Run by Victor and Coco Lenis, the label Romance Moderne born from their mutual feelings and their love for synth sounds. Their website has been launched at the end of September and presented to all the minimal wave sounds lovers (but they are opened to every form of synth music, from synthpop to italo disco) their first three releases. At the moment they started with digital releases but in the future they planned to press vinyl. Let’s discover what they reserved for us…
Hailing from Croatia and active also with Florence Foster Fan Club, Le Chocolat Noir inaugurate with the two tracks single “Irreversible” the Romance Moderne catalog. This single is the third Le Chocolat Noir release since 2007, the first two have been released in 2007 and 2011 by the Home Made Electronica label. The title track is a upbeat track based on a monophonic distorted bass line enriched by minimal lead leads and a nice vocal that recalled me of Daniel Ash of the Tones On Tail period. The second track “Never Let Go”, features Anshie on vocals and sounds more bumping and obsessive with minimal bass lines and hard beats. The sound is tweaked thanks to filter adjustments and rhythm changes.
A bit e.b.m. and catchy. Florence Foster Fan Club is a duo formed by Le Chocolat Noir and Zarkoff that previously released a CD album titled “Everyday Theatre” on the Brazilian Wave Records. This new single “Methadone addiction” is a great synth wave tune with a fat bass line, a spacey pad and minimal drum beats which all create a icey background for a now melodic and then detached vocal performance. Very inspired and a bit 80s. “Running Out Of Time” is a bit more distorted and obsessive with dissonant arpeggios, in levare bass line and clean nice vocals.
Frank Kartell is the third to release a single for Romance Moderne and his “Angoisse” is the newest of a list of releases that the French producer has on his shoulders since mid 2000s. The single contains two instrumentals which mix hypnotic atmospheres, analog sounds, drum reverbs and mysterious melodies. “Melancholie” is a bit more nostalgic and has a drum sound that recalls a bit the retro video games. The track is focused on nice arpeggios, clock like rhythms and hard beats with melodic lead stabs here and there.
These are only the first three releases but if this will be the standard of the label, Romance Moderne is setting itself like a must for the lovers of synth wave sounds! [Editor: meanwhile I was preparing this article, Romance Moderne released an E.P. by A New Life. Read the review that Evangelos did,here!]
Let’s discover a little more about the label with a chat with Victor and Coco.
CHAIN D.L.K.: What convinced you that it was time to give birth to a new label since you already run Black Leather?
Victor: Romance Moderne is like a different breath for me. Talking about music and Concept, it’s far from the Black Leather proposal. RM is closer to what my influences and personal tastes are, even if I love techno and electronics on the dance floor. It’s a common project with my wife, we know the direction to take and what we expect.
CHAIN D.L.K.: You and Coco started this adventure together. How do you feel about this? As far as I understood, Romance Moderne was born thanks to your mutual love, am I right?
Coco: Since we met because of music, it seemed evident that we should create and work on a common project. We wanted to create something that would be more personal, where we are free to share/produce artists and musics we love, without thinking about what would be the actual mass demand.
Victor: It’s a Romance Moderne!
CHAIN D.L.K.: At the moment you only release digital singles but I read that you plan to have vinyl also, right? What will you release on that format?
Victor: We are vinyl lovers. But the media distribution developed the digital technology and in this modern world its imperative to distribute our music that way, its easier and faster even if it doesn’t have that “special” touch of a vinyl. We are not going to have a long conversation or controversy about which format is better. The most important thing is to support the music and the artists you like by buying 12″,10″ or 7″ etc. The point is to continue to create and to contribute (and that’s music and arts in general)!
Coco: At first, only a compilation of our productions will be pressed on vinyl. This compilation will make Romance Moderne followers happy and their feedback will be important in the tracks selection! As two vinyl lovers, we could not see it in a different way! Of course in the future, when the label will grow, our wish is to press a vinyl for each album released on the label.
CHAIN D.L.K.: The first three releases I reviewed in some way have a minimal wave electronic sound but you told me that you want to cover a wider range of genres. Can you tell me something more about that?
Coco: Yes, it’s true for the moment the present releases are more minimal, and wave. But the point is we don’t want to have a closed style, most importantly our desire is to produce and search for artists with a strong artistic personality, with something different. But always with that “old school” touch. I personally would say this point is maybe what could define Romance Moderne: an open minded label with an “old school touch”!
Victor: Yes clearly you feel the cold and minimal shade in these first releases. To add to what Coco said, I like the idea that we are
open to a world of possibilities and new proposals.
In regards to technical ways of production, we aim to find artists with new and/or old concepts. The fact that the current sounds and composers are really connected with the old and retro sound maybe means that for some reason nothing really new has been created at all, it is just the need to feel and hear some forgotten details in this modern world all over again.
If we like the material, we can release something with new beat or Chicago house shades, even a hot high energy or italo disco track or a new dance floor track with eclectic elements. We know what we like and we hope the public will be seduced by this concept.
CHAIN D.L.K.: Can you tell me something more about how you got in contact with your label’s artists?
Victor: When I receive demos I just choose what could be great for BLR or RM and talk about it with all parties involved. Like I told you before, both labels have different directions.
Coco: Usually by contacting us, especially Victor who has Black Leather. When Victor thinks that one of the demos would be great for RM, he brings the songs to me and we talk about it. Other than that, I search a lot throughout the several sound sources, most of all Soundcloud but also through our friends’ suggestions.
CHAIN D.L.K.: What do you appreaciate mostly about each of them?
Coco: That it is only about music, the one you do with your emotions, no specific image our style to please the masses. I really like the fact they are coming from different countries but the music language is the same. They have a kind of a secret universe in complete simplicity.
Victor: Each one has something to share and to show trough different ways of expression. It’s really interesting when you have things created for your label and the connection with the artists starts to turn into friendship. It makes the ideas grow and take on interesting shapes. The communication with the artist must be friendly and clear as that is the best way to build something honest and cool.
CHAIN D.L.K.: What are your next releases?
Victor: Cool stuff is coming but we prefer to keep the surprise!
Visit Romance Moderne on the web at: www.romancemoderne.com