Adi Newton is one of the Founder members of The Future, and Founder of ClockDVA & TAGC (The Anti Group). His biography aptly describes himself as an Artist / Painter, Sonic and Kinetic Engineer, Konstructor, Konnectionist, Pataphysical Pantheist, Meontological Mycologist, and Existentialist Super-naturalist, Traveler.
One of the most daring, brilliant, influential, and innovative artists of our time, Adi Newton with Clock DVA and his other projects have been melting minds and pleasuring listeners in the underground gothic, punk, industrual, EDM, rave, techno, and dance scenes for generations.
I first got turned on to Clock DVA when I was exploring worldwide underground and avante garde music back in the 80’s and 90’s. Hearing Clock DVA for the first time was then, as it is now, an experience. Adi creates not just music, but a vibe and and alternate type reality that pulls the listener in to, like a psychedelic sonic headtrip of epic proportions. One either succumbs and is a part of the sonic bliss, or shuts it off. There is no background listening with Clock DVA or Adi’s other work. It overtakes you, and you will be better because of it.
Adi has worked with countless other legends in the music world, and has most recently worked with Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto) among many more.
As noted in the rest of their press kit, Clock DVA are one of the preeminent pioneers of late 70’s and 80’s experimental music along side and in collaborative association with Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. As one of the founder members of The Future, which evolved into The Human League, Adi Newton began his life long involvement with sound via painting and through a theatre project which began his involvement with sound. He founded Clock DVA and TAGC/The Anti Group in 1978.
Clock DVA’s acclaimed albums include the 1988 album “Buried Dreams” (Considered by many as an electronic masterpiece), and the 1980 electro-acoustic album “Thirst” released on the cult label Fetish. Considered by Paul Morley in his NME Album review as one of the Best Debut Albums of the 1980’s, it sat alongside Joy Division’s “Unknown Pleasures” and The Falls “Dragnet.” Clock DVA continue to present and release new music and perform critically acclaimed audio visual works and performances through out Europe and the USA.
Newton also Directs TAG/The Anti Group an independent multi-media research & development project active in many related areas. Strictly speaking TAG are not a group, but a variable collection of individuals contributing under invitation and the directorship of Adi Newton. Genre-breaking works include the ambisonic album “Digitaria” 1986 and Test Tones, a series of pioneering albums, produced in 1985 and 1986 which have had lasting impact on the development of extreme forms of electronic music.
Newton has also been involved in numerous art museum presentations and performances, including the prestigious ARS Electronica Linz,The V&A London and Art Futura Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sophia Madrid. He has recently returned to painting and intends to explore and develop his multi-discipline practice into the art and painting arena with sound and visual installations while still remaining very active within the DVA/TAGC projects. Throughout all these, Newton directs all projects as well as the multi media production company ARMComm/Anterior Research Media Communications.
“My interests are guided by intuition and arcane occult and futuristic knowledge.” –Adi Newton
Adi Newton has long since described the process of making music as his research. In particular, Newton’s grasp of the philosophical connotations of technology placed him apart from the majority of its practitioners.
CLOCK DVA in LA
I had the pleasure to first interview Adi ages ago from his home studio in London, thanks to Cleopatra Records. The second time, was last October in LA at the 2022 Substance Music Festival, in which Clock DVA performed to a packed room of hundeds of fans. It was stunning.
Despite the house staff of the Los Angeles Theatre dropping Clock DVA’s sound gear on the concrete floor, which they carelessly let slide off a table, even after being warned to be careful with it, the gear was fortunately tough enough and survived. Adi’s dressing room was not available to him at the time of our interview, so we hung out in the alley of the club instead–thus, some background noise, and a brief interuption from someone to tell him the dressing room was finally ready.
Not only is Adi a widely influential avant-garde artist, he is also quite the intellectual scholar. Reading his posts and talking with him at length discloses his refined tastes of classical music, and experimental art in all mediums, including literature, poetry, and philosophy.
Adi chain smoked throughout the entire interview. As an ex-smoker, I tried to stand downwind of any smoke blowing my way, to no avail. Throughout coughing amidst the smoke, I blurted out alot of yeah’s, and managed to dream up a few questions.
Adi’s presence, in his dark blue jeans and leather jacket, stocky, and self assured but humble, emenates a feeling of security and warmth. Hearing his melodic, deep British voice is calming. His energy–positive and attracting. At first a stranger, I left meeting Adi feeling like I had made a new friend. He is a kind, gracious, and brilliant man.
The following is our exclusive interview with Adi Newton, which was a true honor and pleasure. Recorded in 2022 at the Substance Music Festival in downtown Los Angeles. Due to background noise, listen with headphones, and crank up the volume. Enjoy.
subnormal magazine: Do you think counsciousness / the spirit ends at death?
Adi Newton: I’m not sure, if it passes on, and becomes sort of a consciousness that is everywhere, you know like a form of energy, like a genius let’s say… I think there is definitely something beyond what we know for sure. No question. I mean we’re just finding out now about matter, and there’s anti-matter, and there’s like dimensions that we don’t even begin to understand which is out there…so who is behind this technology…?”
At this exact moment, a strange, otherworldy close encounter of the third kind type of sonic friction began humming from my phone recording this conversation, as if coming from some alien like deity, perhaps communing with us through Adi himself. And time marches on…
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