Independent Artist Of The Week: Air Max ’97

May 21st 2018

Photo by Hannah Wickramsuriya

From the Netherlands via New Zealand to Melbourne, meet nomad DJ, producer and label head: Air Max ’97.

Music autodidact Oliver van der Lugt began DJing under the cult shoe moniker five years ago. With a sound self described as “distressed but lustrous”, think remixes with deep and full sounding atmospheres, textures and percussion. Fast forward to now and Air Max ’97 has found himself sitting in a pretty interesting space in the creative landscape, with a regular presenting slot on London’s Rinse FM. The multidisciplinary artist won support worldwide through magnetic sets that contrast dark and light with hypnotic blends of edited and unreleased tracks.

Following a move to Melbourne, van der Lugt wanted to deliver “music to move people” and set up the record label, DECISIONS. It’s home to acclaimed EPs by some of our favourite independent and local artists, Jikuroux, DJ Plead and Chunyin. In between Australia and touring Europe, van der Lugt wrote and mixed his most dynamic and vibrant musical statement to date: his upcoming debut album Nacre, out June 1st via DECISIONS.

Like its mother-of-pearl namesake, Nacre is inspired by organic-inorganic material. On his most recent single, drones sound like the hum of a UV light on steroids behind a syncopated percussion. Torpedo wind noises break and pulsate like a kid playing with the window of a moving car on the M4 and vocals are muted like an extra terrestrial character from Twin Peaks: The Return. 

Intrigued? Listen to ‘Mirrored Gate’ below.


Nacre by Air Max ’97 is available for preorder on Bandcamp.
Tune into Up For It every Monday morning to meet your new independent artist of the week!



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