Pampa is a relatively young label, but one that seems incredibly focused on releasing only fully mature works. Label co-owner DJ Koze has a reputation for meticulousness, obsession with quality of sound, and occasionally being difficult. Ada has put together a release that fulfills the requirements of such a taskmaster.
On my first listen, I was struck by the quality herein, but wasn’t so much aesthetically convinced. I didn’t really want to write a review, because I believed (and to a lesser extent still believe) that though a high-quality album and unique, it just wasn’t for me. As if the light, airy beauty contained within songs like “On The Mend” and “Likely” were like aural cotton candy (something else I am not a huge fan of). Saccharine despite the lyrics being “Happy or Sad” repeated ad infinitum on the latter.
On closer listen, though, I found a much better food metaphor. The Soufflé. The longer “Meine zarten Pfoten” runs, the better the songs become. Each one is just a little closer to that amazing, difficult to execute finished product. The song “Happy Birthday” is the triumphant rise of that soufflé and while I would ignore the reprise of “Likely” as unnecessary, there exists a secret track that has all the joy and hooks of 90s British (electronic) Pop which is a guilty pleasure just like enjoying that rich, gooey chocolate soufflé for dessert.
My previous experiences with Ada all concerned her output on 12”s for the Berlin label Areal. This is an entirely different Ada. This is a confident and grown up singer/songwriter/producer and it works.
Ada „Meine zarten Pfoten“
erschienen auf Pampa Records
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