When Adrian Michna was 18 years old, he left his native New York to study trombone in Miami. He had no idea that two very different music scenes, and two very different cities, would end up shaping his sound to a much greater extent than his academic experience.
Michna was drawn to the low-to-the-ground, ass-shakin' booty bass that was going on in the Deep South around the mid-to-late '90s, but there was also the emergence of IDM and an accompanying experimental scene in Miami that had just as much of an impact on Michna's music as the dance-floor fare. Record labels like Miami-based Schematic were way out there—releasing tracks composed of anything from static, to silence, to punishing break beats—and Michna was there to observe it all.
"The cool thing about Miami is there really was an experimental mind frame. New York has a huge experimental scene, but Miami is more focused. All you had to do for inspiration was think about your ring of friends. Everyone was into the idea of really pushing it," recalls Michna.
His exposure to these unconventional sounds from Magic City is just as evident on his first full-length album, Magic Monday, as his NYC upbringing.
"I like New York for the griminess, the organic sounds," he says. "I like the gum stuck on the manhole cover. I worked on most of Magic Monday in New York and I think you can hear that."
The album—which came out on beloved electronic/indie record label Ghostly International a few months ago—is a collection of appealing songs tied together with seemingly incompatible features; ambient field recording noise, massive erratic beats, and uneasy trombone melodies.
There is uniqueness in Michna's compositions—in addition to the Ghostly deal, he's come by production work for Diplo and Bonde do Rolê—that comes from his use of dense layers and old recording technology. About the source of his sounds, he says, "I love sampling, whenever I travel, I have some sort of audio recorder. Crosswalks or elevators can make a crazy ticking sound. There are little tiny details everywhere, common things that are alien."