Sedef Adasi - Fantasy Zone (Public Possession, 2021)
One of Augsburg's most important DJs and voices serves up the goods very impressively on her debut EP, which deviates so wonderfully and presents to us one of the fullest and most radiate musical experiences of 2021.
Collecting all the energies that persist within mixes, club nights and the plethora of other events which revolve around a scene and placing them directly into productions has always led to fascinating results, and only serves to create a bigger sense of interconnectivity between creative mediums and the people who define them. Many DJs who have honed their craft either within their local scene or perhaps travelled the world and experienced different places have often taken the plunge into the world of music making, with the results always a blend of passions that reflect their tastes and ideals as a selector. It remains as an extension of their established sound, a new piece to add to their sonic armoury that merges the feels of radio and club sets into a distilled set of tracks that are part the person who made it, and part the feels and energies that flow through them when the music is in full swing. Its an approach that helps to create a bigger sense of perspective and world building, where existing interests turn into adorations as a window into the mind and taste of a DJ becomes two fold to that of their production ideals, and it just creates a deeper sense of intrigue. Audial identity is an important part of any DJ's outlook as it allows for people to be drawn to it if their interests align with the music being played, and when productions start to float our way it only sweetens the deal and makes us more impassioned by the tunes. These releases remain as little bitesized excursions into the audial spaces that have been defined by the DJ, ones that harness the power of their excursions within the walls and help to capture a little bit of that energy which we cherish in the moment, and can then take it home and listen to it over and over again. Its a wonderful thing indeed when all these streams of consciousness align, where the deep feelings that run through a club night or through a selector's tastes manifest into a record, as it helps to define further the connections we establish to them via listening in and turning up. All around the world, we are blessed with these kinds of music makers who so aptly turn their passions into tangible cuts, where idealism in sound becomes reality through knowledge and technique, as the immovable physical divides become bridged by visceral and representative music which never fails to impress at every turn. A sort of mind map begins to develop that helps to keep our ears to the ground and head very much in the sky, dreaming about the music we come across but also learning about the spaces and contexts which informed it, with this only coming from producers who really mingle their various strains of work within one another. Its a universe which we feel very involved within, one that turns from one line of inquiry to the next with a daring twist of direction, with the sequence unafraid to showcase just how one narrative begins and the other ends, as we flip between them all with an unerring enthusiasm that emboldens us at every junction or confluence. To be able to undertake all of these journeys within one universe is very exciting indeed, as it helps us to see just how far things can be taken when there is a real presence between every decision, and it helps to build up a sense of the character and ambition of those behind the music, and that is a very special thing indeed.
One such artist who has recently branched out into production as a natural advancement of their established sound is Augsburg based DJ Sefef Adasi, who for some time now has curated one of the city's most beloved queer parties, HAMAN. Adasi has been involved in Augsburg's music scene for some time now, with her career picking up when she was invited to play at the iconic Rabaukelin night, which at the time was one of the city's best queer dance parties, which was followed up being offered a residency at the equally revered Schwarzes Schaf club, only for it to close down a short while after. After a period of being booked at a number of local spaces but always feeling like the city could do with a more prominent, inclusive and dynamic club night, Adasi laid out her blueprint for a successful party of her own, which led to the birth of HAMAN in 2017. Adasi wanted to combine her Turkish roots with her up bringing in Germany, with a strong queer and femme core that runs through the feel of the space and the energy that abounds from it key elements of the night she wanted to curate, and it has certainly helped to foster a very special set of connections between herself and the local scene. Despite being very much an in-demand DJ in a international sense, Adasi will forever be linked to her home town and its scene, with an emphasis firmly placed on continuing on with the legacy she has set in motion with the HAMAN nights and how the party can continue to feed into Augsburg's underground dance music scene. Adasi's sound is a very intriguing one, with the plethora of mixes online highlighting her affinity with a range of styles that blends between House, Techno, Acid, EBM, Electro and seemingly everything inbetween, with a strong vein of melody coming through in her mixes that helps to place focus both on the rhythm and the emotional value of the music. The flows that persist in her mixes are wonderfully conjured up and delivered, with the ebbs between tracks masterfully pulled off as transitions capture that sense of momentum, of building upon the previous energies and moving things into the next phase of the dance. There's an inherent playfulness found within many of her mixes, where time is taken to understand the fullness of the energies that abound from each cut and how these invisible energies can be harnessed and projected into the next phase of the momentum, be it the introduction of vocal lines or the changes in tempo and texture. Even if you haven't been able to attend a HAMAN night, you really get a feel for the place via the music that Adasi plays, with the many factors we highlighted above when combined with the ethos she outlined for the night helping to shine the brightest of lights on the space and all that Adasi has achieved with it. Its rare that you listen to a DJ making a set and really feel the corners of the club start to materialise in your mind, both from a physical point of view and on an emotional level, and as an audial experience it only seems to get better each and every time. Mix wise we recommend checking out her 'AM Deck 35', the Red Light Radio mix from 2018, the naivetape 31 mix, her AOW radio show from last year, the APXIB mix from last year, and the Live at Robert Johnson mix alongside Horkheimer from last year also - in fact, just check out all of her mixes on soundcloud, they're all pretty damn good.
Adasi made her first steps into music production with the track 'Clouds' back in 2011, and this represented an outline of things to come. Beautifully meandering, softly undulating and deeply introspective, it displayed the kind of melodic qualities that would come to define her sets and her later productions. Last year, she contributed the cut 'Tender Trip' on the 6th compilation album by Munich based imprint Permanent Vacation, and oh boy was it a cut that left a deep impression. It contained much of the dynamism that flourished within her DJ sets, with incisive drumming patterns intermingled with playful yet emotionally driven chordal arrangements, and it served very much as a indicator of what might flow next. We have now arrived at that point in time with her debut EP, 'Fantasy Zone', which arrives via fellow Munich imprint Public Possession. On this 4 tracker, Adasi simply builds further on her established musical universe as we are greeted with similiar rhythmical frequencies but heaps of colour and vibrancy brushed on top, with the tones that flow our way truly wondrous in their delivery and filled to the brim with meaning and feeling. Its an EP with purpose, presence and depth, with lots of little moments to revel in that transport us right into the dance, specifically a dancefloor in Augsburg, Adasi the conductor for proceedings as we float away on a bed of sheer bliss. So, without further delay, lets dive right into this driving slice of heaven.....
All gateways to another dimension, an anonymous force, we like to call the “Fantasy Zone”
Up first comes 'Gel Gidelim', and this one begins with the kicks, hats and sweeping pads to get us going. The background swells are eye catching, maintaining our interest as the hats come into the mix to provide an anchor of sorts to proceedings, and as time passes by the melodies kick out to provide some space to the bass to come sliding into view, with its introduction fitting in seamlessly. The keys return in suitably dense fashion, the bass permeating through in all the right places, as the vocals call out to us to come take a closer look, with the acid line that comes into view really capturing our imaginations before leading us into the full throttle part of the progression. The momentum is delightful, full of energy and filled to the brim with all manner of excellence, shifting the perspective from the bottom ends right to the top as the high line keys come into view, the vocals now taking centre stage as they speak slowly to us in Turkish, their placement and whimsical tone encouraging all the other elements to pick themselves up and abound with extraordinary levels of energy. The momentum is very special indeed, the ever shifting structure keeping us floating up high as we remain bound to the impressive flow that exudes from every angle. A very special cut, this one. Up next comes 'Mermaids On Acid', and this one begins with an intriguing rhythmic outline. The beat swings from left to right with a feverish energy, maintaining a hefty amount of spatial awareness as we become locked into all the little aspects of the groove, and before long we are joined by the repeating bass line that aligns itself with the heart of the track. The main melodic sequence comes into view soon after, changing places with the original bass line that slides along with further key lines and deep swelling pads that swirl around in the distance, moving from the singular and into the most uplifting of spaces at the turn of a hat, with the drums doing the business in adding little flourishes here and there to make everything feel extra special indeed. The track continues to double up and fill the gaps effortlessly, with the bass cutting through the bottom ends with a feverish intensity that cannot be denied. What a track!
Up next comes 'Turbo Ride', and here we feel the pulses really starting to rush. The kicks are interlaced with a continually rising bass line, one that is placed just above the kicks and slightly below the hats, with the three layers moving along with an incessant feel that cannot be denied. The way in which everything starts to unravel, reset and realign during the breakdown is masterfully achieved, with the sequences moving in and around one another to get us to move into the next phase of the dance, and this is when the glassy chords come into view. Just when you thought your hands couldn't go any higher and your heart couldn't swell any further, these chords just take you away to the outer realms of euphoria, and after blinking our eyes a few times we slide back into the key line led segment, which leads us into yet another breakdown with continued explosions of colour arriving from all over the shop. There's time for one final chordal salvo, with one of the key lines now adding further emotional depth to proceedings, and it's irresistible. To wrap things up, we have 'Anonymous Force', and this one begins with the chords to get us going. The three chord progression maintains a steady flow of feeling coming our way, as the drums build around them with the kicks coming in to lift the crowd upwards and onwards, and the shift into the melodic lite section achieved beautifully. The bass and drums combine effortlessly here, setting stage once again for the chords to come back into view, this time accompanied by further key sequences that playfully meander around underneath it all, as we become firmly locked deep within the progression, willing and ready to soak up all that this track has to offer to us. The track takes another dip down into the sub base, feeling its way along the ground plain with a feverish intensity as we take one final turn through the walls, spreading ourselves out to all four corners of the club, waiting and ready to fully immerse ourselves all over again.
When records reflect all that a musician is trying to achieve, be it mixing records, crafting sets or curating a vibe in a particular context over a period of time, then it feels like the reaching of a milestone, an accumulation of all that they have achieved before coming together into a package of feeling and passion. Adasi has achieved much in her home town, and has become a local legend in the process, and when you listen to this record you feel that passion come right to the surface during every second the music is playing out, as we picture ourselves deep within one of her sets. The energy, the playfulness, the incisive drumming patterns, the gorgeous pads and exceptional interplays between key lines, it all comes together to form a sound that is incredibly powerful yet so very delicate at the same time, a combination of grace and feverishness forged via a creative application that is second to none. Its a record to get you off your feet, to make you feel, to make you imagine, and that is all you could ever wish for in a dance music record. Top draw across the board.
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