Rating: 6.5 / Format: CD / Label: Kompakt
I was beginning to wonder where Michaela Dippel had got to. Her debut album as Ada, Blondie, featured one of modern house music’s ultimate crossover moments in her cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ ‘Maps’, and was released to a collective critical grin back in 2004. Since then she’s been keeping busy but out of the limelight, collecting remixes and new music, the best of which feature on Adaptations, a new mixtape for Kompakt. And this is definitely a mix-tape rather than a mix: it features very little proper mixing – instead favouring gentle, last-minute blends – but the progression from track to track tells of a keen DJing mind.
The unmistakable voice of Tracey ‘Everything But The Girl’ Thorn gets things moving on Ada’s ‘Grand Canyon’ remix. Taking the plaintive vibe and running with it, the track ends on an ominous pulse that cues up the following track, the Dee Pulse remix of ‘Fizzman’. Two of Adaptation’s highlights follow, in Ada’s remix of Booka Shada and her version of ‘Last Night In Dreamt that Someone Loved Me’; the latter boasting a genius chorus that sounds like a broken merry-go round. Ada offers out her own material for remix: DJ Koze bringing his usual unique take to proceedings, pitching hardcore vocals against space-age techno on Blondie’s opening track ‘Eve’. And as the mix progresses, we get a welcome taste of some of Ada’s recent solo work: ‘Living It Up’ matching shivers of delicate percussion with a steady ebb of rich, warming synthesis, and a previously unheard version of ‘Our Blindhouse’ wrapping things up in suitably nostalgic fashion.