Longtime friends Adan Jodorowsky (Adanowsky) and Xavi Polycarpe (Gush) have been musical co-conspirators for some time. When the former was looking to take his musical persona Adanowsky into the direction of pure pleasure pop, he called on the latter to help produce what would become the acclaimed 2014 album ADA. And when Jodorowsky wanted to perform those tracks live, he brought along Polycarpe and Gush drummer Julien Boyé to serve as his backing band.
As their friendship and appreciation for each other's art has deepened, so did their desire to make a collaborative project together. Something that fused their individual sensibilities into one cohesive and beautiful album. They finally got their wish after both men went through breakups at the same time and decided to use that somber energy to fuel what would become Adan & Xavi Y Los Imanes. The 10 song LP is a dusky and beautiful exploration of mutual appreciation and mutual heartache, with both Jodorowsky and Polycarpe inspiring one another to new artistic heights. A fresh start for both, this would be Polycarpe's first musical endeavor outside of Gush and Jodorowsky's first project under his own name since putting his pseudonymous alter ego Adanowsky to rest.
Both men are native to Paris, though Jodorowsky spends a fair amount of his time in Mexico City. As with the swooning Spanish-language romanticism of his 2011 album Amador, the Mexican influence feeds the lyrical direction of Adan's tracks on Adan & Xavi, while Xavi's are primarily sung in English. The backdrop of how Adan & Xavi was recorded is just as important as the music that came out of these sessions. Joined by Los Imanes (Xavi's brother Edouard Polycarpe on bass and Julien Boyé on drums), on Christmas day the four men decamped to a castle in the French countryside where they put together a recording studio.
"It belonged to an old blind man in the 19th century who was a piano maker," Jodorowsky remembers. "So there was a piano in every room." To more fully capture the sound that the men were looking for – warm, intimate pop with a wintry edge – they recorded in the living room of the castle directly to tape, using an old eight-track machine. The proof is in the mix as Adan & Xavi sounds rich and raw, delivering performances reminiscent of Harry Nilsson, Badfinger and the guitar work of George Harrison (who, incidentally, gave Jodorowsky his first guitar lesson as a child).
Adan & Xavi is a lovely work that maintains an easy rhythm found only between old friends. Stirring piano-driven expressions like "Heartbeat" and "Un" (sung by Polycarpe in his native French) sit next to the light Latin strum of "Finalidad," the tropical punch of "I'm Not The One," and Jodorowsky's lap-steel heavy ode to his friend and collaborator "Xavi." Though their influences and recording methods are rooted in the past, Adan & Xavi Y Los Imanes is a throughly modern take on classic song craft.