In order to be considered an innovative artist in the 21st century, one often has to demonstrate cross-cultural applications of his or her medium. For DJ Adam Partridge, aka Atropolis, based in the culturally diverse borough of Queens, NY, that task was accomplished quite naturally. Atropolis has been DJing in Queens for years, throwing parties that celebrate the many sounds of the various cultures found in the area. Atropolis is also a major player in the Cumba Mela collective of musicians that strives to offer a celebration of musical styles from balk-brass to dubstep to kuduro.
Now Atropolis is moving beyond his own backyard and onto the global stage with his latest self-titled release. Atropolis features a combination of dance styles like Moombahton and dubstep—a combination that celebrates the key ingredients while taking the sound to new areas of sonic exploration. However, to listeners less familiar with the distinctions between these musical staples of culture, the diversity of sounds that clearly exists on a conceptual level on the album may not be completely audible. Nevertheless, there are certainly some wonderful songs on this 11-track album.
The highlight track of Atropolis has to be “Asi Asi Asi” featuring the Uruguayan vocalist Noelia Fernandez. Her casual sweet voice wanders through the track as organic drums playing polyrhythmic dance grooves provide momentum through Atropolis’ synthesized soundscape. Other track highlights include “Huepa’ Je” for its integration of dubstep elements and “Mbria Funk” for demonstrating Atropolis’ focus on the editing process as sounds are ping-ponged between speakers, providing a 3D sensation in the music. Whether you buy into the idea that Atropolis reflects a collaboration between his multiple musical identities or not, the album’s production quality, creativity and dense layers of instrumentation result in a final product worthy of feet moving.