Romare – Love Songs: Part One

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Romare’s acclaimed first EP wore the po-faced title Meditations on Afrocentrism and mined its samples from a multitude of songs, speeches, interviews and films to purportedly join the dots between African and African-American music. But for all its chin-stroking, Meditations was really just a perky, inventive dance EP, heavily weighted by exotic samples and spitfire Chicago footwork.

With its merciless tempo and syncopated drum machines, the footwork genre itself is a bit of an acquired taste. But, like its predecessor, Love Songs (Part One) achieves that extraordinary thing and offers a palatable, almost melodic take on the agitated genre, this time marrying bluesy soul and swinging house to those restless rhythms.

‘Your Love (You Give Me Fever)’ takes a grizzled 1950s Peggy Lee sample and cuts it into a stuttery, soulful footworker. For most of the running time it’s a deep and downtempo shuffler, but, in its final two minutes, turns to a tightly-wound build before dropping into a heads-down rave up, all warping bass, sounding sirens and frenzied footwork.

An about-turn from the floor-friendly opener, ‘Jim & Faye (Part One)’ operates below 90 bpm, layering some lumbering congas and a distorted blues groove over an interview clip from one of Jimi Hendrix’s former girlfriends, Lithofayne Pridgeon, who rants and raves about the sheer brilliance of the late electric guitarist.

‘Taste Of Honey (From The City)’ is arguably the standout, lifting an irresistibly dusty breakbeat from Lyn Collins’ abundantly pilfered 1972 ‘Think (About It)’ and placing it in between a rattling house structure. After all the excitement, the album closes fittingly on a drowsy, blues-infused hip hop jam.

With Love Songs’ music-history musings and thematic focus, Romare once again sets you up for something arduously studios, but instead he presents four lively, utterly enjoyable dance tracks.

Black Acre | Released: 25 March

01. Your Love (Give Me Fever)
02. Jimi & Faye (Part One)
03. Taste Of Honey (From The City)
04. Hey Now (When I Give You All My Lovin‘)

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