Artists To Watch In 2015: Air Max ’97


The title track from his EP Progress and Memory – metallic, future dance music -calls to mind those avant-garde artists creating contemporary club sounds, hybridising grime, pop and R&B with traditional electronic music.

Its a sound championed by heavyweight and truly international record labels like Night Slugs and Fade to Mind, but Air Max ’97, first name Oliver, is a local talent based in Melbourne

And it’s this connection to a phenomenon occurring at the very epicentre of contemporary music that bodes well for the very talented producer’s prospects in 2015.  In fact he may even have a greater reputation abroad than at home. After two self-released EPs and some smashing mixes, the young producer’s aforementioned release Progress and Memory this year with London-based label Liminal Sounds adhered to, indeed added to the sonic vocabulary of global, internet-age dance music. Described by the artist himself as “oblique club trax,” Air Max’s percussive sound fits very easily into a style of music ever-growing in popularity, yet manages to remain distinctively unique all the while.

But Air Max ’97 can also be expected to deal out the damage at home next year. The producer is a co-organiser of creative bi-monthly club night Club ESC, fast becoming a big fixture in the underground club scene in Melbourne. Through this initiative, Air Max has worked with and supported major acts like Total Freedom, Kingdom, NGUZUNGUZU, James Ferraro, Mykky Blanco and Oscar Key Sung. An extremely skilled figure completely immersed and experienced within his scene,  it would seem that both at home and abroad, the pieces are falling into place for Air Max ’97 to take over in 2015.

Words by Sebastian Henry-Jones