First Listen: Magic Fades/ROMCOM Split CS

I keep coming back to this. Lush R&B act Magic Fades released a split cassette with the ominous ROMCOM last month, and while the Magic Fades side is nice, the second side by ROMCOM is keeping me captive now. Both bands are from Portland and both feature ambient easy listening sample-based tunes, so it makes sense that they put out something together.

The duo Magic Fades are experimental by R&B standards, but their weirdness only reveals itself after repeated listens. Because while you first think that their kitschy style will get old the second time around, it actually only then unfolds its complexity. 

But as I said, the real burner is the ROMCOM side. It is nostalgic in the very true core. Not simply nostalgic of the past, but nostalgic in the sense of what the past had imagined the present would be nostalgic of it. Like what 1973 had thought 2012 would think of the past. But of course, this split is from 2012 for real, so please take the next corner in this line of thought on your own, because it lost me already.

It is not only the the chopped up, somehow off easy synthpop that evokes this association, but the format too. A lot of small tunes are without a real song structure, like pieces left from another world – be it the past or the future – that have to be called by its German name to evoke the metaphysical plane too: “Überreste”. I feel like ROMCOM have created a wormhole directly to Alan Parsons Project to continue working on their utopian/dystopian visions. Or maybe I am just getting crazy.


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