A dreamy aquatic meditation
London-based label Happy Robots Records has announced the forthcoming release of the sophomore album ‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets’ by Brooklyn-based electronic artist Roman Angelos. This ten-track collection paints a sonic dreamscape where the mundane act of grocery shopping meets the future.
A dreamy aquatic meditation that is an ode to joyous childhood memories, this record was recorded live to tape, all together in one room, with most of the tracks being first takes.
Ahead of this, Roman Angelos presents the lead track ‘Swimming Through The Aisles’, a snaking composition in 7/4 that propels the listener through water like a diver looking for signs of life in the deep. A dark combination of ‘Kind of Blue’ and 50s exotica, this mysterious tune is reminiscent of modular jazz with some wriggling synths sprinkled on top.
Roman Angelos is the solo project of producer Rich Bennett, developed as a vehicle for Rich to explore his obsession with library recordings of the ’60s and 70s, muzak and exotica. Exotic, dreamy, and wistful, this is the sound of a jazz sextet as channelled through synths and drum machines, creating a spacey feel.
2020’s debut for Happy Robots ‘Spacetronic Lunchbox’ was a burst of sonic nostalgia that boasted 11 songs in 10 minutes. It gained praise from Freq, The Electricity Club, Electronic Sound, Shindig!, as well as radio play from on BBC6 Music from Cerys Matthews and Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone, plus Bob Fisher at BBC Tees.
Beyond the world of library electronica, Rich has been involved in a diverse group of musical projects, including the newly reunited outsider/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).
‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets’ continues and extends Roman’s obsession with the library and soundtrack music of the past. This time, he fuses that aesthetic with childhood memories of being pushed around in shopping carts and visiting strip malls. Vibraphones chime alongside woodwinds and vintage synthesizers, creating an immersive sound that feels exotic and smooth.
“This record is very near and dear to my heart because it is filled with so many personal childhood memories. A lot of the musical ideas and vibe are drawn from aural memories I had while shopping with my parents when I was younger,” says Rich Bennett.
“The underwater idea came to me while I started working on the tunes – 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”.
Produced by Rich Bennett at Acme Hall Studios in Brooklyn, this album was recorded by Colin Marston (Jarboe, Sailors With Wax Wings) and mastered by Justin Colletti (Soundpool, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Dead Leaf Echo).
As of January 12, ‘Swimming Through The Aisles’ will be available across online stores and streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. ‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets’ will be released on January 28 with distribution by Cargo Records, available digitally and on green vinyl. Limited to 200 copies, it was pressed at Deepgrooves, rated as the “greenest vinyl pressing plant in the world” due to their eco-friendly vinyl pressing policies. The album can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Album produced by Rich Bennett at Acme Hall Studios, Brooklyn
Recorded by Colin Marston
Mixed by Rich Bennett
Mastered by Justin Colletti
Franck Picarazzi – Vibraphone
Rich Bennett – Bass
Matt Filler – Guitar
Tim Byrnes – trumpet
Patrick Wolff – flute
Photography by Michael Bennett
Released by Happy Robots
Distribution by Cargo Records