Adam X is on a Recon Mission, exploring the derelict, industrial landscapes of towering blocks and underground train systems – locations he knows all too well from his love for intricate systems and being one of the most prolific graffiti artists in NYC in the 90s. His ability to find unique platforms and hideaways led to him throwing some of the earliest techno warehouse raves in the city alongside his brother Frankie Bones where they encouraged guests to escape the inner city rat race and have wild experiences in the most isolated lands.
The ‘Recon Mission’ that Adam has been since the early 90s is now the name of his most recent album and the first in four years under his Adam X alias. The long break is due to many facets of his productions. Releasing under a variety of different projects such as monikers The Secret Initiative and ADMX-71, with each one far apart stylistically, Adam says, ‘it’s not exciting for me to record one [album] annually. It takes time for me to conceptualise what I want to do’ – there was an ADMX-71 long-player released in 2015.
With visions of New York City’s dystopian past and CIA shadow government experiments, ‘Recon Mission’ is influenced by Adam’s past as he ‘grew up in a very dystopian city in the 80s which had a vast effect of my music since day one. I’m also well interested in regional government conspiracies such as Plum Island and The Philadelphia Experiment.’
In addition to the local mysteries, Adam X explores the Earth’s many enigmas with the track titles digging into a variety of different topics such as the rumoured first city of mankind ‘Earth Base One’ apparently located in South America, ‘Modular Bodies’ relating to a 56-video series looking at a 3D printed modular body created by Floris Kaayk and ‘Bimini Wall’, an underground rock formation in the Bahamas which scientists believe to be a natural occurrence whilst others speculate that it’s an ancient road.
Adam’s research and study into the world we live in holds no bounds and that attitude reflects within his productions. The Adam X project has changed massively over the years, whilst ‘the mood remains similar to my early 90s recordings, the sound design, rhythm structures and audio production are light years ahead of the music I made back then’, Adam states. Starting off as a techno producer, Adam got bored of minimal and tribal looping the late 90s. ‘I started listening to more electronic music outside of techno at this time, hungry for something different. Listening to industrial and EBM music hit me most at the time and that’s when I started to mix those two sounds into techno.’ Some of the most important records during this time of transition were Clock DVA’s ‘Buried Dreams’, Klinik’s ‘Plague’, ‘Frontline Assembly ‘Initial Command’ and Nitzer Ebb ‘Belief’.
The reception to this transition was slow, occurring during the early noughties and it wasn’t until 2010 that the scene eventually began to move away from minimal and started opening up to Adam’s music and the new genres he was mixing. Nowadays, there’s a lust around the world for those early 90s sounds of industrial and EBM music and this comes with its problems as Adam says, ‘a lot of it is the missing depth of mood and rhythmic groove. When you listen to the music I mentioned above and then listen to what they call industrial or EDM techno you will hear a very little comparison between these genres. This is not to say there aren’t some making quality EDM / industrial within techno, it’s just there’s a lot of music being classified into this genre of sound that has little to do with it’.
However, Adam’s label Sonic Groove – launched in 1995 – has maintained its status throughout the years as one of the leading techno imprints. Based in Berlin, Adam cites that all his favourite records at the moment are coming from his label, which is to no surprise with the likes of Canadian industrial titans Orphx, Italian innovator Max Durante and French artist Crystal Geometry who’s latest release on the label ‘Red Fait Militia’ Adam describes as ‘one of the best future EBM techno records I’ve heard yet’.