Droning electronica does not work well (under most circumstances) if they go on for too long. That's the trap New York duo Romans fall into, their new record Valere Aude sounding far too long and without enough content to really get the record going.
Valere Aude is a very chilled back record, and perhaps it's for the better reason of aesthetics that this record doesn't really climax; the duo never really sounded like they wanted to reach new levels of sonic epicness. It doesn't feel like the record even wants to have pronounced growth or mood. The glitchy, twitchy electronica of the record really fit it well, and it deserves that much praise.
While it fulfills its own reasons, from a listening standpoint, it's easy to get lost. Not in terms of being so entranced in the music that you lose sight of reality around you, but in that you lose focus on the record really quickly. The first track 'Cirta' washes over you progressively, but doesn't really offer much outside of a single changing movement and its bouncing synth loop. That is true for a lot of this record - it channels mysterious and weird vibes in songs like 'Legia' and 'Via Arpagga,' but songs don't really offer up much outside of what goes on within their first minute or so.
Valere Aude is not fully devoid of interesting times, though. 'Dura Agameia' spirals nicely throughout its six-minute play time, actually taking time to develop and build like a cool chillwave track. It's not centered around one idea; it has parts that move in and out, reprising themselves throughout the track before coming back into play. Different elements come into play, as well, making the track have more punch and contrast than others. It's not amazing, but it's great considering what the rest of the record has to offer.
Valere Aude is the record to go to if you need to take a late night drive through the city. Otherwise, it's probably better to skip out on this record in nearly every other case. Romans' new record is highly unsatisfying and doesn't really develop anywhere; it fulfills its purpose, but nothing else.
Favorite Track: Dura Agameia
Least Favorite Tracks: Aquilla, Zerai, Sabratha
Rating: 51 / 100