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Ad Bourke

We caught up with Citinite’s latest addition to their family of boogie funk aficionados to discover what’s really behind Ad Bourke’s cosmic blend of hip hop.

Ad Bourke’s excels hip hop to a higher level, injecting it with techno sliver, dub inflections and futuristic noises: quite a complicated science to deal with, but if managed well, it leads to astonishing sonic results, in perfect harmony between groove, sensuality and sharp edges. AD Bourke is a true master at work.

From his first works and experiments and releases on Treble-O (label founded by the great Domu), Adam’s career is definitely on a constant rise. 2009 saw him sharing the stage with Flying Lotus and Daedelus at Dissonanze festival in Rome as well as being invited by the Red Bull Music Academy for its 2010 edition.

It’s hard not to be seduced both by his productions and his live sets: Adam is not only a guy using a lot of softwares, he’s also an extremely skilled instrumentalist, quality that drives him to an utmost physical and spectacular approach even when he’s using samplers, laptops and drum machines.

Adam has kindly provided us his latest mix, which he recorded for Citinite, find it in the player and listen to what he has to offer.

IA : GROWING UP IN ROMA, WHAT MUSIC DID YOU FIND YOURSELF LISTENING TO THAT HAS AFFECTED WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

A lot of funk and soul music from my father’s crates, Reggae and Dub, Rome has a very big Reggae scene and stuff from the likes of Marco Passarani , Francisco , Raiders of the Lost Arp, Mat 101, Pigna People

IA : YOUR PRODUCTIONS ARE VERY TIGHT AND CONCISE, DO YOU HAVE A STRONG MUSICAL BACKGROUND?

My musical background is all about listening to a lot of records. Old and new, any genre, nothing specific. But most of all Funk and Soul music, in all their forms, from old 60’s Rhythm and Blues to Electro.

IA : DID YOU PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS OR PLAY IN A BAND BEFORE WORKING ON YOUR ‘FUTURE / MUTANT FUNK’ STYLES?

When I was a kid, I used to play in a lot of bands. I can play Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and a little bit of Drums too.

IA : WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE YOUR PRESENT STYLE OF MUSIC SERIOUSLY?

Basically, when I started receiving proposals about releasing my tracks… That was the moment when I started to take my personal productions more seriously. I was still playing in bands when I started making my own music… I started recording demos of what I wanted to play with the band, you know, sharing CD’s about new tracks where I used to record different instruments. At a certain point I started experimenting, buying samplers and analog synths.

IA : BEAT MAKING IS AN ART THAT FEW MANAGE TO MASTER, IS IT SOMETHING THAT CAME NATURALLY TO YOU?

Honestly I don’t consider my tracks as 100% “beats”… I mean, I’m not saying I don’t like beats. I love them… It’s just that the definition ‘Beat’ basically for me involves no particular arrangement in a track… for me a beat it’s a 2 minutes loop with a neck-breaking groove, might be a sample being looped or slices of the sample rearranged. I feel that my productions are tracks with a more traditional song structure… I might add a little change to the main part , add a B part and also a synth solo sometimes.

But one thing that’s true, is that a lot my music has been produced in a way that is basically beatmaking… I’ve been using the MPC 2000 a lot, a lot of my tracks have been all arranged using the MPC 2000 and then bouncing the whole mixdown onto the computer to form A technical point of view. I’ve exploited all the capabilities of a sampler like the MPC 2000… And I must say that working with those limitations has strongly stimulated my creativity.

IA : WHAT CONTEMPORARY MUSICIANS AND PRODUCERS DO YOU ADMIRE PRESENTLY?

Opolopo, Dimlite and Lapti

IA : I FIRST CAME ACROSS YOUR MUSIC DURING YOUR TIME AT ‘RBMA’, HOW WAS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE AT THE ACADEMY?

Amazing experience … Full of a lot of inspiring talents.

IA : WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOU?

The lectures were incredible… Russel Elevado , a top notch sound engineer… and Cluster, krautrock band, really impressed me.

IA : ‘DAM FUNK’ WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO PUBLICLY SUPPORT AND PLAY YOUR MUSIC. WHAT’S YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE?

I met ‘DAM FUNK’ in Rome a couple of times. He’ s great person and musician, really inspiring. It would be great to jam with him.

IA : YOUR MODERN TAKE ON FUNK IS ORIGINAL AND INSPIRING. IF SOMEONE WAS TO LOOK FOR OTHER ARTISTS AND LABELS ALONG THE SAME STRAIN, WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?

Citinite, Tokyo Dawn Records, All City, Eglo, 5 Easy Pieces.

IA : WHAT PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES DID YOU EMPLOY ON YOUR NEW ALBUM, ‘MIRAGE’ OUT NOW ON CITINITE?

I make a drum beat on the MPC, press play on the sequencer and start recording a long jam. After that I usually make a selection of the stuff I like.

IA : DID YOU DRAW ON ANY SPECIFIC INSPIRATIONS FOR THIS PROJECT?

Well yea, I was really into this ‘Mirage’ thing that comes to mind when I start jamming. When I play, I start focusing on something that becomes the main object of the session… that’s the ‘Mirage’.

IA : ARE YOU PLAYING WITH ANY OTHER STYLES AND TEMPO’S? WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU THIS YEAR?

Well, I have in mind a lot of different stuff for the future, from faster electro funk stuff to even slow jams. Honestly, I get easily bored when working always on the same stuff or limiting myself to a specific genre and tempo.

IA : COULD YOU GIVE US A RUN DOWN OF YOUR TOP 5 TRACKS OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS?

  1. Arp 101 – Dead Leaf
  2. Dimlite – Roo (A dedication)
  3. Lapti – In Abandoned Zoo
  4. Gosub – The Broadcast
  5. Dam Funk- Sideway
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