Home > Texts about music > Adam Johnson, Chigliak [Merck – MERCK016, 2003]

Adam Johnson, Chigliak [Merck – MERCK016, 2003]

July 8th, 2003

adam_johnson_chiglickAlthough he’s already had some releases Mr Johnson’s music was completely unknown to me until I received my copy of ON Records compilation 002 and heard his excellent contribution “Boungy”. I’ve been waiting for his first full-length release for some time now and finally here it is. The 16 track CD is entitled “Chigliak and is released by Merck. It’s a very well produced album with a strong focus on rhythmic elements and a fair amount of electro influences. “Chigliak” starts of with a beatless atmosphere enhancing soundscapes acting as intro. “Trinity” has soothing guitar-based melody and steadily paced beats. “Version02” starts off with a calm intro leading on to dry percussive elements alongside straightforward beats and bassline. Reminiscent of those days now long gone… The aptly named “Autopop” has a similar structure, but is rather heavily influenced by those legendary Germans and is constructed out of nice sounding melodies and sounds. “Some Say She’s Naive” incorporates more straightforward and effective beats programming fused with vocoder-based melody. It’s a quirky electro-like track. “Lounge Pig” again very nice selection of sounds and beats programming. The strings add an American feeling to the track and to that particular brand of techno. “Sensible Imposter” is like a second part to or a remix of “Lounge Pig” difference being a bit more intensity in the handling of the beats, and that is also my interpretation of the title. “Anex” follows and gives you a down tempo track packed with beautiful melody fused with glass-like percussive elements. And it truly is an outstanding track. All tracks on the album, but one are previously unreleased: “Captain Wood” was first released by Parotic Music on a 12″ entitled “Pressure Point EP” in 2001 under the name A.J Hunter, which apparently also was the debut release for Adam Johnson. “Captain Wood” is as fresh sounding as any other track on the album in fact it is possibly one of the best tracks. Lovely piece of music! “Shade” marks a drastic tempo shift with its atmospheric, beatless soundscapes it’s an interlude of sorts leading on to “Kriegspiel” bringing back the beats in grand style, it’s a bass filled delight. Then the strangest thing happens after 11 tracks of variety and a fair amount of originality the mood of the album is altered. “Malk” is an electronic dub by the format track, it is as well produced as the rest but not that interesting. “Traber” is moving along the same lines, but instead of being dub-influenced it’s house-influenced. “Croupier” ends this album in the same beatless way that it started, in short a classic outro. The album would most likely have benefited from having a couple of fewer tracks, but nevertheless it is an impressive debut album by Adam Johnson. And a final word must be said about the nice looking but fragile packaging. Merck continues releasing high-grade electronic music and the signing of Adam Johnson promises much, much more to come.

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