Project Adorno have recorded a number of
full-length CDs showcasing their music, songs and poetry. 2001 saw their
first release Cheap Sweets & Sequencers which had a strong
spoken word ethos. This was followed in 2003 by Tales of Tiny
Wormholes, a lo-fi sci-fi inspired collection of songs and poems.
2007 saw their next release Underground Overdue featuring
songs about libraries and the London Underground and marking a shift in
style to a more song-based approach. Arguably their most critically
acclaimed collection Shine Bright on Thursdays was released in
2012, a diverse collection including up-tempo cabaret favourites alongside
some decidedly introspective moments. 2017 saw the release of Dancing
Round the Dining Room, a more downbeat collection, which
nevertheless remained eminently danceable. Adornments, a
retrospective collection featuring Project Adorno highlights from the past
twenty years was released in 2018. See
Merchandise page for more details including tracklistings.
Round the Dining Room
Magazine January 2018
Based where London
bleeds into Surrey, Praveen Manghani and Russell Thompson
superimpose “electronic Beat poetry” onto the increasingly more
complex grid of English chanson with a sureness of touch that, as
Scott Walker noted of Jacques Brel, “rarely offers solutions yet
states the confusion beautifully”.
If nothing else, their use
of language per se is tantamount to a vast and entertaining game of
patterned phonetics and syllables via a rapid-fire loquacity that,
referencing such disparate entities as Magritte (“the geezer to
beat”), Larry the Lamb and The Average White Band may seem to
place the duo squarely in a region of post-punk literary-musical
Yet there’s an inbuilt originality that places Project Adorno at a
tangent to, say, Ian Dury, John Cooper Clarke or Jarvis Cocker and,
beyond lyrics, production values are broad enough for old-fashioned
guitars (and kazoo solos in autobiographical “Kiddoez & Squain”)
to rear up amidst synthesisers and samplings.
Moreover, in keeping with the title, most of the sixteen tracks are
eminently danceable; the conspicuous exceptions being “Vauxhall
Vox-Pops”, “Chaplin Park Memoirs” and, especially, “Last
Great Innings of the Summer” which is pure “Sunny Afternoon”
and “Waterloo Sunset”-period Kinks.
Rock N Reel Magazine 2008
This is the third proper Project Adorno album and
once again the eclectic duo of Praveen Manghani and Russell Thompson
combine a unique mix of poetry, programmed beats, chanson and pop,
though the songs seem to be slowly gaining ascendancy over the
spoken word. The album features material from their last 3 Edinburgh
fringe shows with many live favourites including ‘Song For
Germaine’ and ‘Upney Sidings’.
As always their inspired
lyrical commentaries and observations cover every aspect of
contemporary popular culture and are affecting, moving and shot
through with irony, intelligence and humour. They manage to
simultaneously exhibit both an affectionate understanding and a
quiet despair for the momentous and the trivial concerns of the
modern age. The subjects range from Germaine Greer to McFly, from J.
G. Ballard to Skegness Beach, from the flag of Romania to London
Chip shops, and everything in between. All human life is here.
Praveen Manghani’s production is more confident than ever and
stronger at the bass end than on previous recordings. As good as it
is though, one can imagine what a craftsman like The The’s Matt
Johnson would do with this material, if they could persuade him in
the producers chair.
Russell and Praveen’s intricate wordplay has always been a joy,
but on this album they have taken great strides
with the musical content and it contains a number of gorgeous
melodies, particularly the aching melancholy of ‘The Secret Dream
Of Neil Tenant’ and the Zappa-ish ‘Little P.C.’
Here we have an album that pulls off the rare trick of being both
original and accessible.