British producer Fort Romeau has flirted along the lines of house, techno and kraut across his near decade long career, and his affiliations with labels such as Ghostly International, alongside the likes of Com Truise, and Germany’s Running Back Records have located him on the alternative end of the spectrum. The euphoria of his arpeggio filled track Pablo led to acclaim in 2018, and since that moment his music has naturally morphed to occupy increasingly more spacious and atmospheric locales. His first LP since 2015, Beings Of Light, promises to become the new landmark of his artistry or at least, speak toward where he is at right now.
Spotlights is our first clue into this headspace, and for the most part it appears that Romeau is transfixed on the barebones science of what makes dance music dance. A beat, a hook and a bassline. Opening with an indistinct soundscape of bouncing, filtered synths like extraterrestrial strings being pulled to maximum tension, Spotlights suddenly drops into 90’s house. The bassline on this track practically begs to be vogued to, and the repeated word “spotlight” is spoken with such stylish panache that you can literally feel the aforementioned light guiding your strut down the runway. The atmospheric introduction is not abandoned, though. It continues to breathe, break apart and catalyse beneath the track’s steady four on the floor. Then in the track’s final act, these bubble up from beneath ground in a singular voracious vortex that slaps Spotlights into a new direction for its last few heartbeats. Suddenly more tech than Harlem house, Spotlights nearly slides off its own axis. Ramona, the second track currently available to hear off Beings Of Light, is more in tune with what’s come from Romeau before. A cavernous tech-house cut, deep and loggy drums pulse between ping-pong oscillations of bleeps while an ominously spectral and forlorn siren song unfolds itself little by little. Ramona concludes with a chorus of glowing, extended chords that play on feelings of introspection and melancholy.
According to Romeau, the closure of dance floors across the world gave reason for pause, and he stopped his stream of EP’s and single releases to focus on creating a larger body of work. This time of reflection brought about inspiration in the form of a ‘back to basics’ approach; a study into the honesty of dance music and the very fibre of the elements that make you move when you hear them. Beings Of Light promises to be his most definitive statement as a dance musician to date, an album that will likely traverse his influences and filter his signatures down to their very essence.