There’s a Riot Goin’ On
When Crookers’ ubiquitous remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day N Nite” took over American dance floors, Italy became the next house/electro epicenter with acts like Crookers and The Bloody Beetroots trailing closely behind Parisian groups like Justice (yet not so closely behind Daft Punk). Beetroots mastermind Bob Rifo hit the scene running in 2007 with single after single, compilations and remixes galore, but nothing as solid and hard-hitting as Romborama.
The highly anticipated Romborama removes any doubt that Rifo is a force to be reckoned with. He perfects an eerie blend of ’70s punk mayhem, discotheque bangers and classical harmonies into formulaic, brain-bashing tracks that somehow work—but not always.
In its brave (or simply mistaken) 20-track, hour-plus length, Romborama can be hit or miss. Where the griminess of the Steve Aoki-featured “Warp 1.9,” the rawness of “Yeyo” or the grittiness of “Cornelius” and “Butter” punch the heaviest, the filler bites just as hard. Soft, pseudo-romantic tracks “2nd Streets Have No Name” and “Mother” have no real place among Romborama‘s dark tones, and even The Cool Kids couldn’t save the cheesy synths of “Awesome.” And is “Little Stars” really just some sort of rendering of “A Christmas Carol”?
Luckily for Rifo, his classical training brings out the album’s unique voice. The haunting organs of “Have Mercy on Us” and sophisticated violins of “House N” put a spin on what could have easily been a standard electro release, but instead brings NYC punk ruckus to the disco.