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Interview: Meet ADR the Acid whizzkid

Not many artists can say they were discovered and brought onto the scene by BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, but that’s just what happened with UK artist ADR. Landing his Radio 1 play at just 18, ADR received personal support from Annie Mac on her Friday Radio 1 show. He has since released on CR2 and Electric Party People. Recently ADR’s sound has evolved onto hardware with warmer, acid-influenced sounds. With recent releases on VIVa Music and Quite Nice Actually receiving support from elite music purveyors Archie Hamilton, East End Dubs, Enzo Siragusa, Gene On Earth, Jamie Jones and Richy Ahmed. His latest EP arrives on Archie Hamilton’s MicroHertz, dropping a statement EP of four stylish and elegant club tracks titled ‘Fresh Off The Press’. We had the pleasure of sitting down with ADR to find out more about him and his latest release.

Hey ADR, thank you for joining us and congratulations on your EP with Microhertz - how did the release come about?

I was keeping Archie updated with my recent tracks when he asked me if I would like to put music forward for MicroHertz. Getting the call up from Archie was special so I put together the EP and I believe in less than 24 hours we had agreed to have it out on the label! Musically this EP really aligns with what I’m about as an artist so it's great to express that through such a wicked label. An absolute pleasure to work with Archie and the team.

What was the inspiration and meaning behind each track on the EP?

Fresh Off The Press:

I started this on a hot and sunny day and I took my computer into the garden to really soak up the inspiration. I wanted this to be a weapon of choice for day parties so being outside for the initial part really helped with that. Once I had the feel-good bassline rolling, I had to run back to the studio to build up the layers and arrange them. This track is a real personal favourite of mine with the breaky beats and scratches which is one of the reasons why I made it the A1 track.

One Whole Thing:

The track was really built around the bassline for OWT. It instantly set the tone and everything flowed so quickly from there. I tried to keep the track packed full of acid with gentle nods to lots of my early inspirations as a producer. The 909 snares help pack it with some classic housey goodness whilst the bendy pluck lead gives it a more modern feel in my opinion. Energy-wise it sits perfectly between Fresh Off the Press and Jettin’!

Jettin’: I take real inspiration from the classic rave sounds so Jettin’ was one of my explorations into that. My intention was to look backwards whilst applying my own twists and flavours to the track. The pad/synth line really set the direction for me and then brought in layers of acid and the M1 to give it the tones I was looking for.

One Whole Thing (Midnight Mix):

When I was writing ‘One Whole Thing’ I by chance started to play some chords and they sounded so lush on top of the bassline and track. Suddenly I had a choice to make but rather than choose one or the other I decided to do two versions of the track. I didn’t want to compromise any ideas so having a slower and deeper version alongside the clubbier mix worked well. I like to be able to play my music no matter what the time whether that's peak time or early doors so this became an expression of that. Also when the promos were sent out, it was interesting to see how many A-list DJs like Enzo Siragusa found this mix to be their favourite.

How did you get into dance music and what are your biggest influences on the music you make?

I’ve always been surrounded by diverse music and from an early age, I was heavily into electronic music such as Kraftwerk, The Chemical Brothers and 808 State. I went to my first rave, somehow getting in with no ID at 16 and saw artists like Sidney Charles, Skream and Richy Ahmed. That was a game-changer for me and really pushed me into the scene that I sit in now.

Today I draw inspiration from my early influences like Kraftwerk, rave culture from the 80s and 90s, classic synths and hardware tones and then tied in with some new age artists such as Gene On Earth!

What do you like to do outside of making music?

I have a bit of an eclectic hobby list really. First of all, if I’m not making music, I’m consuming it in some way whether that's mixing in between studio sessions, raving or playing records during my chill time. I love to play a Japanese skill toy game called Kendama. I love cooking and I try to train as much as I can in the gym. I occasionally skateboard, sometimes play games and I’m also heavily into meditation too. All these different things keep my brain engaged and inspired to get back in the studio.

Quick-fire fun round…

Arsenal or Spurs?

Arsenal always. I’m a huge gunner.

House or Techno?

House for me. I love techno but house takes it.

Marmite - love or hate?

Love it. Can’t beat scranning marmite on a crumpet.

Sushi or Ramen?

Ramen always. Wags now do a gyoza ramen which is insane.

David Guetta or Steve Aoki?

I’d choose Guetta for the respect as a producer.

Snowy or sunny holiday?

Has to be sunny. I love the sun and hate the cold.

What else is in store for ADR in 2022/2023? Any exclusives you can give us ;)

Whilst I’m going to have to save the surprises for the announcements, I’ve got releases coming in 2023 on some of my favourite labels on the planet. Signing music to them has ticked off some major career goals. It's tough not shouting about it to everyone hahaha.

Thanks for taking the time to join us and answer some questions, we hope to see you DJing in a club very soon!

ADR - Fresh Off The Press EP is out now on Microhertz. Download/Stream here >>>

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