The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart is a Balearic record, though not one that’s inspired by those fabled Iberian sun-kissed beaches that stretch on forever and sunsets that stop you in your tracks. Rather, it’s a House record made for all night dancing in a decommissioned steelwork. It’s an ambient record that strolls a windswept coastline where lime-grass dunes rise and fall like slumbering megafauna. The album walks the ugly, lovely industrial coastline of the North East of England, stopping at points to soak up the breathtaking scenery and watch everyday life carrying on in the face of rapid deindustrialisation.
Over the album’s eleven tracks, A Man Called Adam perfectly capture both a time and place. While Starlings dances carefree like a murmuration and The Girl With The Hole In Her Heart trips back through snapshots of terrace house childhood whilst rolling on a retro electro bassline, Hidden Dragon’s low end bass evokes heavy machinery looming large on the horizon. Gorgeous ambient soundscapes like In Favour Of Storms glide gracefully as shift sirens and field recordings of demolition blasts lace with Ammonite’s controlled kettle drum rolls into an addictive Lil’ Louis pulse.
Talking about the effect of her local environment on The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart, Sally says: “Spending this precious time back in the wild coastal and industrial landscapes of Teesside has stirred up that sense of awe at the steely, elemental authority of nature, and in human resilience. The melodies, sounds and lyrics are sometimes flinty and angular, sometimes fluid and fun (because the people are very funny here), and I hope the record reflects those feelings of human fragility and deep time that I always feel looking out to sea on stormy days.”
Fight Or Flight (Loft Piano Vocal) – a dream state house track – is out now on all streaming and digital platforms.
The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart features:
The Girl With A Hole In Her Heart was made in Teesside. The sleeve photos for Fight or Flight and the album (along with previous singles Starlings and Ammonite) were taken by Robin Dale in Teesside in the 1970s.
With doctoral research that spans the fields of sound, technology and lyric form, they have produced soundworks for BAFTA winning director Mark Jenkin, The British Museum and BBC Radio 4 among others and this summer they’re creating a series of works and events for a blockbuster exhibition – ‘PEOPLE POWERED: Stories From The River Tees’ – a collaboration between MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art part of Teesside University) and The National Portrait Gallery about the River Tees and its cultural impact (opening 22 July).
2 x Vinyl LP Cat No: THELP109 – DIGITAL LP Cat No: OTHED 012
Returning after a long-lasting hiatus is no mean feat. How to stay relevant, to plug the gap and come back as strong as where things were left off. A Man Called Adam’s return however, is as emphatic as it is endearing. Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones are back with a brand-new album of melodic, emotional, pop-not-pop tracks, bringing fresh layers of feeling, from warmth and passion, to sentimentality and sorrow.
Displaying a wealth of knowledge gained through two lifetimes spent immersed in music, Farmarama showcases a myriad of styles and richness in arrangements. Moving from soulful slow jams to lo-fi disco, Balearic house to dub, post-rock electronica and art-house ambience, there are glistening horizons and windswept beaches conjured up at every turn.
Take to the likes of ‘Mountains & Waterfalls’, ‘Farmarama’ and ‘Michael’ and hear dancefloor, disco tinges that marry live percussion, sultry Rhodes and hearty basslines, oozing emotion. But venture deeper to uncover a pensive, yet equally expressive side to the record through tracks like ‘Higher Powers’ and ‘Top of The Lake’. Take the later as an example, a neo-classical slice of magical ambience, that wouldn’t be out of place sound tracking sweeping views of shimmering scenery. Or ‘Spots of Time’, beginning as a frenetic, glitched out piece of electronica, before opening into a brooding breakbeat journey.
Full of vintage warmth, analogue synths and intricate textures, Rodgers, Jones and new collaborator, Paul Smith, combine experimental touches with an undeniable catchiness, balancing electronic elements, with acoustic sparkles. In harmony with this, the contemplative, poetic verses, that considers life as a hi-definition, Westworld-like simulation, a Farmarama, and disco as a way of being, meld and morph a conceptual narrative that tugs on the heartstrings of life.
Farmarama, then, isn’t your archetypal album. It’s an emotionally charged, intelligent and enlightening body of work that’s Balearic to the bone.
Artist: A Man Called Adam
Label: Other Records
Release Date: 8th March 2019
2 x vinyl Album Cat No: OTH 109 – Distributor: Prime Direct Distribution
DIGITAL LP Cat No: OTHED 012 – Distributor: Kudos
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The Electronic Music EP is the latest release from Discrete Machines. A collection of strange songs and psyched-out electronica, it’s now available on CD or as high quality wavs to download on bandcamp, and at most good digital retailers.
Discrete Machines – Supersnikeltip
This limited edition augmented audio CD is released under the artist name Discrete Machines so listeners can distinguish the sonic and visual experimentalism it embodies from the more melodic A Man Called Adam output its creators Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones are known for. Representing a sample of their innovative work as mixed media artists, these tracks span productions created in a ramshackle barn in Cornwall using an experimental arrangement of loudspeakers, a set-up that allowed them to move around the space picking up and putting down instruments as they recorded, to a bare, minimalist room in Yorkshire creating works using only mobile hand-held devices. As a reaction to the carefully constructed multi-tracking of song production, these pieces are raw, spontaneous and recorded in real-time onto a stereo tape recorder. [/bs_col]
A Man Called Adam – What are words worth?
As Tom Tom Club once asked, what are words worth? This discrete release from A Man Called Adam comprises of 4 tracks Sally and Steve have produced in recent months and is representative of a new direction in their creative output. Largely instrumental, the ep does contain a single vocal track but reflects an increasing disaffection with conventional lyricism and points to their interest in exploring chance operations and the sound-sense of language. The opening track ‘walker’ reconstructs fragments of time and melody to create a fluid, perambulatory wander into Reichean serialism. ‘Part of me which links’ and ‘cosa nova’ blend the nostalgia of custom built music boxes into a spacious waltz-time soundscape, while the ‘the list’ addresses what Jaques Derrida describes as ‘the originary violence of language’ inherent in the representative associations thrown up when we give a name to something. What are words worth anyway?