Adem iTunes Tracks Adem Official Website


Adem Ilhan was equally known for playing bass alongside Kieran Hebden in the post-rock outfit FRIDGE, while, with Johnny Lynch (of The PICTISH TRAIL), electro duo Silver Columns were also included on his CV around the mid-00s; and who could forget his part in Brit-folk supergroup The MEMORY BAND on their 2006 set `Apron Strings’.
Born 20th November 1977, Roehampton in south-west London (of Turkish descent), his acoustic solo works were of the nu-folk/folktronica persuasion. Signed to Domino Records (home to FRANZ FERDINAND and JAMES YORKSTON), ADEM’s debut album HOMESONGS (2004) {*8} was a magical abstract offering for the troubadour, best on show being the mournful `Statued’ (subsequently used on the movie `Dead Man’s Shoes’), the banjo-led `One In A Million’ and the singles `These Are Your Friends’ and `Ringing In My Ear’.
Having set the template for his brand of indie-folk, LOVE AND OTHER PLANETS (2006) {*7}, marked out the man as no one-trick-pony. Augmented this time around by drummer Alex Thomas (ex-GROOP DOGDRILL), backing vocalist Emma MacFarlane and mixed by FRIDGE leader Hebden, ADEM’s miserabilist momentum shined through `Launch Yourself’ (very different to the FOUR TET remix 7” also available), `Crashlander’ (his own “Space Oddity” of sorts) and the opener `Warning Call’.
Just to prove acoustic folk music could move in the same circles with alt/indie-rock, ADEM’s third project, TAKES (2008) {*6}, was a set of mainly 90s alt-rock “takes”. Having earlier covered JEFF BUCKLEY’s `Mojo Pin’ (for tribute CD `Dream Brother’) and JOHNNY CASH’s `I Walk The Line’ (for a Levi Jeans commercial), he’d some experience in this field. For completists everywhere the set list and originals came via:- BEDHEAD (`Bedside Table’), PJ HARVEY (`Oh My Lover’), LISA GERMANO (`Slide’), Pinback (`Loro’), dEUS (`Hotellounge’), The APHEX TWIN (`To Cure A Weakling Child’ + `Boy/Girl Song’), YO LA TENGO (`Tears Are In Your Eyes’), SMASHING PUMPKINS (`Starla’), TORTOISE (`Gamera’), BJORK (`Unravel’ – a star track here), The BREEDERS (`Invisible Man’) and LOW (`Laser Beam’). Stripped of their grungy heritage and back to their bare bones, one could vouch on every level for each new arrangement. Later in life, ADEM has been conspicuous by his absence, only surfacing on the Silver Columns’ `Yes, And Dance’ set in 2010 and the `Lau Vs. Adem’ EP of 2011 with er, Scottish folkies LAU.
While singer-songwriter Ilhan’s old ex-FRIDGE mucker Kieran Hebden was hot to trot a la FOUR TET, the ADEM’s tete-a-tete with the music world was on the back-burner; his only outings apparently for PHIL SELWAY’s tour band. Then in October 2015, his Label Oneiric issued the long-awaited SECONDS ARE ACORNS {*7}. Drawing similarities in sound to Chris Martin of COLDPLAY, or even RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, there was indeed the dreaded Marmite Effect for everything on board; with the possible exceptions of `By Everyone’, `Snow In April’ and the uplifting `A Silvering’ and `Surrounded’.
© MC Strong 2011/GFD2 // rev-up MCS Oct2015

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