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  Romanthony
 

 

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Click below for a Romanthony sample:

Let Me Show You Love

Luv Somebody

Bring U Up
 

 
Often described as house music's answer to Prince, Romanthony has matched the Purple One in terms of his expansive approach to making music, an aggresive fusion of electro, disco, soul, funk and house.  Also like Prince, the man born as Anthony Moore in New Jersey has a tendency to lose himself so deeply in his own world that it leaves everyone else scratching their heads at the result of his experimentation.  Either way, he is the type of artist who demands your attention with every release.

The early singles "Hold On" and "The Wanderer" revealed his penchant for fusing unabashed club rhythms with gospel and blues elements.  They quite rightfully caught the attention of punters worldwide; in response to the attention, he cultivated a mysterious image based on a refusal to do interviews and distaste at being photographed.

Once Romanworld was issued, he found himself the subject of heightened media interest, despite his intentions.  The album graced the top 10 lists of many critics and only raised expectation for a follow-up.

Signing with the venerable Glasgow Underground in the late 1990s, his next album was Instinctual, a dj mix with protege DJ Predator that blended old recordings with tracks created specifically for the album.  In the Mix, another compilation, soon followed.

A proper album, R. Hide In Plain Site, was a stroke of genius that found him working through musical impressions of Prince, James Brown, early Frankie Knuckles, bedroom producers and r&b lover men.  Its decidely lo-fi production style frustrated many but was just another curve he decided to throw his fans.

Meanwhile, his odd brand of marketing was picked up by Daft Punk, who gave him a shout-out on their first album.  Their relationship was further cemented when they re-released "Hold On" and invited him to do guest vocals for Discovery, dropping his vocoder-led "One More Time" as the lead single to worldwide acclaim. 

Romanthony's Deepest Grooves

Romanworld (Azuli, 1997)

In the Mix (Distance, 1999)

Instinctual (Glasgow Underground, 1999)

R Hide in Plain Site (Glasgow Underground, 2000)
Not an easy listen but rewarding if you can stick it out.   "Countdown 2000" is not the most promising intro you'll hear, but "Bring U Up" and "Luv Somebody" evoke vintage Prince and New York house.  Right when you think he's finally found his groove, you're greeted with a string of slow jams to close a record that raises many questions.  Are "Faraway" and "? $ Luv" the first steps towards Romanthony doing a Cece Peniston and ditching house for r&b mediocrity?  Why do so many songs sound like he deliberately left out layers of instrumentation?  Maybe he liked the novelty of Prince taking the bass out of "When Doves Cry" and took the concept to the extreme.  Expect the unexpected.

Phatt Life - Phatt Pussykat (Glasgow Underground, 2001)

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved. 

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