Romare absorbs the landscape of the ill-defined "dance music" world of the last however many years, landing on Ninja Tune to deliever Projections, a record that's joyous and urgent in sound, moving with the seamlessness of a Since I Left You or an Endtroducing. Lots of musical collaging, lots of love.
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Ninja Tunes seemingly relentless release schedule continues apace with this contribution from Romare. Archie Fairhurst has taken inspiration from collage artist Romare Bearden to come up with both his production alias and a style of making music. This is the debut album from Romare and to say it is hotly anticipated is possibly an understatement.
The track ' Roots' released as a teaser created a real storm of interest, included here for the benefit of those that missed it previously, it is a treat. An epic in every sense that starts out with a slightly off kilter dubby percussion vibe before unfolding into an ecstatic appreciation of dancing and club music. The fear is that this could be a one hit album, so incredible is Roots as a release.
These fears are overcome pretty quickly. 'Rainbow' for example, is a lovely deep house groover that will get as much club play as Roots. Even from the get go on 'Nina's Charm' there is restrained excitement with the teasing opener that assures 'It will be alright' almost pre-empting the worry of those hoping for an almighty album.
There is no let up in quality across the whole of 'Projections'. There is variation in pace, with touches of jazz, hip hop, dub, soul as well as the deep house and afro elements that under pin the album. It is difficult to find comparison with others as this stands quite separate from a lot of the music being put out. In that sense it us a decidedly Ninja Tune album. Fans of the Golf Channel label would find much to enjoy here as will those impatient for a Floating Points album. 'Roots' is colossal, but elsewhere tracks such as 'Prison Blues' and 'Jimmy's Lament' show deftness of touch as well as an ability to get down and party.
Romare is exploring his interests in African - American culture across this album, weaving samples and sounds across the tracks resulting in a fairly unique overall final result. This falls somewhee in between club tracks, artistic sound collage, experimentalism and hedonism. As I was listening I felt that this was almost the kind of thing Burial would produce if he spent less time on night buses in rainy inner cities and more time in the sunshine. To make light hearted comparisons does a slight disservice though, this is superb in its own right. This is a special album, surely an early contender for best of 2015 lists, you should buy it.
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- Projections by Romare
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