The buzzing bass notes that open Play-Station say one thing loud and clear: This is not your grandfather’s, or your father’s, accordion. Poland’s Motion Trio—leader Janusz Wojtarowicz, Marchin Galazyn and Pawel Baranek—create that texture, and all but a few of the sounds on the album, by working the bellows, keys and buttons in the same manner as the forefathers, without any studio tampering. In doing so, they prove that their arsenal has the firepower to rival a concert pipe organ or an electronically generated techno groove, two things they evoke on their sophomore release.
The underlying theme of Play-Station comes from the group’s fascination, as kids, with video games. This youthful reminiscing could have turned it into a novelty album, but the jokes are balanced out by some strong, if occasionally repetitive, textures. “Game Over” takes the concept all the way, recreating a game of Space Invaders with the three keyboards. At nearly four minutes long, it’s a little long, but the band’s effort is worth it. “Carrousel” finds two of the trio creating a techno rhythm while the remaining member plays an exotic melody that sounds like a ’60s organ. “You Dance” creates a percussive groove that could also fill the dance floor on the strength of these three button pushers alone. The results make the techno version of “You Dance” redundant, but maybe it will court some coveted crossover potential.