Jichael Mackson, although he has a name that sounds like the exquisite corpse of pop, makes trance. He’s been doing that for years, ever since he made his debut on the Pastamusik label in 2003, although he really came of age with a hypnotic, obsessive and meticulous edge with “Breitling Orbiter 8”, a single that never seemed to end and could cause injuries on the dancefloor. It provoked at the time a perplexity more efficient than some of the catatonia-inducing drugs or similar tunes like those by Donatto Dozzy or Giorgio Gigli. More EPs started to come, slowly, and it’s been two years since we last heard from Boris Steffen. Now he returns with “Just In Time” –the title says it all– for the label that released his best work to date (we’ll never forget that Chris Isaak sample in “…Wasn’t Me” (2007)), and it’s good to find that nothing has changed in his sound.
It’s still there, divided over long tracks that seem to be turning around the same idea but, little by little, reveal a huge amount of detail that could perplex you for hours. Each tune is to him like the miniatures illustrated in a medieval codex: a laborious work that has to be listened to with a magnifying hearing aid. The way the ambient drops intertwine with the clicks and steady bass drum on “Sugar Hill Mountain” – the man should be given a surprise party to thank him for existing. And then there’s “Locus Pokus”, another obsessive track that sticks in your head. In other words, he’s still making trance, but not the bad kind – the surrounding kind of techno that works as a cheap and short hypnotic session. Jichael Mackson can be forgiven for the long periods between releases, as long as he keeps making them like this one.