- Polish-born, South Bavarian-bred producer Michal Matlak has an obsession. You'll never guess what it is. But having previously used his vintage Roland gear (all from the late '70s and '80s) to make a brand of techno and house inspired by heroes like Laurent Garnier and Moodymann, this classically-trained violinist treads a very different path on these two tracks for Berlin-based Ornaments.
That path is a sandy one, leading down to the seaside. There Michal finds two more of his heroes, in the shape of Air. But, rather than indulging in a bout of beachball tossing and a paddle in the sea with his new chums, he has unpacked his vintage synths, drum machines and FX units and set to work creating an homage to his Gallic idols. Thus, "1984" is a woozy, sun-dappled near-facsimile of Premiers Symptômes-era Air. It perhaps sails a little too close to pastiche for comfort, but is undoubtedly a showcase for Matlak's accomplished musicianship.
Rather less derivative is "1997," which would sit neatly on a Café Del Mar compilation of the same era, with its pulsing, heavily delayed synth phrases, gossamer-light hi-hats and supine rhythm. Matlak's live show eschews laptops and fancy software in favour of improvisation. This, like his self-sacrifice at the analog Roland altar, is certainly something to be admired and applauded.