Incline Village’s Mike Adamo, the drummer for Mama’s Cookin’, Peter Joseph Burtt and the King Tide and The Truth Cartel, certainly knows something about percussion. After all, he is the man who wrote the popular drumming manual, “The Breakbeat Bible.” Now he’s dipping his foot into electronic dance music (EDM) as producer Memory Code with his premiere album, “The Great Rose Window.”
Adamo’s album opens with a female computer voice welcoming the listener into “The Great Rose Theme” intro — a throbbing break beat enters over heavy keyboards and a sound dose of glitch.
Listen to “Looking In” from “The Great Rose Window”
“Our prayer music is a bridge to higher consciousness. In it we go beyond words to the realm of pure spirit where music and feeling and healing are one,” says Lady Robot in “Hello Love,” the No. 2 track.
This kind of sentiment is quickly juxtaposed by some dirty funk straight off the streets of 1970s Compton. The keyboard plugs out a recognizable melody and the beat breaks down into pure nasty drums before opening up into a bass-morphing flow of vibrations.
The keyboard plugs out a recognizable melody and the beat breaks down into pure nasty drums before opening up into a bass-morphing flow of vibrations.
The heavy whir and sputter continue uninterrupted until “The People of Orphalese (Shine On)” begins with another theatrical voiceover before degenerating into the rise and fall of a calm, energized syncopation. The album continues on in a similarly dramatic way as if Adamo is trying to make the sounds he plays with bigger than they truly are. Obscure ideas are introduced on a grand scale and soon fall into familiar grooves.
“Auric Fields (Interlude One)” plays a bit lighter delivering steady R&B woven beneath Spanish guitar. On “The Alchemical Angels Pts. 1 & 2,” he samples The O’Jays’ “Cry Together” into a futuristic digital breakdown, and then turns Ray, Goodman & Brown’s “All I Have” into the new-age soul funk of “For the Moments (Interlude Two).” Later on, “Fly Vibes (Interlude Three)” manipulates a chill beat to the flutter of dragonfly wings.
In the end, “Mind Angels, Pts. 1, 2 & 3” and “Silver Threads & Mercury Drops, Pts. 1 & 2” lead us back to where we started: heavy keyboard drone, in-and-out break-beat, bass and snare drawn and bent, adjacent and complimentary. Adamo turns space into beats until the cows come home, Lady Robot outsourcing the memory into oblivion.