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A third of the way into the title track of Fort Romeau's new album, you notice that the kick drum - often the most telling element of any piece of house music - is being fed through the same delay unit as the wire brush percussion that introduces the track. In and of itself, this isn't a noteworthy technique, but the result is a tiny, logical soundscape that reminds you of all the ephemera of live dance music; the little noises that strike on festival tents, the speaker noise, the rattle of old brickwork in warehouses. The producer may well have struck on this effect unconsciously - if so it demonstrates a natural and inspired form of composition.

Insides is dotted with these tiny moments of wonder, and while the resulting album is, overall, sadly unmemorable, it demonstrates a producer with a keen ear for a curio. The most engaging points all come when the more fashionable bass drone and piano chords disappear and we're treated to atmospheric distortion. Fort Romeau is at his best when he is birthing his own inimitable textures, rather than operating within recognisable tropes.

Much of the album treads familiar ground, not only to long-time listeners of Fort Romeau, but for any fan of the more minimalist side of House. 'Not A Word' has a nice melody half-buried through its verse, but the beats are plain and the structure a bit trite. The title track is pleasant enough, but pleasant enough is hardly a call to arms.

The album's highlight 'Lately' digs itself down into an extended ambient plain, a seemingly endless whirl of overtopping and breaking waves of peaceful rest. It's rare to point to these moments of tranquillity as key markers in a dance album, but 'Insides' is first and foremost about balance, and the extremes of emotion required to upset this balance are not often permitted to develop. Motion is reined in, and the producer's great ear for a wispy cloud of echoing distortion shines through.

When Fort Romeau isn't revelling in these interludes, the album is much less notable. 'All I Want' is a weak piece of dancefloor filler, throwing away a build that you sense the producer is only half interested in, choosing instead to find a more relaxed, breathy mid-section. The necessary re-emergence of keyboards and something like a generic song structure in this context feels like an apology. Structures are more complex, compared to his most recent EPs, but the change does not work to stress his originality.

On the one hand, Fort Romeau has created a very pretty landscape painting. If you approach it expecting a party, you'll leave disappointed. If you're willing to engage with it beyond the mere euphoric, you may uncover a diamond. There are just too many over familiar House workouts where you find yourself in the odd situation of waiting desperately for nothing to happen. The joy is in the gaps.

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