(Jas Shaw, one half of the English electronic music duo Simian Mobile Disco, shares his thoughts on on German producer Roman Flugel as part of our Fandom series. SMD recently released a live disc recorded in Joshua Tree.)
I love electronic music, it’s been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember, and despite hungrily digging out many thousands of records over the years there’s still so many scenes, labels and artists that I’ve yet to discover.
It’s both daunting and exciting, mostly exciting.
Even so I must admit there are times when I check back over a cart of records I’ve bought and think to myself, is all this music the same?
Have I accidentally just bought a dozen tuneless clones of the same boring drumbeat. Have I already got every one of these records?
Is this shit even music?
At times like these I know it’s time to retreat to safer ground, play some electronic music that I know stands up to wider scrutiny.
There are many artists that have reaffirmed my trust in electronic music and more than a few times it’s been Roman Flugel.
There’s a wealth of Flugel material out there including many pseudonyms, collaborations and work running some fantastic labels but even if you only go back as far as his more recent work under his own name there’s plenty to choose from.
Listening though to Happiness is Happening or Fatty Folders I’m reminded that electronic music doesn’t have to sound homogenous.
It can be adventurous without losing it’s way. It can be playful without becoming silly. It can be emotional without being hysterical. It can be smart but not come off as pretentious.
I’m reminded that I love electronic music for good reasons. Thanks Roman!
So, faith restored, I ditch the records that made me doubt music and get back to looking for those records that I’ve not heard yet, confident that while there’s inventive minds out there like Roman’s there will always be gems to dig out and that the hunt is well worth it.