When we heard the new EP by Fort Romeau on Live At Robert Johnson at DJ Mag HQ, we had to track him or her or them down for an interview. We thought maybe this was a new bespectacled German producer named after a Slovenian castle, or perhaps a romantic pair of Italian lovers who live in a ruined fort and make pretty looped house without leaving their bed. However, it turns out that Fort Romeau is actually a London-based Brit called Mike Greene.
“Fort Romeau is actually just a slightly modified version of the name of a French town, I was trying to come up with names that sounded sexy and French, so I just went with that,” says Mike. “Hahaha!”
Mike had an album out on 100% Silk from LA last year, and a release on Ghostly International before that — as well as this Robert Johnson one. How did he end up on each of those labels? “They just contacted me,” he deadpans, “and I was — indeed, still am — a big fan of all the labels, so it was an easy decision every time.”
Mike had a gig playing keyboards as part of La Roux's touring band a couple of years ago, so DJ Mag asks him what he learned from that tour. “I learned that it is a bad idea to lose your passport the day before flying from New York to London,” he says. “Did Elly Jackson finally accept that it was Skream's 'In For The Kill' remix that truly broke that record? No, I don't think she would accept that.”
Fort Romeau's new EP ranges through the super-repetitive, hypnotically dreamlike 'I Knew', a floaty 'Pirouette' and the title track 'Her Dream', with its clattering percussion, deep burrowing bassline and half-heard whispered female vox illuminating the shadows. DJ Mag asks him what it is about house that he digs. “I 'dig' the deepness,” he says. “Get it?”
There's a sense that it would've been easier to get some interesting words from a fictional romantic Italian couple in bed, but that's not to take anything away from Fort Romeau's promise. Some people just do prefer to let the music do the talking.
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