Rodney Cromwell
Rodney Cromwell

Rodney Cromwell

Rodney Cromwell

Fax Message Breakup EP

Happy robot Records 

Out now

Louder than War have a listen to some lovely minimalist electronica. 

Happy Robots Records has announced that they will release ‘Fax Message Breakup’, the new five-track EP from Rodney Cromwell. Rodney Cromwell aka Adam Cresswell is the founding member of indie-folktronica band Saloon (who had four entries in John Peel’s Festive 50 & recorded three Peel Sessions) and one half of acclaimed electronic two piece ARTHUR & MARTHA. The EP features exclusive remixes by Hologram Teen, Chris Frain and The Leaf Library. ‘Fax Message Breakup’ features Alice Hubley (Arthur & Martha, Cosines) on additional synth and Richard Salt (Controllers) on guitar.

Fax Message Breakup (Single Mix) has a really fresh sounding beat that immediately gets the electronic ‘Kraftwerkseque’ voice treatment of “i can’t do this anymore”. On top of the is sound you get an almost childlike ‘Bontempi’ toy organ accompaniment that, mixed with a ‘proper’ keyboard chorus on top, takes you into 80s New Order territory, especially with the bass solo and the keyboard flourishes.

The first of the remixes (Hologram Teen’s Video Suitors Remix) has a bigger, more bombastic sound that accentuates the throbbing beats and the chord progressions. The ‘garbled’ lyrics and vocals just add to the mystic of the tune. It’s definitely got a more immediate beat. It’s dancier and sounds like a party on an alien ship approaching earth.

More throbbing bassline and a techno themed approach is Baby Robot (Chris Frain Remix). The track is replete with keyboard accompaniments that could easily be by John Carpenter. For me, this track is one of the stand out tracks of the EP, and as well as taking on the subtleties of electro and Italian disco, it embraces both indie pop and indie dance simultaneously.

Fax Message Breakup (AUW’s Obsessive Perfection Remix) has a ghostly throbbing start that is a completely different take on the original edit of this song. The New Order/Peter Hook esque bassline comparisons are hard to avoid. However, when Cromwell shouts “i can’t do this anymore. I don’t know what it’s for”, the music is taken above and beyond the New Order influence as the noise and electronica distortion builds up and up into a mighty crescendo with the lyrical refrain of “i can’t do this” repeating over and over again. Very powerful.

Final track Cassiopeia (The Leaf Library Remix) has a quiet start with gentle electronic that very quickly introduces an electric guitar component that is gentle and soft is beautifully played out with the distorted guitar. Again, a very powerful track that that has a creeping menace reminiscent of John Murphy’s ‘In the House, in a Heartbeat’.

This EP is well worth a listen, and even though it is made up of three mixes of the same song, they are completely different in their execution and all feel like separate songs. Really great stuff to be honest. Looking forward to hearing more Rodney Cromwell.


Nov. 4   London – Haunt, Stoke Newington (A Happy Robots Records Night)

Nov. 5   Norwich – Epic Studios (with Marsheaux)

Rodney Cromwell can be found at his Facebook. He is also on Soundcloud and tweets as @robot_rocker.

All words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.


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