Originally from New-York (USA), but living in Berlin (Germany), Adam Mitchell is known in the industrial- and EBM scene for his minimal-electro driven projects Adam-X and ADMX-71. Adam is also running Sonic Groove, which is a visionary dark-techno/body label releasing productions from artists such as Orphx, Rhys Fulber, Fixmer / McCarthy, Monolith, The Panacea, Blush Response ao. He is a renowned DJ, producer and event organizer (Tresor Club). For more than 10 years now he’s also releasing music under the Traversable Wormhole moniker. This project is definitely more techno-driven, but always featuring a dark touch on top. After numerous EP’s, Traversable Wormhole is now back with its first self-released full length album “Regions Of Time”. The album is available on digital platforms and as a double vinyl edition. The work stands for the obscure side of techno music and is for sure worthy of examination.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You set up Traversable Wormhole already a while ago, but you didn’t really release new stuff under this moniker for a few years while you were more prolific with your other projects Adam-X & ADMX-71. Where was this break good for and what brought you back to Traversable Wormhole and this new production?
Adam: Traversable Wormhole is a very specific conceptual sound for me. I’m very much into creating soundtracks for space travel themes. For a while I felt I pushed the boundaries as far as I could go with the sound. So I needed to take time and space from the project until I could come up with new ideas. I was also busy with another formerly anonymous side-project titled The Secret Initiative, which ran consecutively at the same time as the Traversable Wormhole releases. This project was a bit more loose feeling and fun for me to make from Traversable Wormhole as it’s taking old techno and EBM ideas and transforming them into the present day. I had way less restrictions recording this project and recorded 20 songs over the course of the last decade. So I had my hands full with other projects and lost focus on recording new Traversable Wormhole material.
Q: “Regions Of Time” is the first full length album so what incited you to achieve an album instead of new EP’s and what is the album all about?
Adam: I created it more on instinctual feeling then anything else. I made two songs for a single, but then the ideas just kept flowing. I thought why not just go all the way on it as I know the fans of the project would love hearing a full length album way more then a single. It is also way more gratifying as an artist to record an album then a single. I wanted a new challenge and so I took it on.
Q: You always claimed this projects stands for the sci/fi side of techno music, but what do you really understand with this ‘quote’ and what does it reveal about your personal interest for science fiction, space and wormholes?
Adam: I love astronomy, star gazing and all things related to outer space. I also love science fiction movies & comics and that has a big influence on me too. I love the segment entitled “Jupiter & Beyond The Infinite” in the movie “Space Odyssey : 2001” where Dave is traveling through space and then entering into the rings of Jupiter. Traversable Wormhole songs can easily be my rendition of a soundtrack to that particular scene in the movie. Also I’ve always had a huge passion for techno that has a sci-fi futurism feeling to it. It invokes thoughts in me of outer worldly subjects and fantasies and I love music that creates thought provocative images.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the writing of this album? What have been the different stages you’d to go through? The equipment you used? And do you notice main differences in the composing process between Traversable Wormhole and your other projects?
Adam: I have been making music solely with Ableton and plug in synth’s since 2005. I’ve done the hardware thing for the 15 years prior to this of releasing music. For me it’s not about the tools you use it’s how far you can expand your mind to create. I also love total control in every event happening in my songs. I’m a total perfectionist. I go deep into automation with several events often happening at once on a note with effects, filters etc. You cannot do with two hands and hardware. I’m limitless now where as when I worked with hardware I felt more constricted. With that being said when I tell other producers that I don’t use any hardware many are quite in shock stating my music sounds like it’s done on hardware. What I really love about using Ableton is I usually will create several different song sketches at first. Then I will bounce back and forth between the sketches so as I don’t get bored of working on the same song for hours on end. It also helps me keep the flow of the album this way as I’m hearing several different songs in a day. I’m more in tune with the overall feel this way. This process of writing and recording is the same for all the projects I do.
Q: Whatever you want to call it, I experienced “Regions Of Time” as the dark side of techno music! It’s filled with icy sound treatments and hostile atmospheres, but it all remains definitely techno- and danceable like. There clearly is a scene in Berlin for this kind of techno music. Tell us a bit more about it? Is it an important scene (clubs, artists, promoters etc)? Why is it that specific for Berlin?
Adam: What you experienced is my actual intention for the listener to feel. I want the listener to feel very heavy low, deep bass, the sonic boom per se in space travel. In technical terminology the sound of Traversable Wormhole is often 10-15 hertz lower in frequency then most other techno music. Most low bass in techno music is recorded in the 50 and higher Hertz range of low frequency. Traversable Wormhole is hitting much lower in the 38-45 Herz range. This creates a huge feeling on a sound system with great sub bass cabinets/speakers.
There is a scene globally for this kind of music. I’ve played many countries under this project. The Japanese especially love deeper, dark music as such. So I wouldn’t say the sound is more enjoyed in Berlin then other places. It’s quite universal in techno.
Q: How do you see this scene evolving and how do you see yourself evolving towards your next productions? What brings the future for Traversable Wormhole?
Adam: I’ve entered into 30 years in 2020 since my first record came out in 1990. One thing I’ve learned in this time is it’s awfully hard to predict what comes next. I really have no idea what the next changes are to come in the music scene itself. Early in the 1990’s when I began music styles were changing rapidly year to year. Changes are super slow in modern day times. There really hasn’t been any significant changes in techno since the early part of the last decade with exception of some artists speeding the BPM’s up plus 10.
As for my own productions it’s also hard to say. I try not to think too far in the future because I’m already nearing 50 years old and have lived more then half a life. I prefer to live day to day and let my music take me instinctually to wherever it can without over thinking how I can evolve with it. I will always have an urge to push boundaries as long as I’m creating music. So you can expect more futurism forthcoming in the industrialized techno bubble I live in.