Boomkat Product Review:
Air Max ’97 expands and reshapes his mutant club palette to create an abstract narrative trip in ‘Nacre’, the Berlin-based Aussie producer’s devious début album.
Over the 5 years since he self-released the Anodized EP, Oliver Van Der Lugt a.k.a. Air Max ’97 has become synonymous with the push towards smart, demented club music via releases on Liminal Sounds and his own label, Decisions, plus some searing remixes for Kelela and Ziúr.
With Nacre he puts that boundary pushing-and-crossing nous to fine use in 10 tracks of giddy, zinging rhythms riddled with mercurial colour. In a sense, their off-centre dislocation and variety strongly suggests the experience of traversing club to airport to different country and back again, reflecting or emulating the feeling of fractured circadian rhythms and tonal clashes that should be familiar to anyone who travels a lot, or even just to us pedestrians, faced everyday with a world seemingly in flux and chasing its own tail into a dizzying headspin.
DJs will find useful gear in the likes of his heavily swanged opening bubbler Prfanations, as well as the hyper foxtrot and carving subs of Veneer, and the laser-guided wonk of Karyon, but they’re best taken in context of the album’s border matrix, which acts like a playground for Air Max ’97’s most emotionally skizzy, fractious and off-kilter antics.