Monologue #14: Loitering on Memory Lane

Today it was brought to my attention that it has been exactly 20 years since the Romo movement officially came into being – the date of publication of the Romo special Melody Maker that attempted to introduce the world to this music and style phenomenon. This report on The Sunday Show ensued in 1996, offering an entertaining first glance at the scene. The momentous Romo edition (not my copy but I do own it – and the free cassette!) Sadly the world in general wasn’t too enthused by the proposal to combine synth and glam rock influences with an androgynous, slightly trashy modern aesthetic. The utilitarian look and 60s-inspired sound of Britpop and lad rock were still hanging heavily over the charts at the time. I however remember being extremely excited about it all. I was still living in France at the time, and was slightly too young to attend the clubs in any case. I bought the music when I could get my hands on it, and read even the shortest, most irritable music press articles about it with great interest. My preferred bands in the genre were Nancy Boy and Plastic Fantastic, and I still DJ those to this day. Aged 16, being a Romo in my uncle’s garden in Forest Hill, London. I’d only recently become interested in 80s bands such as Japan and Duran Duran, so the prospect of a new wave of frills, spills and electronica was very alluring to me. But Romo was a little too far ahead of the curve. A few years later, electroclash would gain more attention for combining synth sounds and flashy styles, and I enjoyed that a lot too,...

Monologue #12: You got me livin’ only for the night…

Now the EP is out, I’ve had a bit more time for DJing and mixing – my latest offering is up now on the Marcel Wave Mixcloud. Slave to the Synths is a blend of italo, electro and romo spanning the decades. It seems to be my most popular mix so far, although quite a few of the tracks are fairly obscure. It’s nice to think of people being exposed to (and hopefully enjoying) the music of a band like Nancy Boy, who never had the fame they deserved in the lad rock-obsessed 90s. Or Raf’s italo version of Self Control, which predated Laura Branigan’s more famous rendition. A special one-off Der Hammer is taking place for the North England portion of my fellow DJ JJD’s tour of the UK and Europe as Soft Riot, along with Uncanny Valley and Hausfrau. This time the venue is Golden Harvest, a café in Sheffield’s Brutalist centre which also acts as a nightspot. The date is Saturday 7 November. More details here. Sadly I can’t promise a décor of neon Disney characters but there should at least be a smoke machine....

Monologue #11: ‘Exotic Prints’ EP out now

‘Exotic Prints’, a digital 4-track EP by Marcel Wave, is now available to buy on Bandcamp, offering a chance for all those who have enjoyed the music so far to support me in the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed – and maybe even witness the splendour of a full-length album in the future. To commemorate this momentous occasion, a video for one of the tracks has been created in partnership with JJD Works: watch Echtes Leder...

Monologue #10: Edging into autumn – Infest and upcoming EP

I’m DJing Bradford’s notable goth festival Infest this weekend, on Saturday night (set starting around midnight), along with Soft Riot as part of the Der Hammer DJ team. We’ll bring our trademark mix of synth-pop, electro and italo. I’m also pleased to announce that the mixing work with James Aparicio on my upcoming digital EP is nearing completion, with a release scheduled for autumn.  A Terrible Splendour fans may remember him as the producer of our album Poseurs. A touch of exotic synthesized emotion as the leaves begin to turn…    ...