September 28, 2012

Photo via Jose Flores

I assume that the idea of house music is anathema to 94 percent of this site’s readership. The genre has long since been stereotyped as the province of over-gelled fist-pumpers and aptly mimicked by the “ooncha ooncha” sound. You know what I’m talking about even if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

The British producer walled up as Fort Romeau earns daily bread by playing keyboards in La Roux. At night, he’s emerged as one of the best house producers that will never be played in Playhouse. He records for the impeccable LA label, Not Not Fun (Peaking Lights, Pocahaunted, LA Vampires), but that fact does little to describe his music.

Fort Romeau makes fairly minimal tunes devoid of cheesy piano vamping and brassy handbag vocals. It channels the groove of classic Larry Levan-style house without slavishly painting-by-numbers. If anything, it’s closer in concept to Four Tet or Caribou or the artists on Jacques Greene’s Vase Imprint. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up producing for Azealia Banks.

What strikes me the most about his music is that it manages to be both restrained and danceable. You could see a DJ slipping it into a two hour set at Berghain just as easily as you could use it to soundtrack a moonlit drive on a desolate highway. There are a bunch of remixes, mixes and original tracks available on Fort Romeau’s Soundcloud, many available for free download. I am posting them below. They are ideal for trolling Guidos outside of your least-favorite nightclub.

Listen: