TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Romans - Valere Aude
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It's not Tin Man (obviously) but fans of the melancholy Acid spells Johannes Auvinen casts under that guise will be entranced once more by this collaborative effort with fellow American producer Gunnar Haslam on their debut album Valere Aude as Romans.

Unlike his work with Cassegrain, where their synergy resulted in a somewhat colder Techno sound (more banging innit) this new partnership has produced a distinctly warmer transmission; Tin Man's ear for an accessible tune equally matched in terms of emotion and melody by his new counterpart. It's not lightweight whimsy though, what we have is twelve not insubstantial tracks, each bearing a scent of soulful Acid, some with a bolder Techno undercurrent (check Markouna and Sabratha), others less so (Locria and Cyrene). It may sound like Techno-album-by-numbers but it's these "less banging", ephemeral tracks that are key to the album's success, providing the requisite balance and pace.

Built round the monumental Cyrene, reminiscent of Boards of Canada at their eeriest with its 303 looped refrain, there's a narrative on ancient, Roman cities that tenuously - but acceptably - ties everything together, even if some titles appear to be invented, like Oeviodunum and Aquilla. A tip of the hat is required for the concept behind Via Agrippa as a connecting track between two cities.

7/10 after 9 listens

Out now via The Bunker New York

Romans - Valere Aude