Ada: Adaptations - Mixtape #1

As if wishing to assert immediately the melodic focus of her mix, Ada begins Adaptations - Mixtape #1 with a remix of Tracey Thorn's “Grand Canyon”—and when was the last time a techno-house mix started with the lush vocal stylings of the ex-Everything But The Girl chanteuse? Naturally, Ada, renowned for her 2004 Blondie album, doesn't present the original untouched but subtly underlays it with delicate beat propulsion, thereby turning the original into a Thorn-Ada collaboration. It's an elegant and seductive start to a mix that splits its contents between her own material (often remixed by others, and some of the originals new and unreleased), Ada's own remixes, and choice cuts by producers such as Booka Shade, Andi Teichmann, and Alex Smoke.

Appearing early, Dee Pulse's burbling house chords and electro arpeggios help propel his unreleased remix of Ada's “Fizzmann” while Ada takes on the heavier electro-crunch of Booka Shade's “Vertigo vs. Cha” and, later, Smoke's brooding vocal epic “Never Want to See You Again.” In her hands, Brant's “Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” becomes a quietly euphoric Ada cut bolstered by gorgeous melodic refrains and a delicious house swing. The mix hits its peak midway through, however, with a remix by Tobias Thomas and Michael Mayer of Ada's justly-adored makeover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' “Maps.” The mix is elevated the second that familiar tinkling ostinato appears, and the slow build-up and stomping beat pattern that follow set the stage for the glorious pairing of Ada's “Wait, they don't love you like I love you” vocal and Thomas-Mayer's tight house pulse. Two-thirds of the way into the eight-minute track, a breakdown occurs featuring an angelic polyphony of voices before the track resumes its breezy attack for a final go-round. Though the mix remains airborne during DJ Koze's version of Ada's “Eve,” nothing that comes after “Maps” reaches its heights (in anything, the intentionally sleepy “Forty Winks” arrests the pace a little bit too much). She does, however, end the release on a pretty note with a dreamy lullaby version of “Our Blindhouse (Each And Every One)” featuring Cosmic DJ. Now, if we could only have an entirely-new studio set from Ada …

June 2009