Adrian Milan: Deeper Than Magic Mix

I met Adrian Milan sometime in the early 2000’s. I was a long bearded Funk freak, and well, Adrian was playing drums and spinning records at the same Soul Strut party in Brooklyn. I had been a frequent (ok I went on the damn site daily) visitor the the Strut, a haven for everything vinyl, be it Funk, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop, Psych, Folk, Metal, etc. You name it it was on there. I had been asked to DJ a set, so I figured why not. It was here I met DJ Iron Monkey aka Adrian Milan. I guess we kind of hit it off, as the whole event was a meet and greet for record nerds (and a bit awkward at that). I remember Prime-Mundo clearing out a room of international record diggers with some stale air (that we often laugh about) in an atmosphere of guys who have barely met and were trying to put faces to nicknames all night. Adrian wasn’t stuffy, pretentious, or holier than though. I knew he was a heavy digger and we talked a bit about records while DJIng, and he also sat in and played drums for Otis Spunkmeyer’s Funk cover band (which did a kick ass rendition of “Hicky Burr” if I remember correctly!) But I digress, Adrian and I have kept in touch after all these years, and I am honored that he would forward this mix and let me put it up on the new and improved FMF. Here’s a little info in his own words about Adrian the mix, and life. Cheers Adrian.

“Ever since I can remember, music’s been a profoundly significant frame of reference in my life. My Dad’s a record collector to this day and I can recall records being spun in my house as a toddler. So I guess that record collecting just came naturally to me from a young age. Bought my first LP in 1977 “Kiss Alive 2” when I was 7 years old. It’s still part of my collection. Sentimentally speaking, it’s the most valuable record I own. Though monetarily, It’s worth next to nothing.

I grew up poor, so I didn’t have money to buy a stereo. One day, I luckily found a discarded BSR turntable, speakers and a receiver in a pile of junk near my house. Took it home, took it apart, tinkered with it and somehow got it to spark back to life. Up to that point, I’d use my parent’s turntable but they hated most of the hard rock stuff I was into, so I didn’t really get to fully enjoy the few records I had till I found that set in the trash. Needless to say, I played the hell outta my vinyls from that point on. I even taught myself how to play drums by playing Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath records (which I stole from a local guitar store) on that crap stereo system. Wish I still had that rickety old crap setup. If nothing else but to serve as some humble reminder of how my fascination and relationship with music and records began.

The following years were spent working in record stores, cultivating my record knowledge, expanding my collection and exploring different genres. I had a voracious curiosity and openness to many different sounds and slowly but surely, my collection of rock, metal and hip hop records were placed side by side with jazz, blues, soul and punk titles.

A huge turning point came in 1997 when I landed a job as an executive producer for a small NYC indie label called Motel. My first project was an idea I had for a compilation of funky Bollywood soundtrack music. After tracking down the original film score composers in Bombay, India, I struck a deal to license a bunch of incidental music tapes they had sitting in their closet collecting dust for over 20 years. The following year (1998) after much research and tenacious perseverance, “Bombay the Hard Way” was released to rave reviews and strong sales. This afforded me the clout and finances to dig for records on a grander scale, hone my DJ chops, and travel to different cities to see what I could unearth for future reissue projects.

It was during that time, I was turned on to funk 45’s and private press records. I was immediately fascinated with the intimate and raw feel of these recordings. So much so that I dedicated my efforts to solely collecting these types of records for the next few years. It was through this process that I found most of the prized pieces in my collection. However, the most significant find was Gary Wilson’s rare private press album from 1977 (coincidentally, the year which I bought my very first record) titled “You Think You Really Know Me”.

After a grueling research mission I was able to locate the reclusive Wilson, reissue his original album and re-ignite his music career after a 25 year hiatus from not only music but society at large. As a result of that project, Gary Wilson was the subject of a documentary film, reunited with his old band mates, reconnected with long lost family members and continues to tour, record and win over a whole new legion of fans to this day. I consider it among the most personally rewarding experiences I’ve had to help someone realize a dream they had long since given up on. All due to collecting records. Pretty powerful stuff…

These days, I live in Los Angeles with my wife. I’m a tattoo artist and have absolutely no ties to the business of music. I still dig for records though. Pretty sure I’ll be doing that till the end of my days in this mortal coil.

This is actually my first mix in quite a while and I’m pretty happy with the way it came out. I usually assemble my mixes as if they were soundtracks to imaginary films.

Anyway, thanks for reading all of this and thank you for asking me to contribute to your badass site! Hope you enjoy “Deeper Than Magick”. Here’s the track listing…”

1. Veal Forcefield (intro)
2. Dopping 2000 – Freedom Power – Editions Cometa Library
3. Magic pt.2 – General Lee
4. Dream(s) – Gary Wilson
5. Unknown – Trap Door Mystery Mix 2 (vinyl promo)
6. It’s No Secret – Joann Garrett
7. Walking in a Crowd – Jimmy Hamilton & Whatt?
8. Last Night of the World – (interlude)
9. Such a Night – Darondo
10. Sipping a Cup of Coffee – the Ordells
11. I Wanna Go – (interlude)
12. Sing Swan Song – Can
13. Peek a Boo – the Disciples of Soul
14. Home Movie – Matt Boroff (never released)

Download or Listen to Adrian Milan: Deeper than Magic Mix via Soul Strut

Keep Diggin’!

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