At a time when it seemed Britain’s rave culture of vast warehouse and outdoor acid house parties might cultivate a generation oblivious to the concept of live performance, the then-teenage Adamski hauled his synthesizers up onstage alongside the star DJs and reintroduced the notion. This novel approach made him an overnight star, the catchy debut single “N-R-G” immediately became an anthem and his debut album, recorded live at various raves and full of short, sharp snippets of interchangeable acid melodies and techno beats, serves as a valuable souvenir of an important flashpoint in British musical history. While it may not improve with age, Liveandirect will hold up better than the efforts of such Adamski imitators as Guru Josh.
Adamski’s good fortunes continued when a young vocalist called Seal added a melancholic plea for racial harmony to an otherwise unspectacular instrumental, and the resulting “Killer” took up residence at the top of the UK singles charts. Adamski ran off to Los Angeles to record the rest of Doctor Adamski’s Musical Pharmacy, and it’s been downhill from there. “Killer” and the occasional serviceable instrumental fail to redeem his efforts as a vocalist, particularly on the disastrous cover versions of “All Shook Up” (reworked as “Space Jungle”) and “Soul Kitchen.”