CD, Hands Productions, 2009
If the revolution ever comes, and the machines enslave us all, Adam X (in his new guise as ADMX-71) will be spared the firing squads – his expertise will be required in composing soaring soundtracks to the techno-epic film dramas the robotic hordes will demand for their entertainment.
At least, that’s how “Luminous Vapors”, his first CD under this moniker, comes across. It’s a beautifully constructed, cleverly engineered recording that flits between minimal electro and ambient, far removed from what he used to do, in subject, scope and sensitivity… Not to mention sound.
While nothing on the album comes across as more of a “single” than any other track, each individual offering is lovely, in its own softly bleeping way. This inability to highlight any one track may be taken as negative by some, but I find it a very positive aspect – it’s rare for any producer to create a cohesive unity across eleven different themes, blending such disparate elements as tribal rhythms (illustrated on “In Search Of…”), stark minimalism (on “In Decay They Lurk”) or quasi-industrial percussive treatment (on “The Delay of Flight 33”). It’s even rarer for a producer to manage this and make it appear effortless and spontaneous.
“Luminous Vapors” is a deep, dangerous foray into the world of electronica’s underbelly, and not a trip for the faint of heart. For those willing to brave its peril, however, you may expect rewards of an intelligent, interesting and evolving record, unlike anything you’ve heard from Adam X before.
— David vander Merwe