Jun 1, 2018

The doctor (Adamski) will see you now

Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy was the 1990 debut album from Adam 'Adamski' Tinley. (Not an actual pharmacist.) I seem to remember Smash Hits calling him a keyboard wizard. (Not an actual wizard.)

I first got into Adamski when he released the fizzy NRG,  a Lucozade burst of squelchy rave. So when he got to the top of the charts with Killer, a tune I was obsessed with, it seemed the keyboard wizard was working his wand overtime. Wait. Not an actual wizard. I keep forgetting.

Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy was the first big rave album I owned, but it was before folks like Orbital and the Prodigy showed us how excel at making dance music albums. I wanted a sweaty club experience but the clubbier elements were squeezed out by what felt like extended jokes. Tinley doing an Elvis impression. Reciting the alphabet ("E is for electro, and that's quite serious"). Adam's strained punk singing.

Then again... Listen to the choppy bassline of Eighth House. The Detroity surf of Squiggy Groove. There's a whole heap of rave sensibility still in there, and the naive sound of his bedroom keyboard set-up is utterly charming. Despite its flaws, I was fond of the album and the 17-year-old me played it loads.

The Pharmacy shut up shop pretty quickly. The album only spent five weeks in the charts, compared to, say, 25 weeks that year by fellow chart-toppers Snap. It doesn't even have any reviews on Discogs. Adamski has been active this century as Adam Sky, plonking out sparky house music and dirty punk electro. Forever the keyboard wizard - just not necessarily remembered as a pharmacist.

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