The Bloody Beetroots Romborama

[Dim Mak; 2009]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: electro, house, fidget, dance
Others: Crookers, Hostage, Felix Cartal, MSTRKRFT

Justice's 2007 album was a double-edged sword for the electro community, unifying the various collectives under one roof while crafting an album that's been difficult to top. Any electro/house LP released in the intervening time has been compared to that landmark album, regardless of its affiliation with the scene. MSTRKRFT, Mr. Oizo, and now The Bloody Beetroots are three of the ‘bigger’ names to release LPs in a community that tears through singles at an alarming rate, with hot songs lasting less than a few weeks before going stale. Amazingly, The Beetroots have rested near the top of the pile by releasing countless remixes and original tracks that were guaranteed floor-fillers. If you've been near a club in the last two years, no doubt you'll have heard something by them.

Approaching a full-length LP by two of the world's most premier DJs is a bit of a boondoggle in its own right. On one hand, this album is review-proof: it will live or die on the dance floor. On the other hand, it's being delivered in a format that opens the group to a wider audience, and to more criticism. So while those familiar with The Beetroots will be disappointed to see five previously released songs, newcomers will appreciate these tracks — not quite dance-floor material, but providing the album with some much-needed breathing room.

To someone outside the community, Romborama is an excellent introduction to what The Beetroots (and this scene in general) are capable of. Most of the ‘bangers’ build to a beat drop, which has been a staple of the club/rave scene since its inception. The noise accompanying the 130 BPM, 4/4 beat will build slowly, both in energy and pitch, until the real meat of the song ‘drops’ into place. The sharp crescendo synth stabs and deep wobbly bass lines that litter the album act both as The Beetroot's calling card and as subliminal instructions to our bodies that it's time to fuckin' dance. "Warp 1.9," "Thelonius," "Anacletus," and "It’s Better a DJ on Two Turntables" are all built specifically to move asses, and they succeed admirably. "Have Mercy on Us," "Second Streets Have No Names," and "Little Stars" are gifts to the community as open invitations for remixes, while "Awesome," "Warp 7.7," and "Mother" market the duo directly to artists outside the scene looking for a hot new production team.

Much like DJ Shadow's The Outsider, Romborama feels disjointed by all these varying factors. The collection acts as more of a portfolio presentation to the world than a structure of interconnected pieces that form a cohesive whole. This is not the new Justice album. You won't see this on many lists at the end of the year. You will, however, hear its influence on the electro/house/fidget scene for quite a while, as both Bobby Rifo and Tommy Tea know exactly what it takes to make an audience forget all the shit in their lives, and just dance.

1. Romborama
2. Have Mercy On Us
3. Storm
4. Awesome
5. Cornelius
6. It's Better a DJ on Two Turntables
7. Talkin' in My Sleep
8. Second Streets Have No Name
9. Butter
10. Warp 1.9
11. FFA 1985
12. Theolonius (King Voodoo)
13. Yeyo
14. Little Stars
15. Warp 7.7
16. Make Me Blank
17. House No. 84
18. Mother
19. I Love The Bloody Beetroots
20. Anacletus
21. Come LA
22. Little Stars (instrumental)

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