Adam Holmes – Compartments

Artist: Adam Holmes
Title: Compartments
Keywords: electronic experimental ambient asmr brooklyn experimental max msp nyc percussion polyrhythm tape Brooklyn

Hello. Nice of you to pop over. Here we are together in the textual mess that will try to make sense of Adam Holmes’s debut release. For the occasion I’m dressed up as the infamous Sherlock Holmes, not that you would notice when reading this all, but that’s why I mention it here; it’s all in the details you see?

Im not an expert in all kind of platforms, but it seems that Adam Holmes is an expert of making music on certain platforms. Adam Holmes comes in fact across as a professional platform hitter, one that plays the surface of a cooking pan (maybe a wok?) as if it is the percussive instrument of the future, ticking and rattling fanatically away like those guys who can’t hold their legs still for a minute or two. Don’t know why that is, maybe something to do with hormones or nerves, but the sight of wobbling legs would be the perfect fitting visual video clip by Adam Holmes’s ‘platforms’ track. That and of course the cooking pan being playing by some wooden chopsticks. Not saying that that’s what Adam Holmes does or have done here in ‘platforms’ but I’m just using the platform of absurdity to describe what I expect this music to be. Did I like it? Well, yeah why not? It did make me quite hungry too, simply because it made me think of making some stir fried food, some rice and vegetables and a drop of soya sauce; I could smell it while Adam Holmes kept on ticking along.

This release of experimental music goes on with Adam Holmes providing another track. One named Deluge, I don’t know what it means as I’m a foreigner with a lack of interested in the meanings of certain words, but I presume it’s probably something close to Deluxe. Sound wise it caters clearly to those wracked out new age hippies that are ready to be spread down on their recycled bamboo yoga mats, ready to be given them the meditative sound for all of them to somehow slip away out of reality from. It feels as if Adam Holmes had another bowl and instead of hitting it, just kept on stirring it while there has been no contents inside. I say this as it would be handy if there was some pancake or cake mix in the bowl, ready to be shaken up through a vast amount of stirring around by a strong determent hand that won’t stop doing it until milk has turned into cream . But yeah, in this case it’s clear that the bowl is empty and Adam Holmes is placing sound in it that the people who enjoy those hip gong baths will probably enjoy.

With ”Cambium’ Adam Holmes seems to have found a way of imitating the sound of a group of horny toads in the outside mud pool. This is obviously done by Adam Holmes enjoying the exploration of ticking on another platform & than having some kind of effects over it for the ultimate interesting results. It’s lovely to hear, having a rhythm that somehow aligns with me breathing in and out, while also going double speed that somehow seems to take care for an interesting fun and exciting twist that no bunch of toads could produce. Not to disrespect the toads, but it is clear to me that Adam Holmes is just better with rhythms and trippy compositions. I like to hear this more than any other thing on this album, it really seems to ‘do it’ for me; sucking my mind into the mud pools of guru toad’s chilled out kindness.

The expectations for the final track got very high, it is named ‘All-American’ which felt immediately like an odd title. I’m sure it’s made in America, or maybe with this theme in mind but the instrument used for sure doesn’t have its roots in America. It clearly must have been played on a Mbira, traditionally traced back all the way to the people of Zimbabwe in Africa. It is also known (according to the good old Wikipedia) as finger harp, gourd piano, ikembe, kalimba, kilembe, likembie, likimba, marimbula, mbila, sansa, sansu, sanza, thumb piano, timbrh, zanzu. This collection of names makes me think that they could be ideal title tracks for a concept album featuring only this instrument. Maybe an future idea? In any case Adam Holmes is playing it quite nicely, clearly aimed at a tripped out audience that either wants to connect with its inner spiritual side, or just enjoyed smoking a massive spliff and needed some music to fit with the smoked up brain state!

Conclusion? It’s a nice collection of tracks, probably perfect to hear if you are the kind of new age hippy that wants something to hear while your guru comes over for a cup of herbal tea. You don’t need to be a Sherlock Holmes to enjoy this as Adam Holmes sense for rhythm and sound is one suitable for all ages & non detectives. Yoga fanatics should especially rub their hands with this one:

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