- Is Olivier Mateu all grown up? Leaving the Youngsters for a bit to strike out on his own once again, Mateu doesn’t seem too concerned about silly, childish things any longer: his debut 12-inch for Anja Schneider's Leena imprint focuses instead on the adult and responsible craft of melodic minimal.
Like the Youngsters' most recent work in this vein—such as 'The Third Knife', an ecstatic rip-off of Luciano & Quenum's 'Orange Mistake'—Mateu focuses in on the hook. Here, however, the ecstasy is more mature, the hook less overtly novel. Luxuriating in its melodic possibilities, the theme of ‘Rubbo Swingo’ may come at the expense of just about everything else, but you're unlikely to forget it either. Mateu forces it down your throat for the final five-and-a-half minutes of the track, tweaking the EQ throughout. Thankfully, it’s engaging enough to work wonderfully, stopping time for the seven minutes it takes to fully unfold.
On the B-side, 'Soledad' rides the same construct to the winner's circle with a long, DJ-friendly intro, a hook that doesn't quit, and pads to fill it out. Mateu gets busier here, though. Instead of dancing, you might find yourself struck dumb with admiration for the double helix of melody, which wraps around itself incessantly. Or you might dance anyway. (It might be hard to resist.)
So, the Rubbo Swing EP: Mateu's bar mitzvah? An end to the naïve humor of his youngster days? Perhaps. But we all have to grow up sometime. And this 12-inch ain’t a bad way to do it.
A Rubbo Swingo