September 2002

1.You've done a little bit of everything in this business... give us a brief run-down on the highlights from the clubbing, to the writing, to the record production… include details, timeline, funny anecdotes, etc.

Adam Goldstone:
It'll be hard to be brief with this one, but here goes: I guess my first actual job in the business was promoting parties at clubs -- or, more accurately, attempting same. I was pretty lousy at it. Some of the fine establishments graced by my magic touch included Red Zone and Cave Canem/Circus Maximus. I also helped out a bit with the promotion at The Choice and with the Wild Pitch parties. I worked in the 12" section of HMV for a while when it first opened (this is where I met DC LaRue, funnily enough) and then moved to Tokyo for a few months, where I paid my rent with a combination of bartending, translating, and modeling.

After my return to NYC, I worked at Tower for a bit and got an internship at DanceMusic Report, where Andyman [West End Records, GM] was the newly appointed creative director. He says when he met me that first day at the office he wanted to throw me out the window I had so much attitude. Anyway, that turned into a full-time gig as editorial assistant, and by the time DMR went belly-up in early '93, I was Assistant Editor.

From there, I took an offer to run [as in A&R] Jungle Sounds, a small indie label that some folks may remember as the source of Joe Claussell's first records, "Awade" and "Over" by Instant House (which was Joe with Dance Tracks owner Stan Hatzakis and a keyboardist [Tony Confusione]). Meanwhile, I was DJing around town and, withJohn Hall (DJ at Save the Robots, Boybar, etc.) and Perry Brandston (who installed the Robots sound system), throwing the Electric Lounge Machine and Departure Lounge parties. The idea with ELM and the Departure Lounge was to create the most bizarre, eclectic, psychedelic mixture of music and atmosphere possible, with zero regard to dance-ability and tongue firmly in cheek; in fact, for the purposes of those two events, we regarded an active dance floor as a sign that we were doing something wrong. We played everything from the Peech Boys to Esquivel to Eno to Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, etc. The atmospheric touches included such features as Vegerotica (sort of ambient fruit and vegetable porn), beanbag chairs, lighting sculptures, and a naked guy who twirled glow-sticks. Anyway, François Kevorkian got interested because he was about to launch Wave [Music] with an "ambient" album by Floppy Sounds. He thought the club might be a good place to have the record release party; that never happened, but it did lead to his asking me to work at Wave.

While helping get Wave off the ground, Rob Rives and I became good friends and discovered that although we had quite different musical backgrounds, we had a lot in common in terms of sensibility and attitude, and we started working together on music. That led to an album deal with Stress Records as Superstars of Rock: Rob, me, and our vocalist Miss Yvonne. Stress closed down just as we split up (after recording nearly an entire LP's worth of material). When Nuphonic, which had been toying with the idea of picking Superstars of Rock up from Stress, heard about us breaking up, they offered me a solo deal.

Nuphonic released two pre-album singles of mine, Tiny Trendies "The Sky Is Not Crying" and Cultural Mambo "Docking In Outer Space." By this point, I'd left Wave and somehow wound up editing the Clubs section of Time Out New YorkFrank Broughton, my predecessor, had decided to move back to England and had more or less dumped the job in my lap, two days a week. Meanwhile, I was DJing at [Save the] Robots and places like that, and also still doing the Departure Lounge.

Eventually, I quit Time Out and focused entirely on recording my album, which took a year or more to finish. LOWER EAST SIDE STORIES was finally released in October 2001. It's all over the map musically, from salsa to hip-hop to house to ambient nonsense, and among the guest performers are Fonda Rae, DC Larue, Sally Cortes, Micky Hohl (the creator of the Vegerotica videos), Hector Martignon (Ray Barretto's pianist), and Jonny Sender from Konk.

Since then, I've been doing remixes and trying to finish new material; now, with Nuphonic's unfortunate demise, I'm trying to finish that new material a bit faster! Besides that, I've been DJing a lot more, though mostly out of town (a familiar story). I'm playing in Europe quite a bit and have a regular gig every other month in London. And I'm most proud of the House of Flavor, a private monthly party Kip Britton and I started here in New York for club heads who haven't been going out much in recent years because they're not being served. There's been absolutely nowhere to go for people who want a forward-thinking, progressive, edgy, and varied mix of music and moods – dark and cunty as well as soulful and uplifting. You know, the way we used to do it?

2. You're in the middle of producing a new album... care to share details about the project, when/ where it will be released and what your fans can expect?

AG: What my fans can expect? I'd say both of them will have to wait a while. Actually, it's much too early to say. I'm currently working on a few demos which I'll use to (hopefully) convince some label to give me a deal. I'm talking with a few labels, but it's hard to say what will happen or when; the record business is really fucked at the moment. The rights to my Nuphonic album have reverted back to me, so I'm also in discussions with some labels about that. In the meantime, a remix I did of Jarvis Church "Shake It Off" is coming out sometime in August, I think, on RCA via Giant Step. And there are some other tracks of mine on various compilations floating around.

3. You mentioned the recently shuttered English label Nuphonic, are there still active parts of the company and if so, what? What are some of your comments about the label and why we will miss them on the underground landscape?

AG: Nuphonic recently opened a club/bar called Bridge & Tunnel that is doing quite well. They also still operate their in-house DJ booking agency, which originally was formed to help arrange gigs for – and promote the releases of the label's artists (most of whom, obviously, are DJs). Nuphonic also still produces radio shows and club nights.

I think one of the most admirable things about Nuphonic was its commitment to cutting-edge, new sounds as well as to preserving the musical history that all of today's club music is based on. They released everything from good old-fashioned deep house to drum 'n' bass, techno, dance rock, and weird breakbeat-type stuff that you'd have a hard time putting into any category at all – which is the whole point. That sensibility is very rare these days, with most labels specializing to the point where each release sounds exactly the previous one.
Also, because Nuphonic was considered kind of trendy as well as "musically correct," it was able to open people's ears and minds to a lot of new and different music. For example, they turned a lot of more fashion-oriented music consumers on to some really hardcore classics on THE LOFT box sets and Andrew Weatherall's "Nine O'Clock Drop" compilation. And because Nuphonic was willing to risk the underground credibility it earned from the two Loft volumes, the Spiritual Life collection, and artists like Faze Action, the label was also able to open the minds of a lot of so-called heads (who are, sad to say, among the least open-minded folks in the music world these days) and expose them to some pretty unorthodox (but nevertheless dope) stuff by everyone from Röyksopp to Maurice Fulton to Peaches to Adam Freeland.

And certainly, on a personal level, I noticed that a number of people in the New York scene who always treated me like a bit of a dilettante suddenly got really impressed after they found out Nuphonic had signed me. I guess some folks need a brand name like Nuphonic slapped on a record in order to take it seriously.

4. How was your recent tour with them and will you be doing another soon?

AG: The last one, in June, was great. I go to Europe about every two months or so; I'm the DJ at a bimonthly party at Substation in London, and while I'm over there I do a bunch of other gigs in England and on the Continent. Most of those gigs are arranged through Nuphonic. The gigs themselves can vary in terms of how much fun they are – some of the ones that pay the least are often the most rewarding personally – but it's a lot of fun just to be able to travel around the world doing what I love and seeing how people dance and interact with each other in different countries. Most recently, I played in a club in Lithuania that had originally been built by the Soviets as a nuclear fallout shelter, and that was great fun. My next trip over to Europe will be in September.

5. For your parting shot, what advice can you give to someone interested in getting into this business? What are some the key things needed to "ensure" success?

AG: Get a good pair of knee pads!'s hard to say, because it's a pretty unforgiving business in general, and the dance music end of things is even more so. I've found that the club and dance music industry is full of both amazing, wonderful, incredibly talented people; and sleazy, stupid, fucked-up assholes. I think the fact that dance music is, in sales terms, such a marginal part of the music business accounts for this: there's loads of people doing it for the love of the music and the community, and then there are lots of shysters and small-time crooks involved who perhaps feel they can get away with more when they're closer to street level. 

Anyway, my advice is to learn as much as you can about every aspect of the industry along the way, because it's all related, and having a good overall idea of how the industry works will help you in whichever specific path you pursue. I also think that having a deep and wide knowledge of the music itself is invaluable – not only because familiarity with a variety of genres can help give you more employment options but also because dance music is so self-referencing that knowing the classics adds to your musical vocabulary the way that knowing Latin or Greek helps you understand English words derived from those languages. Here's a good, workaday example of how a good musical knowledge can help: a friend of mine at a label was considering licensing a track but heard a sample in it that he thought might pose a legal problem. The producer told him, there were no unauthorized samples in the track, but my friend wasn't about to be hoodwinked and called the guy out on it.

Thanks for chatting with us!

live in miami WMC

On the 7th Anniversary of his sudden passing at Burning Man, we remember ADAM GOLDSTONE in his own words, rest in power brother August 29, 2007. LISTEN to memorial mix by BRUCE TANTUM.

While making your way up the ladder in this business – if you're lucky, you'll earn a lot of experience as you toil away at low-paying jobs, stay up too late many nights a week and try to look extra glamorous while doing so. That and a broad knowledge of music and industry players, will take you far in no time flat but sometimes it helps to have a little more – an edge. For just under the radar veteran Writer/DJ/Producer/man-about-town Adam Goldstone, being decidedly different or edgy if you will, is a way of life and as you'll see, not a bad way to make a lasting impression among the scene's more enlightened taste-makers. Infinitely charming (or loveably arrogant depending on who you ask), caustically witty and utterly talented, Adam brought a quirky left of center sentiment to everything he did while building a varied career and global fan base. For these 5-Qs we caught up with the low-key, yet high-brow jet-setter to get another perspective on making it in the business and to mourn the loss of 2001 CHOICE Award winner (International Indie label) Nuphonic Records.

Adam Goldstone in Miami

adam goldstone on Launching Joe CLaussell

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