Review: Romans – Valere Aude Lp
Valere Aude comes as the debut album from Romans, a collaborative project between New York techno producer Gunnar Haslam and Vienna-based acid evangelist Johannes Auvinen, aka Tin Man. Firmly established as artists in their own right, the Romans Project sees the two combine creative forces to etch out a new, distinct sound that is full of acid, atmosphere and mood. Whilst the notion of techno not lending itself to the album format may still be present in the mind of some, here Romans carve out a transfixing narrative across 12 hallucinogenic tracks.
Cirta and Legia set the scene for the album, steadily building the acid keys and anticipation before Via Agrippa, a moment of psychedelic confusion around a sea of ambient hiss. By Aquila the album dives back into the steady drum machine grit, with the warm acid reverberations of Aquila and the squelch of Zarai. Before the halfway point the trip is peaking, but as is the hallucinogenic nature of the album, the game flips, with Locria and Cyrene opening up into a floating, dream-like ambience.
Again, the nature of the trip dictates change, however cruel or kind and Dura Agameia pulls back into kick-snare thump, an absolute apocalypse of a track with mesmerising keys, synth and percussion providing the perfect vehicle to lose yourself amongst. The thump continues with Markouna providing pace and rush, Sitifis providing severity and unease with eventual progression to the punchy, poppy Sabratha. This drops into the finale, Oeviodunum, an uplifting, praising congratulations to making it out the other end. Like an acid trip the album provides a journey where you know you’re in for one hell of a ride, even if you don’t know the exact path you’re heading down.
Valere Aude by Romans is out now on The Bunker New York. Buy the release HERE.