Hong Kong-based, French-born artist Romain FX delivers a killer quartet for Exploited’s milestone 30th ;Shir Khan presents Black Jukebox’ release. With previous releases on labels like Fantastic Voyage, Fauve Records and 44100HZ Social Club and support for his music from DJ Harvey, Black Madonna, Tensnake, Erol Alkan and Red Axes, he comes with some serious pedigree.
‘A Fuego’ invokes the spirit of early Balearic house with its Latino vocal chants, sampled piano chords playing a triumphant progression, trumpet blasts and sweet chime melodies echoing around the soundscape. ‘Western Outlands’ continues the balmy feel with infectious woodblock melody trading blows with rubbery synth bass and euphoric melody aplenty. Close your eyes and you could be in the open-air era of Amnesia dancing to Alfredo. The authentic ‘80s synth refrains and tribal vocal loops combine in powerful fashion and make for another winner.
‘Jungle George’ somehow manages to rock a panpipe riff and old skool MIDI guitar notes without sounding crass — which is probably something to do with the taut electro bass groove and rolling bongo / conga rhythms that surround it. Rainforest recordings add a heady feel amidst the cool melodies. ‘Dancing In Hong Kong’ provides a madcap end to the EP, a cute little ‘80s electro-funk jam where jaunty keys, organ bass and a little city pop vibe rub up against each other.