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ROMARE

Romare

Fantasy

    Fantasy takes a more abstract approach to sampling than his previous work, bringing his own instrumentation and vocals to the fore, while folding elements from 1970s fantasy cinema into his distinctive strain of rhythmic, off-centre electronica and kinetic club music.

    As Romare, Archie Fairhurst’s working practice is rooted in collage, building vivid new forms out of existing material. Playful and immediate, but also deeply researched and compelling, his albums and performances reaching back to 2012 unfurl as a patchwork of inspirations and obsessive lines of enquiry made up of a global panoply of source material.

    He explains: “The inspiration of Fantasy came from long walks and fantasy films during lockdown. I used to draw monsters and mythical creatures as a child and that interest was reignited in isolation. The album is dedicated to my dad, so I’ve combined photos he took as a young man with my own from recent walks, to build a fantasy land and sea. The sun or moon is a drawing from when I was 4 or 5 years old and the beast is a collage of animals and birds from secondhand books I’ve picked up along the way.

    The samples come more from film on this record, and the influence of Medieval music can be heard in some of the songs. I enjoyed listening to the band Gryphon at one point while making the album and was inspired by the 'otherworldly' instruments they used in their recordings. There is something spooky about combining film samples with sounds of popular instruments from the past.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Not only should it be applauded for championing new, eco-friendly methods of vinyl production; but "Fantasy" finds Romare exuding a level of coolness and poise even more refined than on previous works. From the BOC-indebted opener of "Quiet Corners..." onwards, we're guided by a playful and highly textured hand which is uniquely Romare's.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1 Quiet Corners Of My Mind
    A2 Priestess
    B1 Walking In The Rain
    B2 Dungeon
    C1 Seventh Seal
    C2 Arthur
    D1 Sunset
    D2 The Fool

    Romare

    Home

      Romare—real name Archie Fairhurst—returns with his new album “Home”, marking his 3rd on Ninja Tune and first full length album since 2016’s critically acclaimed “Love Songs: Part Two”. It follows the recently released ‘Gone / Danger’ 12”, his most direct dancefloor record to date, which Resident Advisor described as “An engrossing eight minutes of cinematic house music”.

      Romare’s music has always sat comfortably in both the dancefloor world and a more relaxed environment, “Home” being no exception. With euphoric, uplifting moments on ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Heaven’ through to more meditative and melancholy moments on ‘Deliverance’. “For me, the sweet point in music is when happy and sad come together” comments Fairhurst, “when they meet in the middle, that’s what I try to create”.

      The release of “Home” comes after a lifetime of being on the move for Fairhurst, he spent his childhood travelling constantly with his family as his parents moved around the world for work, before finally settling in the UK. This nomadic lifestyle would continue with his burgeoning career as a musician taking him off touring the world (playing over 150 shows in the last 2 years alone). Which brings us to “Home”, The new album marks a new chapter in Fairhust’s life with a move out of London to the countryside and starting a family, a move which has “given me peace and quiet” he comments. The new addition of his own home-built studio adds to this feeling of being content and settled, having worked from various bedroom studios in the past.

      Shifting from themes of love and romance on “Love Songs: Part Two”, “Home” explores spirituality, identity and belonging. “Identity and a sense of belonging is something I've been searching for more since becoming a father,” he explains, “growing up I was always around lots of people from different backgrounds, my own identity sometimes felt lost”. It see’s Fairhurst pull from the more unusual records in his collection for inspiration, delving into american gospel and traditional irish folk through to country, religious hymns and classical (with a special nod to composers Thomas Tallis and Vaugn Williams). “I always want to explore different sounds and genres from different countries and backgrounds” comments Fairhurst. During the past few years Fairhurst has moved away from purely sample based music, developing his use of instruments in his music and experimenting with different tools, both old and new. These tools include a vintage organ he found in a local charity shop, his dad's old 12-string guitar, re-assembling his childhood drum kit from the 90’s and a tape player which allowed him to start sampling from cassette tape.

      The album artwork, created by Fairhurst himself, uses a collage technique consisting of black and white cut-out images. “In this artwork each cut-out resembles an artist or group sampled in the album”, comments Fairhurst.

      TRACK LISTING

      Gone
      Dreams
      Sunshine
      The River
      Deliverance
      High
      You See
      Heaven
      Home

      Romare

      Gone / Danger

        In the two years since the release of his critically acclaimed album "Love Songs: Part Two", Romare, real name Archie Fairhurst, has spent his time almost solely on the road. Playing over 150 shows across the world, including stops at Berghain / Panorama Bar, Primavera Sound, All Points East, Dimensions, III Points, Printworks and The Warehouse Project. He joined both Bonobo and Nightmares On Wax on their US tours, playing iconic venues like Terminal 5 and Output in New York and Smart Bar in Chicago, has played shows across India and Australia, and held two sold-out London residences, first at Phonox and most recently at the Jazz Cafe.

        Recorded over the same period, in which he also acquired an electric organ and built a new recording studio, the two tracks, "Gone" & "Danger" represent his most intentional and direct nod to the dancefloor to date. The titular A-side, with its menacing bassline and soaring piano stabs was named after a vocal snippet since removed from the track. The B-side "Danger" was imagined as an alternative to "Gone", with both tracks being recorded 'whilst watching the seasons change from winter to summer in the new studio set up in the garden'.

        Romare's finely crafted house tapestries have appealed to everyone here at Piccadilly since his first forays on Ninja Tune. Intricate yet unimposing, his detailed collages nod to hip-hop and downbeat whilst working intrinsically within house music's wide cannon. 


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Matt says: Romare's deft and gentle hand strikes again. The UK's answer to Moodymann? Maybe not but there's parallels as to how they both manipulate sound. Sometimes less is more, and Romare demonstrates this perfectly.

        TRACK LISTING

        A1. Gone
        B1. Danger

        Romare

        Projections

          Although he piqued the collective interest with a couple of intricate and textured EPs on Black Acre, it wasn’t until the speaker smashing brilliance of "Roots" dropped on Ninja Tune in December 2014 that anticipation of this long player reached fever pitch. Taking inspiration from the vibrant collages of American artist Romare Bearden, London's Archie Fairhurst assembles his sampledelic productions from the building blocks of Afrocentric musical heritage. But don't confuse Romare with the myriad of sampler bashing producers without a creative bone in their body, "Projections" is the work of a true scholar of black music and culture, fluent in the musical language he's created and in possession of a sophisticated and inventive approach to production. There are hints of my favourite Detroit producers here, as we hear echoes of Kenny and Theo at their most samplistic, but the nuanced approach is Romare's alone. The disco house brilliance of ‘Roots’ is present but stands alone as a mainroom attraction amid an abundance of jazzy beatdown, relaxed footwork and future soul riches which sound as good on headphones or in the living room as they do over a system. This is without doubt an early contender for record of the year.


          TRACK LISTING

          Nina's Charm
          Work Song
          Motherless Child
          Ray's Foot
          Roots
          Jimmy's Lament
          Lover Man
          Rainbow
          Prison Blues
          The Drifter
          La Petite Mort


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