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Roman Angelos - Music For Underwater Supermarkets (Happy Robots Records)

21 March 2022

If “Swimming Through The Aisles” charmed, mesmerised and amused you in equal measure (and let’s face it, it did right?) then Music For Underwater Supermarkets, the album which birthed it, or should I say spawned it, is going to take all of those sentiments and take them to levels which you didn’t think possible.

Sonically forged from a love of the ’60s and 70’s musical library recordings, muzak and associated sonic ephemera, the album is a dreamscape of nostalgia and musical warmth, of gentleness and joy, of ambience and enjoyment. It never pushes too hard, is woven from strands that stop short enough of being twee and instead are smile-inducing, delicate and heartwarming. It is muzak with a greater purpose, incidental music that somehow becomes the centre of attention, soundtrack creations that seem to have a life of their own.

Of the album’s creation, Richard Bennett, the man behind the Roman Angelos brand has this to say. “This record is very near and dear to my heart because it is filled with so many personal childhood memories. A lot of the musical ideas and vibe are drawn from aural memories I had while shopping with my parents when I was younger.” And as the music came to fruition it seemed to capture some sort of aquatic quality, it gentle ebbed and flowed, it came out hazy and buoyant and so the idea of the theme of music for underwater supermarkets was born. And as much as that seems like something plucked from a J G Ballad novel or a Gerry Anderson sci-fi series when you listen to the music found here, it seems to make perfect sense.

Odd and out of step with modern music trends perhaps but that is what makes it so great, so vital and so groundbreaking.

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