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Boomkat Product Review:
Barry Adamson is something of a Manchester legend – born and raised in Moss Side, he has since gone on to play with legendary punk rockers Magazine, he was a founder member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds and since 1988 has had a successful solo career. Adamson first came into my radar in 1996 though, when his tracks were used on David Lynch’s Lost Highway soundtrack and this was just what I wanted to hear; dark, smokey jazz crossed with electronics which avoided the dreaded ‘trip-hop’ tag. He’s come a long way since then, most notably parting company with his long-time label Mute, and ‘Stranger on a Sofa’ is his first release on his own label Central Control. The focus of the album is still intact though; smoky and cinematic, each track seems to approach a different genre, yet keeps a certain mysterious edge about it which links the record together. There’s a narrative too, not least thanks to the spoken word section which ushers us into the record, but it plays as a film should, from beginning to end – and while some tracks work dramatically better than others, each is part of a welcome whole. By no means the man’s best work, but ‘Stranger on the Sofa’ is only the beginning of Adamson’s post-Mute independence.