With the lounge fusion of his second album ‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets’ crossing Burt Bacharach with AIR, Roman Angelos presented muzak for grocery shopping in the future.
Inspired by Jean-Michel Jarre’s album ‘Music for Supermarkets’ which was released as a limited edition of one, Brooklyn-based producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Rich Bennett uses his Roman Angelos persona to explore his fascination for vintage library and soundtrack music. The end result is a vibey exploration in sound that included woodwinds, transistorised organs and vintage synths.
However, ‘The Aimless Aquanaut’ deviated from that formula in its drifting electronic air, lushly layered with gentle mechanised percussion and oozing with nautical mystery, waiting for Marina from ‘Stingray’ maybe? So near so spa, the new extended version allows a more immersive experience that could go on even longer thanks to the hypnotic flow of its pretty bubbling arpeggios. The Riptide and Rumble remix by producer / engineer Scott Solter expresses the ambience in a spikier manner. It acts as a trailer for a full remix album “Supermarkets, Underwater” to be released in early 2023 by Happy Robots Records
Roman Angelos had a quick chat with ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about soundtracking underwater supermarkets.
‘The Aimless Aquanaut’ is quite different aesthetically to the other tracks on ‘Music For Underwater Supermarkets’ in its electronic ambience compared to the easy listening lounge mood of the other tracks, how did it end up there?
Even though it has a slightly different aesthetic, all the short interludes on the original record are meant to be meditations more than fully realized pieces; in many cases they’re there to signal the next phase of the record. ‘The Aimless Aquanaut’ was intended to evoke a deep dive into the water – the arpeggiated synths being like bubbles passing by.
Which ambient exponents have been most influential to you in this type of music?
A lot of my references for this record come from folks like Fennesz and Biosphere, and of course Mr Eno. But I also really love 80s New Age ambient music, the Environments records from the 70s, so much of the ECM catalog, and lots of 70s ambient space rock. Scott who remixed the album, brings his own set of influences and ideas to these remixes, but I draw from a lot of different flavors of ambient.
‘The Aimless Aquanaut’ has been extended for single release, but was there any temptation to make it an hour long like ‘Thursday Afternoon’ by Brian Eno?
I’m glad you asked! In fact, the full remix version of this record (due for January release) by Scott Solter is very much inspired by ‘Thursday Afternoon’. In fact it was the main reference point that both Scott and I discussed when he started the remix. Although the final recording is not one long piece, the influence is there, and the remix of ‘The Underwater Supermarket’ is the closest to that idea as it is a 16 minute long dark and expansive excursion.
So this remix variant of the ‘Music For Underwater Supermarkets’ album, will it be ambient or are we talking “hands in the air” club music or something else entirely?
Haha, I would love someone to do a “hands in the air” remix of ‘Underwater Supermarkets’! In fact, when I was working on the original recording, a friend sent me a hip-hop beat he created with ‘Swimming Through The Aisles’. Hip-hop in 7/8, I’ll take it! But on a serious note, the record will be more along the lines of your traditional concept of ambient. One of the things Scott and I discussed when he started working on these remixes was that I wanted his versions to feel like the inverse of the original record. So whereas the original was a light and bouncy interpretation of life underwater, this is more of a dark and immersive record. More of your lights out, lay down on the floor and zone out kind of thing.
ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Roman Angelos
Special thanks to Adam Cresswell at Happy Robots Records
‘The Aimless Aquanaut’ is released by Happy Robots Records, available now as a digital single bundle from https://happyrobotsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-aimless-aquanaut
Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
29th September 2022