Having collaborated with cutting-edge labels such as Nonplus, Semantica, Silent Season and Monday Off, Polish artist Michał Wolski is well-known in our scene for his subtle grooves and deep atmospheres. He’s also capable of conducting impressive modular live acts, such as a very charismatic ambient one made for Boiler Room in 2016 (here), as well as electrifying DJ mixes, such as his spectacular session on The Blue Oyster in 2020 (here). Wolski is also part of two duos: “Mech” with Mateusz Wysocki, at the source of original dark sounds (example here), and “Moonlight Resort & Spa” with Cafe de la Jungle, which aims to conceptualise a certain “elevator music” (example here). As if it wasn’t enough, Wolski is also a radio host, a sound engineer, the label owner of Minicromusic: it’s not too risky to affirm that he breathes music all day long. His fire can also be sensed in his Facebook posts, animated with humble yet obvious passionate words, as well as in the following well-inspired chart:
Michał Wolski: Keep quiet and disappear. Whenever I hear this piece, I feel that all I can do is fall silent and follow this majestic sound… A poignant, minimalist construction that, despite the years, still appears to me as a masterful recording, full of life and mystery. I return again and again to Mika Vainio’s work – a true master!
Mod21 – We will finally drown in cold water [On the 5th Day, 2020]
Michał Wolski: Deeply organised and still subtle. The dominant bassline, although uncomplicated and “primal” in its compositional layer, works fantastically as a framework for the tension, consistently built up by the “drone” lead, which hypnotises in each passing second. The piece reminds me of crossing a rushing river, which on the one hand frightens me with its menacing energy and on the other fascinates me with its incredible beauty.
Sleeparchive – Trust (V2) [Tresor Records, 2019]
Michał Wolski: Pure energy. Although the piece was already written several years ago, I came across it quite by accident only recently. What delights me about it is how, with absolutely minimalist means, tension is built up, which strives to discharge without ever achieving it. An engaging, electrifying piece from which I couldn’t take my ears off for a long time.
Vertical Spectrum – Mniej Tedy Niz Owedy [Edit Select, 2022]
Michał Wolski: It’s like myriads of stars in an overcast sky… This recording reminds me of a situation in which, although there is haunting darkness, there is an underlying light nevertheless coming from somewhere. The unsettling, twitching bass line holds an iron grip, but yet the shimmering sonic shards bring solace. Although this piece is as dark as a moonless night, there is a gust of warmth to be felt.
Stanislav Tolkachev – The Fridge 3 [Rösten, 2018]
Michał Wolski: Nothing is as it seems. On one side, the body wants to respond to the rhythmics, but on the other side, it is not quite clear which way to go. It’s a fantastic example of Stanislav Tolkachev’s mastery; a seemingly uncomplicated structure engages completely, leaving none of us indifferent. A wonderfully liberating rhythmic break invites to swim against the habitual ways of understanding techno music.
Donato Dozzy – Quadra Nove [The Bunker New York, 2016]
Michał Wolski: Perfect harmony. I cannot count the number of times I have played this piece in the club at the peak time. Donato Dozzy has succeeded in creating an absolute masterpiece with this track for me. The combination of the rhythmic and seductive atmosphere has given me shivers all over my body for years. A must-have!
The Orb – Plateau [Island Records, 1995]
Michał Wolski: Forest of things. The Orb’s album “Orbus Terrarum” opened my eyes to electronic music at a young age. I was 13-14 years old at the time and experiencing the sound of this particular album shaped my musical taste for years. I still return to these recordings today and find a timeless subtlety and sensitivity hidden in the duo’s extraordinary sonic richness. I perceive something unique in these recordings that, despite the passage of years, still seduces me…
TO START A MIX
Michał Wolski – Mer Baltique [recognition, 2016]
Michał Wolski: Boundless tide. Although it is a bit awkward for me to mention my own composition in a compilation, I do it for a reason. Many times I have started my sets or live acts with this very piece. On many occasions, it allowed me to open up the space for psychedelic sounds in a rather specific way: I noticed that this recording introduced a kind of indeterminacy and “strangeness” into the space shared with the audience, which interested me a lot at the time.
FOR THE PEAK TIME
Neel – Renio [Token, 2018]
Michał Wolski: Eye of the cyclone! This track – although quite humble and minimalist at first glance – turns into a pulsating volcano at the peak of the night. I find it astonishing how Neel has built such a dense, energetic whole with such modest means! A fantastic, thrilling sound that brings the kind of energy that interests me the most in techno music: a shimmering, seemingly static, but pulsating unity beneath the surface, full of nuance and life.
BONUS – TOPIC BROUGHT BY OUR GUEST
A SPECIAL TRACK
Choice – Acid Eiffel [Fragile Records, 1993]
Michał Wolski: Place of origin. It was “Acid Eiffel” that I remember as the track that enthralled me in my early youth with the rhythmic and sonic character of 90s techno. I came across it while listening to one of the few programmes in Poland dedicated to techno music at the time: “Technikum Mechanizacji Muzyki” (not so easy to translate, as it is a wordplay in the Polish language, but it means something like “Technical School for Music Mechanisation”). This extraordinary piece of music, which I recorded on a cassette tape many years ago while listening to the radio, accompanies me to this day. Despite the passage of years, it reveals its wonderful, subtle energy, which grabbed me by the throat and still holds me on.
WRITING BY: MICHAŁ WOLSKI & CEDRIC FINKBEINER | 7 SEPTEMBER 2022