Building on his reputation for eclecticism and reinvention, Jack Adams, better known as Mumdance, is back with his new LP – Twists and Turns. After a two-year hiatus, taking time away from touring, clearing his show-addled mind, and switching from software to hardware based production, the new record reveals yet another ‘back to the drawing-board’ moment for Jack. Since being discovered by Diplo in 2008 via his bootleg remix of the Black Lips’ Veni Vedi Vici featuring Grime-scene stalwart MC Jammer, Jack has proven adept at keeping ahead of the music curve. That initial collision of indie and staunchly British grime was to set the tone for the early part of his career, propelled by Diplo and Mad Decent’s backing from a bedroom remixer to a DJ touring the world within three months.
That first era of Mumdance production, heavily influenced by the aesthetic of 8-bar grime – early Wiley, DJ Oddz, and Ruff Sqwad – was exemplified by his release of a remix of Santigold’s Creator, featuring Jammer, Tempa T, Chronik, Rage, Slickman & Badness. Followed by an EP made with Trim and released on No Hats No Hoods Recordings. His first EP on Mad Decent, the Mum Decent EP, led to two world tours which exposed Jack’s mind to all sorts of regional music from around the globe, which in turn led to the fusing of his UK club sensibilities with more global sounds such as kuduro, funk carioca, tribal gurachero, soca, batucada carnival music and gagaku.
With these influences firmly in place, Jack pursued an even more varied working style, concentrating on a string of collaborations; mixtapes with NYC punks Cerebral Ballzy, producing UK grime bangers for Boy Better Know, cumbia in Mexico with Toy Selectah, techno in Paris with Brodinski, or tropicália for electropop heavyweights Bonde Do Role in Brazil. This fruitful period of travelling and producing culminated in his first mixtape album; Different Circles – a sprawling compilation of 13 of his best tracks blended together into a 40 minute mix, showcasing releases on a number of labels including Mad Decent, Big Dada, Trouble and Bass, Greco Roman Southern Fried and No Hats No Hoods.
Representing the start of what he refers to as a ‘second wave of his career’, his recent sabbatical in the UK countryside saw the launch of a Different Circles podcast and the symbiotic Different Circles parties. The new record,Twists & Turns, looks to very different sources from those that created the first LP – strong outside influences have been replaced with esoteric introspection – the new record being a personal reflection on the music of Adams’ youth. Drawing on everything from 90s hardcore and proto-jungle to shoegaze classics. Twists & Turns maintains numerous nods to grime greats, pushing the new 130BPM instrumental grime wave. With this new sound comes a new set of record labels, with Jack releasing music on Hyperdub, Tectonic, Keysound & Unknown to the Unknown.
The ideals of Mumdance’s new mixtape are reflected with the launch of his new live show; 100% hardware based, but stripped down to the bare minimum of a 909 drum machine, a hardware sampler, two decks and a mixer. The idea being to keep things as raw as possible, concentrating on the sound, vibe and dance floor, rather than relying on light shows or gimmicks. The sound moves between genres from minute to minute, but rests somewhere between Jeff Mills’ live techno drum jams and golden era 8-bar grime.
Jack’s eclectic discography and ability to work within both electronic and guitar based scenes is concrete proof that he always likes to keep things moving and not rest in one place for too long. His commitment to ‘bringing different sounds and cultures together’ is an ethos which runs at the very core of everything he turns his hand to. You literally never know what you are going to hear next.
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