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Reclaiming the Ibizan sunset…

A Man Called Adam return to playing live this weekend (2nd July), for a string of shows that include Café Mambo, Hostal da Torres and Pikes in Ibiza, as well as Stella Polaris Festival in Denmark, and Bestival on the Isle of Wight.

The chill-out innovators, who disappeared in the mid 00s after a number of years of owning the sunset in Ibiza, will be breaking out their back catalogue for the first time in 15 years, as well as airing new music for the time.

The original duo, made up of Sally Rodgers and Steve Jones, have remained active on the scene ever since ceasing performing as A Man Called Adam, exploring experimental forms of electronic music and becoming respected sound designers for museums, galleries, theatre, film and radio.

Their International sound design commissions include exhibition sound for The British Museum, The National Science Museum and the Miraikan Museum, Tokyo, the soundtrack for Bronco’s House, by award winning director Mark Jenkin, and Melvin Bragg's major new documentary series ‘Connecting the North’ for BBC Radio 4.

Jones has also gained a Masters in Sound Design from Edinburgh University, whilst Rodgers studied a Masters of Letters in poetics from the University of St Andrews. When the pair go out on the road this year, they’ve also added 19-year-old DJ/producer Chris Smith to their set-up to make a live trio.

DJ Mag caught up with Sally Rodgers to talk about their run of shows below, and what else the future holds for A Man Called Adam. You can see the full list of tour dates below the Q&A, as well as listen to Cold Genius underneath, Rodgers’ experimental electronica show on KMAH Radio.

What’s made you want to return this year?

In our minds, to play songs we wrote 20-years ago seemed sort of retrogressive, and we like to keep moving forward, even if no-one’s listening. But with new skills and technologies we've found a way to do it live that’s just me, Steve and the machines, so it feels fresh to us. The songs are recognisable but the programming reflects where we're at now, and our taste for experimental stuff. I'm DJing all over the shop too, and these kind of things give it energy and makes us enthusiastic about it. 

After ‘owning the sunset’ in the early 00s, how will it feel to return to the sunset strip?

Ibiza is great, and this is going to be fantastic. New venues like Hostal da Torre are trying to get that 80/90s sophisticated sunset vibe back so it'll be great to play there with all our friends. We're possied up so are hoping for a week-long family affair.

How does it make you feel that nu-disco, a genre you helped initiate, is so big now?

Well, there were others on that scene in the 90s, but we just love disco, always have. It's part of the dance music continuum, the cornerstone even, so it'll always be worth revisiting as far as we're concerned.

What have you been doing with your time away from the scene?

We do a fair bit of sound design, exhibition sound, stuff for BBC radio 4, any interesting project we can get our hands on really. We're working on an installation with an amazing light artist called Milosch Luzynski right now. Money’s always rubbish but the work is fantastic to do. We’ve also been back to school to become Drs of the beats and rhymes.

What are you most nervous about getting back out on the road with A Man Called Adam?

Of course you get nervous just before a show but honestly, in the big scheme of things, we’re not nervous at all. As long as we’re having fun and the work is rewarding then what else matters?

Can we expect any new A Man Called Adam music in the pipeline?

Yes. We're working on a release for later in the year, but want to try things out live before we commit to recording them.

2nd July, Balearic Social, Outlaws Yacht Club, Leeds (Live)
12th July, Cafe Mambo, Ibiza (DJ Set and Live @ sunset)
13th July, Hostal da Torres, Ibiza ((DJ Set and Live @ sunset)
15th July, Pikes, Ibiza (DJ set and Live, poolside @ Midnight)
7th Aug, Stella Polaris Festival, Frederiksberg, Denmark, (Live)
10th Sept, Bestival (Vinyl only DJ Set)

(Photo: Prisca Lobjoy)

Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s digital news writer. Follow him on Twitter here.