Boomkat Product Review:
Breezy twists of latin-inflected downbeats, rolling house and electronic jazz funk flavours
“Archie Fairhurst, aka Romare, gets amorous with his second album. A kind of follow-up or development of his second ever release, a four track EP entitled Love Songs: Part One, Love Songs: Part Two, explores every nook and cranny of the romantic impulse from dirty sex to religious fervour across ten tracks which develop and expand upon the casual brilliance of his debut, Projections, establishing him as one of the most exciting, confident and distinctive producers in electronic music right now.
Projections was the kind of critically acclaimed album which a lesser talent might have struggled to follow up. Voted Album of the Year by DJ Mag, it received rapturous reviews across the board, it was supported by likes of Bonobo, Four Tet and Annie Mac and established Fairhurst as a producer to watch. He seems to have shrugged off the pressure this could have caused, though. Love Songs: Part Two instead shows him expanding, deepening and developing his techniques. Although sampling from vinyl still plays a key role in his practice, Fairhurst has played much more of the music on this new record, from monophonic synthesisers to his grandmother’s recorder and his dad’s mandolin, with electric bass, plus a variety of guitars and keyboards taking central roles, too. Indeed his parents love of Irish traditional folk music, which Fairhurst grew up with have influenced the sounds on this album. His sample sources have changed a little, too, moving from the jazz and blues which distinguished Projections to disco and psychedelic. Indeed, the increased demand for his work as a DJ has caused him to develop his structures, allowing for more sustained builds in intensity.
The results are as varied as they are electrifying. First single "Who Loves You?" starts with a hard four-to-the-floor, a tight swirl of strings and the kind of b-line which recalls the greatest moments of punk-funk. "Come Close To Me" has the sort of unquantized swing which Theo Parrish would be proud of. "Je T’Aime" comes on as if disco had been invented by the Irish. "L.U.V" takes a moment of unalloyed beauty and then resolves into a lowdown groove, a kind of unlatched funk which will set pants swinging. "All Night" is a good-time floorfiller. Album closer "My Last Affair" is swinging, slinky and trippy by turns. ‘Honey’ builds from a kind of nursery rhyme simplicity into a psychedelic hymn. All of this packaged with beautiful artwork drawn by Fairhurst himself.
“I’ve tried to cover different areas,” Fairhurst explains, “from sexual urges to tender first encounters, from affairs to the questioning of one’s love.” Whatever Romare does, though, it’s held together by his own unique aesthetic, a sonic signature which stamps everything he does as his and his alone. An original reaching the height of his game, it’s time to listen… and fall in love.”