Fort Romeau's debut, Kingdoms, showed a surprisingly confident disco producer whose music felt way too polished for the dilapidated DIY of 100% Silk. But something about the release still felt tentative—the production values, perhaps, or just the songwriting itself. Mike Norris returns a year later on Spectral, suddenly sounding more lively and full, as if the seeds he sowed with Kingdoms had flourished.
"SW9" is apprehensive and big-hearted all at once, cutting its smeary synths with clipped vocal phrases and tinfoil 2-step percussion. It lacks the thump we crave from disco, but its luxurious textures more than make up for this. Lowtec steps in for a remix and unravels the track in his typical fashion, jumping on its stranger elements and letting the climax slowly fall away to a brittle rhythm. It's "Love (Dub)" that shows the most growth. Though the track is simple, Norris' deft synthesis recalls a rainy-day Todd Terje: he similarly layers bite-size melodic phrases and wrings depth out of a single synth sound.
Buy Fort Romeau - SW9 at
Tracklist: Fort Romeau - SW9 A1 SW9
A2 Love (Dub)
B SW9 (Lowtec Remix)