We first started gushing about ADJOWA back in September, after the release of his dazzling debut EP. Released on The Kelly Twins’ label Happy Skull and accompanied by a FunkinEven remix, associated names alone could evince the caliber of the tracks. Upon listening, however, name-dropping became irrelevant. With Joe Evan’s cosmically tenacious tracks being so good, so captivating, you forget who’s who, who you are, and even what you had for breakfast.
To get to know the man behind the music a little better and what led him onto production, we asked Joe for the top five tracks that have influenced him on his path. The result are five brilliant selections accompanied by some highly informative and amusing words. Enjoy!
ADJOWA’s next release Science & Soul is out on Don’t Be Afraid records on 16th December. Have a listen to the previews below.
Herbie Hancock – The Twighlight Clone
Probably my favourite musician of all time, Herbie Hancock is a god. Jazz, funk, electro, fusion – he owns it all. He’s so prolific and diverse it’s almost impossible to pick out one track in particular, but this album cut off the 1981 Magic Windows LP has a special place in my heart – flawless, driving, mystical moon funk. The groove is so, so tight, the production is heavy and the arabic scale melody line adds an irresistible layer of mystery.
King Sporty – Do You Wanna Dance
Noel Williams is King Sporty, a hero of mine. A lot of people know him for being the producer behind the Connie Case – Get Down boogie/proto house number, but this is my favourite of his. He’s a Jamaican who learned his trade in Studio 1 alongside Clement Dodd, before he emigrated to Miami and starting making electro. Sort of single handedly invented Miami Bass – this kind of ‘proto’ music is the lynchpin of Adjowa – cracked out, heavy electronic funk. Plus, the leather trousers, the dance moves – unbeatable.
Lil Louis – Jupiter
According to many people, Lil Louis is a shitbag. He stole, ripped off and lied his way to the top of the chicago house music game. Yet, this B-side to his smash hit French Kiss from 1989 is one of the most brilliant, stark pieces of electronic music I’ve ever heard. Again, it was originally ripped from Armando’s 151, but listen to the two pieces side by side and there’s only one winner – Jupiter. It’s a beast of a record that does almost nothing, but nails the otherworldly potential of raw electronic music. In all honesty, house music usually bores the arse off me, but this is the good stuff. Banger.
Carol Williams – Can’t Get Away
The funny thing about boogie is that it’s really a whole mish mash of musical styles retroactively grouped together. Listen to a Kashif record, then listen to a Leroy Burgess record – both Boogie, but very different sounds. I’d say Carol Williams – Can’t Get Away is Boogie, too, but a more naturalistic, sultry, 2-Step variation. On Can’t Get Away, the piano, the vocal, the synth line and, of course, the bassline, come together in perfect unison to create a devastating whole. In my top ten boogie tracks, without doubt.
Legowelt – Sark Island Acid
Danny Woolfers is the best electronic musician in the world, bar none. On a different level. His output is astonishing, and the man understands synthesizers and drum machines in a sort of supernatural way. I can’t get away from the feeling that a huge proportion of electronic musicians today aren’t really musicians at all – they’ve just picked up a copy of ableton, watched a few online tutorials and drawn in a drum pattern. More fashion than passion. Legowelt, on the other hand, would be making music if he was around in medieval times: he’d be a fucking good lute player or something, you can just hear that it’s in his blood.