Adam Freeland: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix


Through his ‘Coastal Breaks’ mix CDs in the late Nineties, and his own Marine Parade label at the turn of the century, Adam Freeland was synonymous with the breaks & edits scene that was prevalent. As a resident at Fabric, he contributed to the renowned ‘FabricLive’ series as well as popular mix series ‘Back To Mine’ and ‘Global Underground’. As an artist and remixer, he bothered the Top 40 and even earned a Grammy nomination. Living back in California now, the Brit is also part of ‘The Acid’, a band he’s formed with Californian Steve Nalepa and Australian artist RY X. For your first working Monday of the year (probably), we asked him to make a mix from the middle of the desert for us, and answer a few questions…

Please introduce yourself…

Who are you, where are you and what are you

‚ÄčFunnily, those are the exact three questions I ask myself upon rising each morning ūüôā Bit apparently ‚ÄčI’m a bunch of atoms come together in the form‚Äč ‚Äč of a a guy called Adam Freeland‚Äč‚Äč best known as a DJ, producer, label owner and founding member of ‘The Acid’‚Äč . But theres more…….

What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)? 

Where was the mix recorded?

‚ÄčI live in a‚Äčn old Airstream‚Äč, ‚Äčoff grid, 5 miles down a dirt road deep in the Joshua Tree desert‚Äč, 2 hours east of LA‚Äč. It was recorded here in my trailer on the kitchen table‚Äč‚Äč.‚Äč

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

‚ÄčI can’t actually imagine a better scenario than ‚Äčjoining me ‚Äčright here amongst the big boulders and cactus of the desert. ‚Äč‚ÄčThere’s ‚Äča ‚Äčbeautiful orange light‚Äč on the rocks‚Äč as the sun is low in the sky‚Äč, the shadows seem blue‚Äč.‚Äč As the sun goes down we light a fire and listen on these big warm sounding speakers placed either side of the outdoor fireplace.‚Äč ‚ÄčWe are having a Mescal on ice to get i‚Äčnto it. There are moments we may want to go have a little dance on the rocks as we watch the stars flicker into life.

What should we be wearing?

‚Äč‚ÄčBarefoot and ‚Äčmaybe just some de‚Äčn‚Äčim shorts‚Äč ‚Äč and a ‚Äčbeat up ‚Äčleather jacket‚Äč on hand‚Äč for later. It gets cold at night.

What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?

‚ÄčI really think it just happened.‚Äč I can’t imagine a better place than this.‚Äč

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

‚ÄčI think the Sunns & Jerusalem ‚ÄčI‚Äčn my Heart‚Äč ‚Äčt‚Äčrack is the best indicator if you had to represent the whole vibe of the mix in ‚Äčone ‚Äčtrack. My perfect balance of Droney psych‚Äč ‚Äčrock and dancefloor electronics going on.‚Äč

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

‚ÄčI have some Sasha and some Harvey mix tapes from the early 90’s when ‚ÄčI‚Äč was ‚Äčfirst ‚Äčgetting into the scene which were very ‚Äčinfluential. ‚Äč‚ÄčI can’t think of any mix that I have gone back to years later other than my own ‘Back To Mine’ comp.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

‚ÄčI used to have a residency at Twilo in New York in the late 90’s which was such a moment. I think going ‚Äčb‚Äčack ‚Äčto ‚Äčback with Francois Kevorkian in that big room‚Äč on that sound system‚Äč at that time would have been a dream. Harvey was‚Äč also quite an influence and we became friends‚Äč -‚Äč sitting in his house full of records in Camden 20‚Äč ‚Äčyears ago, playing each other music back to back ‚Äčand ‚Äčthrough ‚Äč‚Äčhis reel to reel and Ur‚Äčei‚Äč‚Äč formed ‚Äčimpressionable memories.

What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?

‚ÄčFirst was as a student with two ‚Äčcheap ‚Äčshitty belt drive turntables and way budget mixer. It was so hard to beat mix on them that by the time of got ‚Äčon the ‚ÄčTechnics ‚Äčin the clubs ‚Äč‚ÄčI felt super accurate. Now I have a couple of massive old Infinity speakers and an old Technics amp set up outside by the boulders. But my vinyl is all in the UK. I do mixes in Ableton now‚Äč and shows usually using Traktor.‚Äč

What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on? 

I‚Äč think the first is that statement of intent a certain attitude- The last is the emotion you want to leave ‚Äčthem with. You took them on a journey for a couple of hours to set it up and you want to leave with a certain imprint in their mind and heart.

‚ÄčWhat were the first and last records you bought?

‚ÄčFirst- The Muppet S‚Äčh‚Äčow album when i was about 4. Last, David Lang- Just‚Äč ‚Äčand all the stuff I could find by Musiccargo‚Äč.

If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?

‚ÄčSome home made‚Äč ‚Äčdark chilli chocolate, quite bitter‚Äč infused with some chilli‚Äč with a pinch of salt‚Äč, sprinkled with some nuts and crunchy stuff and maybe laced with a micro dose of fine grade LSD. It’s melting fast so you have to suck it off your fingers while ‚Äčwash‚Äčing it down‚Äč with a nice smokey mescal‚Äč ‚Äč.

If it was an animal what would it be?

‚ÄčA schizophrenic rattle snake.‚Äč 

One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?

Carl Cra‚Äči‚Äčg’s Bug in the ‚ÄčBassbin‚Äč was a record i carried in my box for‚Äč what seemed like‚Äč generations yet ‚ÄčI ‚Äčnever ‚Äčremember ‚Äčmanag‚Äčing to get it to work‚Äč ‚Äčvery ‚Äč‚Äčwell‚Äč in a set. 

Upcoming in the world of Adam Freeland…

‚ÄčI‚Äč’‚Äčve been more focused on m‚Äčy‚Äč band’ The Acid’ the last couple of years. ‚ÄčMost recently ‚Äčwe scored a‚Äč ‚Äčdocumentary film called The Bomb, which we performed live at the Tribeca film festival. It‚Äč’‚Äčs an installation piece projected in‚Äč the round‚Äč on 360 degrees‚Äč screen‚Äč while ‚Äčwe perform in the middle. We are taking it to the Berlin film fest in Feb and hopefully to some other cities from there.‚Äč  I DJ’ed so hard for so many years, i‚Äč’‚Äčve been enjoying taking a break‚Äč from life on the road and ‚Äčenjoying sitting still, but i‚Äč’‚Äčm actually feeling the urge to do some more gigs this year. We shall see.‚Äč Just a handful.‚Äč

Anything else we need to discuss?

Come meet me at my local, Pappy and Harriets, in Pioneertown and we shall discuss‚Äč ‚Äčthe nature of reality over mul‚Äčtiple fine Tequilas.

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