Review on V.A. – Ad Hoc Pres, Vol. 1 and Interview with Ad Hoc Records

Review on V.A. – Ad Hoc Pres, Vol. 1 and Interview with Ad Hoc Records
Manchester has always been a music city, with so much good bands (while I’m writing this “Loose Fit” by notorious Happy Mondays coincidentally plays in the background, amazing song about god knows what) and producers, but also legendary clubs and a magnificent audience. One of Mancunian nightlife organisers is booking agency / party promoter Ad Hoc who have a reputation for throwing parties with excellent music and supporting the local scene. Now Ad Hoc started a label (conveniently named Ad Hoc Records) and brought us the first release, an EP conveniently named Vol. 1. Vol. 1 features four artists, all from Manchester, contributing one track each and we’re in the realm of Deep House again (which is always a good thing). Another good thing is the variety these four producers generate on this record. First it’s Cervo serving the “Hesse Groove” and this certain Hesse groove turns out to be a smooth, not too fast affair, very groovy indeed, very smart, very playful with a nicely bouncing bass appearing from time to time and highly elegant Rhodes-like harmonies streaming all over the whole thing. An easy, in a way mellow Deep House track, still there’s something mysterious about it, something behind the obvious elegance that makes this track quite special. “The Gentleman” by Chambers is a little crisper, you’ll notice the highly jazzy saxophone and infectious percussive beats with a strong live-jam session feeling. Organic sounds all over the place that form a perfect floor filler for sticky House parties . If there’s a highlight on this release it might be “Market” by RGB, a mid tempo tune with an extraordinary flair of levitation carried by subtly rattling rhythmic elements touched by North African music. On the one hand it sounds so natural and casual, on the other hand there’s such finesse and deepness in this production. You’ll also find some African vibes in last track “Kadampa 125” by Yadava, primarily via the prominently swirling bass figure. Then a lush feel of sophisticated swing takes over, nonchalantly riding on mesmerizing harmonies expressing the pleasures of repetition. Now that’s what I call House Music. I must admit that I never heard of all of these producers before and that obviously is a shame cause they’re all very good and definitely worth following in the future. Ad Hoc did a great job with their first release! Written by João Geck We spoke with Ad Hoc head honcho David Burch about the imprint, Manchester and the artists. Questions by João Geck. Logo Q: Ad Hoc Records just started as a label. Please tell us a little about the labels background and philosophy. A: Manchester has produced some of the world’s most loved artists and bands – from indie music to Acid House - listened to by millions across multiple continents. When I moved to Manchester to study, I started DJing and throwing parties, and really loved the music scene here - the promoters were friendly and down-to-earth, and there was a massive range of producers making great music here. I thought there needed to be a label that captured some of this music and broadcasting it to a local and international audience. In that sense a big inspiration of mine was Tony Wilson, and how Factory Records captured the sound of Manchester across that era. In the age of Brexit and Trump, I strongly feel that it's down to our communities to take a stand in whatever way they can. I believe the art of music can be used as a means to bring people together, not to divide them. When I was at the vigil following the terrible attack here the other week, thousands of people spontaneously broke out in a rendition of Oasis' 'Don't Look Back in Anger' following the minute silence. Even though I'm not a big fan of Oasis, I found that very touching! Q: The first release is kind of a mini-compilation. Is that (as it’s called “Vol. 1”) kind of a concept? And why (apart from their the fact that they’re pretty good) did you choose these tracks for the first one? A: We've got solo releases planned as well, but because the label is a showcase of Manchester's current musical scene, I wanted to start with a little compilation for people to get an idea of what to expect. I lived and worked in Ghana for a while, and I also loved the music that was popular over there. It made me want to create a label that released music with wide-ranging influences. I chose the tracks on this release because I thought they fit into this description - whether that's the Jazz-y elements of Cervos track or the Afro Beat of Chambers track. Q: What can you tell us about the four artists featured on your first release? Cervo runs Banana Hill, which is an afrocentric, global dance-music party in Manchester, which now has it's own record label.  He's a fantastic DJ (he also runs an all-night residency with Thristian from Boiler Room) as well as a producer, and is currently on an Asian tour. RGB are three producers (Big Peace, Szajna and Cutwerk) who are well known across Manchester for 'Generic Greeting', an art collective they founded, which runs lots of cool events between their members, who range from photographers to graffiti artists to embroiderers! Yadava has had a release on Banoffee Pie Records with Contours (another Manchester-artist, with releases on Rhythm Section) and runs a night called So Flute which used to take place at the famous (now ex-)venue The Roadhouse - a fantastic night with proper eclectic vibes. Last but not least Chambers has a fantastic knack of finding obscure tunes from all across the world and making edits of them that make you want to get up and dance. His main interests are Jazz, Afrobeat, 80s Groove and BBQs. Q: The tracks on Vol. 1 all have a Deep House vibe in common. Would you say that this is the “label sound”? A: I decided to try and be eclectic in terms of the musical policy of the label as a whole.  I'm trying to capture the sound of a city’s musical community, so this will inevitably mean the music is going to be diverse. Maybe it's a bit ambitious, maybe it's a bit of a risk - but I love this city and it's scene, so it's a risk I'm willing to take, and I hope the people who support our first release will enjoy our future releases, even if it takes a slight departure musically. You have to remember that Factory Records, the label that released Joy Division, also released Happy Mondays... that takes guts! Q: And, of course, the obligatory question about what’s coming: what will happen on Ad Hoc Records in the future? A: Some more releases - both solo releases and other compilations, as well as running some parties, our monthly radio show and releasing some clothing / accessories designed by local artists. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for all the latest news! Thanks a lot! You can BUY Various Artists - Ad Hoc Pres, Vol. 1, released on Ad Hoc Records HERE from

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