Producer Romare Took More From Abstract Collagist Romare Bearden Than His Name
Published Nov 11, 2016Our trans-Atlantic chat with Archie Fairhurst, aka Romare, covered playing instruments, the influence of disco and a touch of romance. But there's also the issue of where his name came from.
Romare Bearden was an American artist at the forefront of abstract collage art throughout the '60s and '70s. While at university, Fairhurst came across Bearden during a segment on African-American visual culture — which would explain why his first EP was titled Meditations on Afrocentrism — and decided to pay tribute to the artist with his pseudonym.
"Bearden basically took existing material — cut-outs of magazines, newspapers, things like that — and mixed them in a kind of collage with his paintings and compositions," Fairhurst tells Exclaim! "He made really beautiful work from it, and I thought that was what I wanted to do with music. I want to take samples, cut them up and mix them with my own music. So, calling myself Romare is a sort of homage to him, but it's also a way of crediting the process that I use in making music, to something which is similar to his process."
Despite relying somewhat heavily on samples with his previous releases, Romare's collage work for Love Songs: Part Two (out now on Ninja Tune) is one of instruments (played by himself) layered atop one another. He remains ever the collagist at heart though, and still has a slew of obscure samples dotted throughout his own music.
Though Romare can't discuss the specific samples for copyright reasons, he has credited them in his own way through the album's artwork, which he drew himself. Every character on the cover is linked to samples in the music — and we'd be surprised if anyone could identify them all.
Have a listen to "Je T'aime" below.