Published Aug 19, 2016Once tools used to create "futuristic" soundscapes, it's increasingly hard to separate synthesizer and drum machine sounds from the early 1980s. That's in no small part because of artists like M83, Skylar Spence and Roosevelt — the moniker of German songwriter/producer Marius Lauber — who keep using them to update and modernize the woozy, hazy hooks of that era by lacing them with saxophones, reverb and other clear signifiers. It's Epcot Centre pop music: nostalgia for another generation's vision of the future.
Roosevelt's self-titled debut LP is worth the ride, though. Lauber's got an impressive knack for rhythm that greatly benefits his slow-burning compositions. On tracks like the infectious "Moving On" and the driving "Colours," he weaves accent notes around his drumbeats with immaculate precision, meaning that even at their most leisurely, his songs never lose their sense of momentum. There are few surprises in Roosevelt's brand of dance music, but that seems decidedly the point; the synapses it triggers feel like the most welcomingly comfortable sort of sparks, firing on familiar-but-welcome cylinders. (City Slang / Greco-Roman)