The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tim McNa­mara

Shades Marc Rom­boy Sys­tem­atic Record­ings

WHILE some Ger­mans be­moan their coun­try’s al­lure for pro­duc­ers of elec­tronic mu­sic, it’s an at­trac­tion eas­ier to un­der­stand when one con­sid­ers the in­flu­ence Ger­many has had. Marc Rom­boy can take much credit. The techno pro­ducer continues to thrive more than 20 years af­ter es­tab­lish­ing Le Petit Prince, his first la­bel, and emerg­ing as a DJ in Dus­sel­dorf.

Shades — part-ret­ro­spec­tive, part-up­front in­dul­gence — checks many of those Detroit techno and Chicago house in­flu­ences, but at three CDs and 32 tracks it’s a lot to take in. Miss­ing is the con­sis­tency show­cased on Taiyo, last year’s fu­tur­is­tic re­lease pro­duced with Ja­pan’s Ken Ishii. Shades in­stead lurches from mel­low, min­i­mal and groovy to thump­ing, glitchy, dark and down­right weird. Clas­sic tunes such as Eura­sia, his 2007 re­lease with Brazil­ian pro­ducer Gui Bo­ratto, will please, as will In My Mind, a stand­out on Rom­boy’s 2006 de­but LP

Gem­ini and which fea­tures the vo­cals of Chicago vet­eran Robert Owens. Nine more re­cent tunes also fea­ture, in­clud­ing Delu­sion of the En­emy, his col­lab­o­ra­tion with Bul­gar­ian KiNK, as well as bumpy remixes in­clud­ing a dark in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Detroit Grand Puh­bahs’ 2000 hit

Sand­wiches. His de­scrip­tion of disc three as be­ing full of “noise, ma­chine rhythms and crazy sounds” is apt. There’s lit­tle of the soul­ful grooves of the first two discs. In­stead Rom­boy opts for in­dus­trial sound­scapes, bizarre of­fer­ings such as The Noise, with Kris Wadsworth, and other un­der­whelm­ing tunes. While no one can dis­pute Rom­boy’s talent,

Shades is a three-disc re­lease that would be bet­ter con­densed into two.

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