Reading about and exploring some of the work of Adam Stafford, it is immediately apparent that the individual is a highly creative and collaborative individual with a number of distinct but intersecting skills – a true multimedia man.
Reverse Drift is the latest project to be affiliated with Adam Stafford, and is – in effect – a forty-minute piece of music of a semi-improvisational manner constructed with only a handful of elements.
The fact that it was recorded in one sitting and that it has an improvisational aspect is apparent on listening; the work presented is cogent and hangs together well, allowing the listener to get lost in the myriad movements made by the music.
There are however little or no timing changes, everything follows a constant rhythm.
This adds hypnotic and mesmeric elements to the work, it conjures the image of being on a train.
Stafford wanted the work to be experienced in a single sitting and I can understand why entirely, it functions well as a whole with some individual sequences standing out more than others.
Judging it as a whole – as it is to be judged – I can imagine that it would be particularly worthwhile studying or trying to sleep alongside Reverse Drift.
There are some thematic changes, for instance things get a little bit Fantasia around the 19 minute mark, whilst there are some parts more relaxing than others – throughout though, as I say, there is a constant speed maintained, and it feels as if Stafford might be standing scratching his chin at points wondering where to go and what to do.
If the work were broken down into individual tracks, it might not hold up quite so well, there are long sequences where nothing new is happening or elements that were there a moment ago are disappearing.
Overall, this is an interesting piece of music that functions well as a rhythmical and experimental ambient work.
Words: Paul Aitken