UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 15 June 2004
Ilhan came quietly to the fore a few years ago with experimental
electronic noodlers, Fridge, along with bandmate Kieran
Hebden. While Hebden has gone on to focus on his critically
acclaimed Four Tet project, it is now Adem striking out
on his own for a share of the solo spoils, tonight performing
songs from his well-received 'Homesongs' album.
Four Tet produces understated, sometimes
challenging, Aphex Twin-styled electronica, Adem answers
his bandmate's so-called folktronica with music that is
far more to do with traditional folk music than electronic
is a lo-fi modern folk set of straight songs featuring Adem's
heartfelt, bittersweet vocals. Playing a selection of acoustic
guitar duets, his gentle, subtly moving music owes more
to the Kings of Convenience than any cutting
edge 'intelligent' dance music. From the touching 'Cut'
to the emotive, tear-drenched melancholia of 'Ringing In
My Ears', this is music that, while not breaking any new
ground, is in turns sad and sorrowful then sweetly uplifting.
dressed-down Kenny Everett, part Kermit the Frog, part middle-aged
chemistry teacher, Adem strikes up a good rapport with the
audience through his softly spoken humour while the music
is well suited to the hushed, intimate environment offered
by the venue.
the final track, 'There Will Always Be', the guitars are
put to one side in favour of organ and zither, the line
'there will always be room at my table for you', summing
up Adem's romantically sentimental tales of the everyday.
While certainly not rousing, energetic or awe-inspiring,
Adem's sweetly soulful music certainly soothes and relaxes.
exposure may prove too sweet and soporific but in small
doses this is beautifully constructed modern folk to sit
back and warm yourself to. He may not be bending the rules
or doing anything particularly new but Adem's music has
an emotional charge to it that is strong enough to soften
all but the hardest of hearts.
- Ian Roullier, 06/2004