Review

Airchina

LP 3

Italic • 2022

How things change. When the first Stabil Elite album came out ten years ago, they represented a tiny ray of hope for electronic pop music from the Düsseldorf school. After two albums, things went quiet around them for the time being. Nikolai Szymanski, their singer, has however already released three albums with his solo project Airchina since the band’s hiatus, and there seems to be no reason to worry that he might run out of ideas. Whereas the sound of his Airchina debut still struggled a little to do justice to the country mentioned in its name, Szymanski has freed himself to such an extent on his current »LP 3« that he simply processes that what appeals to him in his instrumental numbers without becoming haphazard. A hint of exoticism from the Far East blows across again sporadically, but the primary virtues of his project have long been unobtrusiveness, elegance and reduction. It is understated pop without words or vocals (except for a small exception at the end), in which nothing presses forward, neither the melodies, nor the rhythms, nor the sounds, and yet they all play a part in creating a flow that gently captivates without you really noticing why. But that’s part of good music, that it does something to you – and keeps its trade secret to itself.