- Manfredi Romano, AKA DJ Tennis, has always done a better job expressing himself behind the decks than in the studio. Granted, he's a DJ (and A&R man) first, with only a handful of EPs to his name. But even so, the gulf between his abilities is often stark. As a DJ, Romano is a master of mood and pacing, with a sound that's totally his own; his production work can feel forced, like he's striving for a feeling that he doesn't quite believe in. That kind of pseudo-emotional intensity colours his latest outing for his Life And Death label, Divisions / Chirality.
Romano has regularly partnered with vocalists over the years, but not since 2012's breakthrough hit "Make It Good" have the results been kind on the ears. "Divisions," which features Danish singer (and WhoMadeWho guitarist) Jeppe Kjellberg, doesn't buck the trend. Kjellberg's mawkish delivery and trite lyrics ("You know it's true / Life goes on forever") are mapped to a soupy backdrop of ashen pads. Roman Flügel's remix is sharper and brighter, though he relies too heavily on the delay for atmosphere and wrongly decides to keep the vocal. Plaid's take on "Chirality" churns Romano's plodding original into a cut of lurching IDM with an oversized trance core. It's utterly over the top, but maybe that's preferable to another gloomy club track in the Life And Death mould.
03. Divisions (Roman Flügel Remix)
04. Chirality (Plaid Remix)