Francis Harris is the given name of the Brooklynite who usually records as Adultnapper, the minimal techno icon who’s punker upbringing leaves him never too afraid to get funky, cantankerous, mischievous or just plain noisy. His first full-length under his birthname (due February 7 via Scissors & Thread) is a remarkably personal statement wrapped in triple vinyl, a requiem for his father, who passed away in February 2010. His micropulses are fleshed out with no shortage of cellos, horns, gorgeous Arthur Russell melodies, skipping fuzzwash and dubby textures; mixing everything low to give the album a delicate feel. “Pharoah In the Morning” pairs a gracefully honked trumpet and some Björkian swoon—a perfect meld of atmosphere and melody for fans of Nicolas Jaar or Dirty Projectors.
Download: Francis Harris, “Pharoah In The Morning”
What is “Pharoah In the Morning” about?
I was on tour back in the summer of 1995 with my band. I always drove in the mornings, as I was the straightedge out of all of us. We had an 8-track player in our van. The morning ritual was always Pharoah Sanders’s “Karma.” I would always talk to my father before we would start driving, so whenever I hear “Karma,” I think of him and the inspiration he brought to my life. The lyrics are in Danish by Gry. It’s a song about loss and rebirth.
What about the horn part?
It’s actually a trumpet played by the extraordinary Greg Paulus of No Regular Play and the Matthew Dear Band. His playing really blows me away at all times and his performance on this was phenomenal and exactly what I was hearing in the song.
What are the challenges of making a more personal record in your field?
In many ways you are laying yourself bare to the whole world. To me it wasn’t something I set out to do. It just happened. There was no intention to make a requiem.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played in New York?
My last three residency shows at Cielo come to mind. In fact, the last one, with Taimur Agha from Blkmarket Membership was very special. It was on the 30th of December. We were expecting a quiet night before New Year’s, but it turned out to be one of the best nights I’ve seen in that club in years. But in general, I can’t think of more inspiring place to perform than New York. It’s my home and I love all the people who are part of our community.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
Ki Sushi in Cobble Hill.