my initial exposure to adam johnson's material has been through a number of outstanding compilations I have heard last year (on002, mas confusion, expertise). a little afterwards I have acquired his "pressure point" ep with its incredibly addictive mix of deep dubby feel and idm's attention to details. a little bit later this full-length debut on m3rck followed. this album still relies on heavy well-defined percussion with a few dubby elements, but introduces more idm ingredients, crossing and combining the genres.
"version02" starts the list of my personal favorites with its languid pace offset by deep bassline, and those aggressive and yet very sparse percussion drops. the intensity rises up to excellent "sensible imposter" with its gentle, almost transparent atonal melodies and intense breaks. after a while things quiet down just to pick up a few tracks later with that captivating mix of smooth ambience and fluid dubby feel. remnants of melodies and crackling, quirky idm bits are smoothed out by echoing, resonating techno rhythms that create the enveloping feel of volume and space.
it might appear that adam johnson has not fully achieved a homogeneous combination of styles just yet, but all elements are in place, and, after all, out of these stylistic differences the tension is born that propels the sound forward; and I would not be the one to deny the addictive nature of this combination of techno and idm.
I am glad to see m3rck's recent releases putting some flesh on those brittle idm bones. the visceral power of the bass-heavy rhythms could not be denied, and as long as the sensitive ears of the music connoisseur could be caressed with these delicate melodic sweeps and intricacies, the recipe for success is in place. it seems like m3rck has realized just that and has been enjoying a stream of impressive releases as of late.