- Drawing on the talents of artists like Roman Flügel and Massimiliano Pagliara, the Frankfurt-based Live At Robert Johnson rarely takes a wrong step. From Christian Beisswenger—one half of Arto Mwambe—Broken Rome is no exception to this trend. Its three cuts are unusual in most ways—structurally, timbrally—with the end result being a mild slap to the face. A discordant organ line helms the title track, wandering dazedly amongst rapid fire snares and later, sonorous glassy hits. For those who dislike "polite" house, this noisy, ramshackle exploration of strange-sounding synths should find some favour. It feels like the contents of a junk shop magically raised to life.
"Densed" is more straightforward, slowly building tension and emotion over eight sexy minutes. A incredibly thick and supple low-end is at the core of this passage, snowballing forward and collecting bits of percussion and spasmodic synth shots as it goes. It's not particularly hooky, but its shambling, unstoppable groove will no doubt prove useful for slaying dance floors mid-set. The sustained, crystalline pads which sail through the mid-section aren't too shabby, either. "Into" slashes the intensity, offering a languid IDM-style breakbeat flocked with idyllic synth pings and bird calls. Where the other two cuts are as solid and rich as a grand piano, here a softer touch allows some air to seep in between the beats, albeit in dusty form. Even when compared with Beisswenger's debut 12-inch as The Citizen's Band last year, Broken Rome just sounds really different; something we could do with a lot more of.
A Broken Rome