Fort Romeau – Fantasia

7.5

Music released right now is perhaps being consumed and received differently because of the context we’re listening to it in – both physically and mentally. Whilst intended for the dancefloor, Fort Romeau’s new EP Fantasia on Permanent Vacation takes on a dreamlike life of its own in this strange time – a kind of happy accident.

Through this record one can hear hints of Running Back releases like Storken’s “Lille Vals” and Krystal Klear’s “Euphoric Dreams” – all glimmering synths and elastic bass, that feels at once a throwback and a flash forward. Fantasia is redolent of this sound, but Fort Romeau has cocoon-wrapped it with a warmth which lulls you in, before his icy synths slice you open for all to bear. Such is the relentless energy of opener “Fantasia”, that it pairs wonderfully with the anthropomorphic broomsticks that haunted Mickey Mouse in Disney’s 1940 animation of the same name.

“Neuromace” burns hypnotically, the production dense and warm like the banana breads that we’re all trying to bake right now, with swirling synth lines cutting through the loaf with aplomb. There are nods to the Italo-house that has seen a Panglossian renaissance in the last few years, like the anthem for a sexy, titanium future that we’re going to be privy to on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst this record is certainly going to send hearts soaring and bodies heaving in Panorama Bar in a few months (hopefully), there’s a level of dreamy introspection which we could all glean from Fort Romeau’s sonic painting of “fantasia” – so for now it’s headphones on, eyes closed, and see where it takes ya.