In 2014, Romare – AKA producer Archie Fairhurst – released Love Songs: Part One, pasting Peggy Lee into stuttering, bass-heavy R&B and aping retro funk, jazz and blues. Although the result was timeless in the sense that it borrowed from multiple decades, the sense of curation made it feel fresh. And yet Romare’s presence didn’t feel entirely definite; Fairhurst even cribbed his stage name from an African American artist who died in the 80s. This sense of his being a conduit for larger concepts of race and identity – or maybe just a well-meaning cultural appropriator – carried on into 2015’s sample-heavy debut LP, Projections. But here the Londoner’s mission is less about recycling than creating his own psych-ish oddities: on Je T’aime, a slither of Truffaut or Godardish dialogue gives way to irregular ambience and 8-bit sounds, while Honey is bound together by gelatinous alien synths and a low-key jazz melody, with Fairhurst playing much of the instrumentation himself. Although Who Loves You sounds as if it could be a lost 70s underground disco cut, overall this collection provides more of a window on to Fairhurst’s own motivations, as he experiments around themes of love – from innocence to filth.
Hannah J Davies
Hannah J Davies is the Guardian's deputy editor, newsletters, and a culture writer