Words: Sam Howard
Prepare yourself for some very exciting news. The spine-tingling, rhythmic and soulful beats of the incredibly talented and internationally appreciated (and deservingly so) Romare, is coming to Melbourne. Very soon. In a tram’s ride reach. If that doesn’t excite you then maybe you’re not quite sure who this truly extraordinary dance legend is.
Archie Fairhurst, also known as Romare, has a strong passion for African music that stemmed from his studies of African American Visual Culture at University. Taking his name from his university inspiration, he discovered the work of illustration artist Romare Bearden whose distinctive style is recognised by cut’n’paste artwork. Romare the DJ was then born. After completing uni, Romare relocated to Paris and discovered the mighty turntables and began to mix his own music with samples from second hand records.
He was discovered and signed by underground label management Black Acre in 2012. During his time under Black Acre, his individual tunes were included on compilations by Bonobo, Tiga and even Gilles Peterson. All of who are extremely epic in their own individual groovy style. (Bias alert: Gilles presented an epic beach-side set at Goat Festival in Goa this year, so if Romare will be bringing goods as great as Gilles with even slightly similar summer, afrobeat and euphoric vibes then his upcoming set in Melbourne is going to be GREAT.)
Following Romare’s first release, ‘Meditations on Afrocentrism’, he brought out his debut album ‘Projections’. It was voted Album of the Year by DJ magazine and Mixmag described it as ‘a meticulous touch that seems to run through everything he does’. The Guardian also highlighted all of the ‘skill and affection’ that goes into his work.
Then came ‘Love Songs: Part Two’ which I highly, highly, highly recommend (cannot suggest highly enough). No matter what activity you are doing, it will put you into a meditative state of enjoyment as your bones vibrate and you feel like serotonin is literally bouncing through your body.
Romare is now signed to huge dance icons, Ninja Tune, a record label based in London, created in 1990 by the duo known as Coldcut. These guys are absolute legends, who mentioned after I spoke with them at a festival in Switzerland that they’ve been through the huge highs and darkest of lows trying to maintain the success of a label in what often is believed to be a dying industry. But the old dudes still clearly have it in them to bring out talent as great as Romare.
Get a taste of what’s in store with his London Boiler Room set and check out his talent as he combines all beats like an ensemble with live bongo drums just to top off an already great vibe.
Romare will be headlining Hold Tight #3 at Francis 28 on Friday July 21 alongside locals like Planète, Shedbug & Rudolf C, Cool Anna Vs Kasun & Funkhouser.
Watch his Boiler Room set here! Oh and he also plays it live. EPIC.