The real Ada
Oh, how curious I was about this sweet little 7″. After all, it’s been ten years since Michaela Dippel a.k.a. Ada has last graced us with her musical talent. Way too long of course. If the music she creates was even just slightly generic that would not necessarily be a problem – but the opposite is true. Her unique style was so desperately needed back in the early 2000s when Cologne was basically just a lot of guys doing what they do, and her distinctively female spin on Techno was like a revelation. The positive vibe, the playfulness, the warmth and the refreshingly obvious lack of a need to be serious and cool – without her the whole scene might have gotten stuck patting each other on the back.
And then there’s that little remark by Pampa, her label and the best possible home for her music: “For years we’ve been saying she should sing more and stop doing techno.” What a statement. I would slightly doubt that what Ada was doing should be called Techno. But I love the statement and its intention. Telling her that she is a talented singer with a unique voice that should be heard, first of all. Almost strange that anyone should need to tell her. “Blondie” had been clear proof of that already. The other part of the sentence – to stop doing Techno – well, the most charming aspect of her music had always been that it wasn’t really strictly Techno, didn’t cater to the usual expectations. But of course it meant more than just encouragement to keep doing what she was doing. It was clear that whatever would be heard on this 7″ would not even be close to Techno. As in totally not.
Of course it’s not. Which is super obvious when you look at the titles. The B side specifically. I admit it, I was in disbelief. Really? Chicago? These totally uncool old guys that schmalzed their way through the seventies and eighties, the band that defined the corniest niche of Rock – Soft Rock… It’s a little funny because my collection includes exactly one record by this band – the self-titled one without the Roman numerals, from 1970. It’s there for one reason. “25 or 6 to 4″, the only piece of music by this band that I really like. Covered on the B side of this 7”. What a choice! It’s impossible not to love it. Really. How on earth do you come up with the idea to equip this thing with a Bossa beat and then decorate this with plucked Japanese strings and romantic violins. Plus plenty of Ada’s voice, mixed to fill your head and let you marvel. Somewhere among the layers of her singing you can hear label boss DJ Koze crooning along. Remembering the joy that his totally lovely DJ Kicks mix conveyed I can imagine how happy he must have been to join in and even more to be able to get Michaela Dippel to move closer to what seems to be the real Ada.
“Moon Rider” is a little more tricky to trace. It seems that she found inspiration in the poems of a 19th century poet called Hannah Flagg Gould or H. F. Gould. The song is based on a beautiful poem called “The Stars And The Falling Dew”. Ada turns it into a lovely little piano Pop ballad with a chorus that has a slightly fifties kind of touch, like a movie song, for a moment you think she might sing “river” instead of “rider”. The poem is about nature at sunset, the dew that drops, the night that rises, and Ada’s extension to the poem seems to be Moon Rider, called to be “the savior of them all”.
My hope and guess would be that there’s more on the way, and I can’t imagine the amount of loveliness that a whole album of this would encompass. Ada is the savior. Not of them all maybe, but definitely of everyone that is hoping for more dreams coming true in 2022.
Release for review:
ADA – MOON RIDER – PAMPA – PAMPA037