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Adam K - The Sound Of Progress

Author: Nina Bertok
Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get ready to be educated in the hottest underground sounds when Canada’s most trusted name in house music, Adam K, heads down under for the second round of Ministry of Sound’s ‘Progression’ dates. Chances are you’re going to want to listen.

“Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to hear the full compilation from start to finish just yet but I know what my own mix sounds like and I have to say I’m pretty thrilled with it,” the producer says of Progression 2, a two-disc affair of which the Canadian shared mixing duties with Hook N Sling. “You’re never going to be 100 per cent happy with what you put out if you’re a perfectionist like me and you’re going to question it a little bit when you’re working with such underground tracks, but I’ve learned to let it go and just be proud of my music. Looking back on the whole process the only thing I wish for differently is that I had more songs to choose from to make the compilation. When you’re making a CD that contains 18 to 20 tracks, it really helps if you have about 60 tracks to select from. It’s easy putting the songs together at the beginning but the closer you get to the end, the slimmer the picking gets. It works though, there’s some great music on the compilation.”

More importantly, as Adam K points out, the mix contains a lot of tracks that would otherwise prove almost impossible to find for the average record collector.

“I personally think this collection is an obscure one,” he claims. “About 30 per cent of the tracks on here you could probably find if you looked in the record stores but about 70 per cent of it would be a case of most people not being able to find the songs. From that perspective, I was striving to bring these tracks to those very same people. I have a lot of friends that are avid lovers of music as well as friends that have worked in the industry for years, like DJs, so it’s been a matter of them saying to me, ‘hey, you should check this out’. A lot of the stuff on the CD comes from recommendations from others, from borrowing people’s records, and just opinions from people that I can rely on.”

Adam K knows a thing or two about quality tunes himself: with a career spanning over a decade this Canadian producer has not only worked with renowned artists from the likes of Deadmau5, Tiesto and Hatiras, but also managed to set up his own rising label Hotbox Digital.

“It’s been a big honour to work with Ministry of Sound again,” he says. “When they came to me and asked me to get involved with this compilation I knew straight away that it would be an amazing experience. Ministry of Sound is pretty much the undisputed leading edge when it comes to bringing the new sounds to the people that dig this kind of music yet that would also find it hard to get access to. Getting the chance to put together a collection of more obscure songs has been a great chance to educate people in progressive music and different sub genres, hopefully.”

And he’s not about to stop there either – according to Adam K, dance music needs to be reminded of its humanity and the importance of improvisation.

“A lot of the stuff I’m hearing today is way too perfect to the point that it sounds more like remixing,” he insists. “The live element is something that I really want to capture in my music, I would absolutely hate to be bound by computers and everything being perfectly in sync. I want people to remember that we’re human and that what we’re doing with electronic music is still an expression of our motor-function. The improvisational skills really need to be put to use because we are not perfect. It’s just how I am, it’s how I think about my music, take it or leave it.”

We’ll take it, please, because from the sounds of this producer’s live show, Australia is definitely in for something special.

“This has been a great experience because it’s been my first mixed compilation ever,” Adam K confesses. “But it might be my last one too because I am going much more in the way of live music from here on. Right now my main focus is to bring the live energy back into my tracks, all the little imperfections, because I feel that’s where the true magic lies. It shouldn’t be about pushing buttons. I actually have a live music background and I grew up listening to a lot of rock music, so that may have something to do with the way I feel. I listened to classic rock like Santana, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and funk and then I progressed more into the electronic stuff.”

Clearly the ambitious type, Adam K announces he and musical partner Soha have heavyweights such as Madonna and The Killers next in their sights.

“On behalf of my business partner Soha, we’d actually like to produce some bands that we admire. To be able to add your take to the music of bands like The Killers or even Madonna, it’s definitely a direction worth thinking about taking in the future. Whether it happens one day or not, people should know that what they know of my music right now is about to change. Most of it will be an indie rock style to down-tempo stuff but there will still be some of that sound that people are used to so it won’t be a complete shock straight away. I am aware that when people like a sound they’re not necessarily going to change their taste just because the artist evolves, but I also feel that it’s important for me to move forward for my own sake.”

WHO: Adam K
WHAT: Plays Club Club at Chinese Laundry / Progression 2 through Ministry of Sound / Universal
WHEN: Saturday 2 May / Out now