There are things I didn’t know about Fort Romeau. The one and only member of Fort Romeau, Michael Greene was a live band member in synth-pop band La Roux. Since leaving in 2012 has had releases on Ghostly International, Live at Robert Johnson and Gerd Jansen’s renowned Running Back label.
When you think about a young artist who keeps the kind of company those labels are releasing and you realise his peers are Leon Vynehall, Radio Slave, Mark E, Todd Terje and Krystal Klear to name but a few and you release that even though there are some fantastically seasoned artists there, they, collectively, are pushing a new wave of music that is at the forefront of electronic music.
Perhaps it’s the bubbly synth pop of La Roux or perhaps it’s just in Michael’s nature to make clean, textured, synth-driven house music but that’s what it is all the same. Every element is efficiently placed, round and clear, uncluttered. The music equivalent of Feng Shui, tidy and fitted but channeling positive energy.
Pablo is the epitome of this philosophy with its arpeggiated bassline, lush pads, snappy drums and 80’s snare, Fort Romeau is plundering the past to define the future. The key is simplicity with pure emotion pouring from every pore, soaring and grooving and repeating. This is a lovely piece of work and a reminder to us all that simple is better, simple can groove, and simple can rock.
Terracotta is a darker, heavier vibe altogether, almost filmic, like taking a train journey through Detroit and looking at the crumbling buildings out the window. Eerie pads and an unsettling, fidgety melody underpins a heavy kick and odd metallic noises that make an encapsulating house landscape.
Michael Greene is one to watch closely, I have a feeling he’ll have a long and successful career ahead of him.