John Roberts will release his second album Fences through regular haunt Dial Records in May.
We have a pair of tickets to give away to Broken & Uneven’s forthcoming Dial Records showcase, featuring Pantha Du Prince, John Roberts, Efdemin and Roman Flugel.
After his Glass Eights long player proved to the world that he was a formidable talent, John Roberts went rather quiet. In the four years he has been releasing music he has never seemed concerned with rushing material out, largely sticking to his chosen homestead of the Dial / Laid family in Hamburg and gently coaxing out distinguished shades of house music that have a compositional classicism rare among modern day producers. While his previous singles had hinted at a musical training beyond MIDI mapping, Glass Eights was proof that Roberts could wield all manner of orchestral devices with grace and poise, and the critical acclaim followed accordingly.
Joy Orbison mania was the running theme of this week’s events, with one of his most eagerly awaited tracks and a further collaborative 12″ with Boddika and Pearson Sound coming into our hands, and promptly leaving them again.
Great news: John Roberts will return to the release fray with the Paper Frames EP, due out next month on regular haunt Dial.
Much deliberation, heated debate, banging of fists and vociferous dismissal took place within the walls of Juno Plus before we arrived at the list you see below. 2010 has been a particularly strong year for all strands of electronic music which is more than evident in the surfeit of genres included on this list. Each of these releases however are albums in the truest sense of the word; something you can pop on at home, in the car, wherever, and soak up over its entirety…
Listening to the debut album by US producer John Roberts, it’s hard to believe that he is still in his 20s. Usually, it’s the case that such accomplished, detailed works are the result of years spent locked away in the studio, but in this instance, Roberts seems to have arrived out of nowhere with a mature palette. It’s audible from the get-go on opening track “Lesser”, where the sound of a hissing record proves the introduction for plaintive piano keys and raw, dubby beats. A similar musical approach prevails on “Ever or Not”, where a classical piano dominates a gentle house groove and with “Pruned”, a wide-eyed composition populated by rich yet foreboding keys and haunting woodwind, underscored by snappy drums.
Roberts tells a fascinating story on the title track, where what sounds like a cello is combined with subtle keys for a gloriously seductive dancefloor burner. Just in case any listener is under the illusion that Roberts is a virtuoso who has suddenly stumbled upon house music, he drops the wigged out acid and clipped drums of “Porcelain”, while his ability to squeeze new sounds and shapes from the long-existing sound is audible on “Dedicated”. Set against the backdrop of lashing rain and rolling thunder, Roberts’ heavy drums rumble in to accompany the kind of melancholic organ solo that only a great like Portable is capable of. That his debut album receives those kinds of comparisons proves that John Roberts is onto something very special.