There are so many selling points for Roman Angelos and his music that it is difficult to know where to begin. First off, just look at the titles that he assigns to his songs and the fact that the current album, from which this dreamy slice is taken, is called Music For Underwater Supermarkets, which tells you that you are not dealing with anything like an everyday sonic brain. You then learn that Roman Angelos is the nome de (musical) plume of Richard Bennett, created as a vehicle to explore his love of the ’60s and 70’s musical library recordings, muzak and associated sonic ephemera. He is a member of the 60s proto-punk group The Shaggs, dream pop outfit Mahogany, and Brazilian funk group Limoncello, in addition to production work with Stereolab’s Morgane Lhote (aka Hologram Teen). And all of that before I have even started talking about the music.
Swimming Through The Aisles is a gorgeously laidback, ambient jazz-scape wandering between Miles Davis explorations and futuristic electronic adventures. And, in a literal sense, the song was created around the author’s own childhood memories of shopping with his parents, the idea of viewing those thoughts and memories through the medium of having the supermarket underwater because, as Rich says, “so much of the writing seemed to have this hazy yet buoyant quality, and the idea of placing a supermarket underwater seemed to give the music both a bit of whimsy and seriousness. Which I’d say I always try and straddle”.
But perhaps the most wonderful aspect about it is that it is so out of step with most modern music, which is something to be applauded. I’m not sure if it is truly nostalgic at all, not in the musical sense. I think that its references are so far in the past, so well integrated into his own brilliant musical craftsmanship that the music he makes is actually way ahead of the curve. After all, music is cyclical.
So, soothing, sensual and stupendously chilled. What more could you ask for?