit techno and classic Deep House à la Mr Fingers but without sounding retro. A great release from start to finish. Though I do have a hard time listening to it straight through as I’m constantly playing a few songs over and over and over.
9. Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92 [R&S/Apollo, Belgium] (1992)
Standing the test of time, this is to ambient what Mozart is to classical. An amazing piece of work through and through.
10. David Morley – Ghosts [Ursa Major, Belgium] (2007)
David is very high on the unsung hero producer list of Techno, Electro and Ambient music. One of the key players in the old school R&S roster from the late 80’s to early 90’s. Also working as an engineer in their studio for many a famous Techno artist. David helped kick start the R&S ambient sub-label Apollo Records way back in 1994. Releasing several incredible downtempo and ambient releases in the late 90’s. With R&S on hiatus mode in the aught decade, David recorded this phenomenal work of ultra lush ambient downtempo electronics. A journey into the land of the unknown.
‘Coherent Abstractions’ is out now on L.I.E.S. Get your hands on a copy here.
Featured image: Marie Staggat