Romare Projections Ninja Tune
Weight. Charm. Precision. These are three words that spring to mind listening to Romare’s debut. It’s a resoundingly thoughtful dance release from Ninja Tune, where themes such as gay rights and racial discrimination are confronted as the emerging producer takes us on a sonic journey through Afro-American history.
On the whole, the album feels like a slow and satisfying stretch into the day, the aural equivalent of a post-coital haze. One of the greatest feats of the album is that no two tracks sound the same. Where Romare tugs playfully on the ear with the gentle euphoria of opening track Nina’s Charm, the starkly different Work Song bounces and ricochets like the work of Brownswood-signed producer Swindle. Then, the transition from Work Song to Motherless Child is from playful to pensive, and it’s in this carefully constructed rework of the spiritual song that we are exposed to Romare’s – slightly controversial – whimsical approach. But his cultural references don’t feel insincere, and they don’t feel like theft – they simply add an air of curiosity to his sound.
Embracing the beauty of imperfection with its warped sound, the album jolts and stumbles its way onto Roots,
the infectious lead single. The album hits a bit of a lull around the middle, but ultimately wins us over with the irresistible Prison Blues, and finally La Petite Mort, rather aptly ending the album on a climax. Romare’s singular and unconventional style will have you pining for days.