The Bassiani resident's outstanding debut LP draws skilfully from classic '90s dance music.
Ostati is a great record on its own merits. It's a beautiful, balmy collection of electro-techno with impeccable influences. Its 303s sing and gurgle through hovering chords in ways resembling the ecstatic pinnacles of AFX in "Analogue Bubblebath 1" and Underground Resistance's "Final Frontier" (see "Sallow Myth"). Other times the acid floats through its own reverb in a way that recalls Tin Man. There's 1991-2 UK rave breakbeat as filtered via Shed and Martyn ("Shesavali"). Throughout, there's the "home-listening techno" warmth of Warp's Artificial Intelligence series. There are great billows of Basic Channel radiance that seem to stream off surfaces out into the distance, adding to the sense of huge, indeterminate space. On "Askinkila," there's Drexciyan electro percussion that feels like you're tapping into a cybernetic signal that was going on before the track started and will carry on long after it's finished.
If that all sounds a bit tasteful, well, it is. Ostati translates as "a master of one's craft," and five years into putting out records, Jikia clearly knows his machines inside-out. Everything is poised and perfectly placed. The synth leads are velvety, soft to the touch. But it's certainly not just analgesic, nor is it lazy repetition of well-worn formulas. Every bar brings something new, even if subliminally, and any time you do just find yourself drifting off into a merely comfortable state, that's the exact moment a new element will drop in and delight you. It's a record made with care and patience, and it treats you, the listener or dancer, with care and patience, too.