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Get to know Elliot Adamson, the super-prolific producer from North-East England

The 23-year-old makes characterful, chugging, sample-based house and disco

  • Words: OLIVER PAYNE | Photo: JAKE MORTON
  • 31 May 2019

In March, ‘Victory Chop’ – an epic chunk of disco house – was copped by Annie Mac 48 hours after it had been produced, and was played on Radio 1 as the ‘Hottest Track In The World’. “I didn’t send it to her. My publicist didn’t send it to her. My mam didn’t send it to her. How she got it is beyond me!” laughs its creator, Elliot Adamson.

While it may have reached the lofty heights of prime-time Radio 1 pretty quickly, Elliot certainly put the man hours in beforehand. After growing up in the small town of Houghton-Le-Spring that lies between Durham, Newcastle and Sunderland – a place with not much more than ‘cosy pubs’ in the way of nightlife, according to Elliot.– he started DJing to entertain himself at 17. He soon had a monthly Room 2 residency at Digital in Newcastle, sneaking in through the back so the doormen didn’t check his age, eventually meeting a fast-rising Patrick Topping. Via Patrick, he was introduced to some of the biggest names in the UK, got included on Patrick’s 2017 Mixmag cover mix and early tunes like his Ricardo Villalobos edit started getting shared all over.

He’s been producing fun, bumping, dancefloor-ready house for eight years, and is renowned for his fast-as-lightning turnover and relentless work rate. So much so that he even claims to have a two-day-long back catalogue of tracks, most of which have never seen the light of day.

Elliot has plenty of music that has seen the light of day, however, flexing his muscles on labels like Weapons, Me Me Me, Edible Beats and Hot Creations with ‘Alphabet Song’, ‘Pleased To Meet You’, ‘6pm In Newcastle’ and ‘Where The Fuck’s My Flanger At?’

This year he’s rectifying the bottleneck in his back catalogue and self-releasing a whopping three albums over the next few months. The idea came after a tough Christmas break where he battled a severe case of festive fatigue: “Obviously you don’t want to ruin Christmas for everyone, you’ve got to be there, smiling away... but really it’s like, ‘Fuck off!’ I hate that. It’s so difficult.” He couldn’t make music during this time, but did manage to write the outlines for an album. So when March came around, he used past tracks to build his first LP, and then used the written outlines to construct a second.

“Music started getting made again – like when Austin Powers gets his mojo back,” he laughs. “I had electricity running through my veins, and all of the doubts and negative energy I had just disappeared.”

‘TiHKAL’ (Times I Have Known And Loved), the first – via his own [IDEA] label – came about partly through mates demanding that he grit his teeth and just get as much music out there as he could. Released this March, it’s full of energetic, lo-fi disco charms and is followed by this months ‘IWNCD’ (I Watched Night Create Day) and one further album to come this year.

“The risky part is not doing anything with [your music] – and I’ve made excessive amounts and not released any of it. You get bogged down in bullshit, talking to people in suits. I couldn’t be bothered with it any more. I just wanted to do me.

“It seems so obvious now, but I didn’t get it before,” says Elliot of the freeing decision to self-release his music. “It was like I’d found a higher plane of doing shit. I’m honestly the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”

‘THiKal’ and ‘IWNCD’ are out now on IDEA

Oliver Payne is a freelance journalist, follow him on Twitter

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