Released 11th November via Ninja Tune
The latest offering from Romare is a sonic change of direction for the London producer. If you are not familiar with his work, get to know his debut Meditations On Afrocentrism is a solid EP and well worth a listen. On that project, then Love Songs Part 1 and his 2015 full-length Projections, Romare showed off a sound which was hard to define, wrapping hazy footwork percussion and bass around moody blues samples, along with some nods to house and bass music.
Love Songs Part 2 does not dispense with the sampling and genre-bending, but it definitely marks a departure from his earlier style. For one thing, it feels a bit more meticulous; the buildup of “Je T’aime’ from a guitar riff and kickdrum into a lush climax is timed with surgical precision. The tracks are a bit more sparse as well, with pause put to great effect on opener ‘Who To Love?’ as the otherworldly vocal sample stretches over gaps in the percussion. The best moments of this album are off-kilter; notes which last just a little too long and pauses that make you wait somehow add to the weird, woozy groove of a train that rolls along at its own pace.
Rather than the standard formula of buildup-drop-rinse-repeat of much contemporary dance music, Love Songs Part Two focuses on maintaining the groove. Melodies stretch out across more downtempo tracks like ‘Honey’, warping and weaving in and out of focus as vocals and drum sounds layer over each other. ‘All Night’ pairs a meaty disco bass line with chopped-up vocals and some alien-sounding synths to build up to a climax that will have you dancing in your seat whether on the bus or in the library.
A weird and very danceable album from start to finish, highly recommended listening.