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Roman Photos: Decline" b/w "These Arms" "

Double Phantom Records

Slow synth washes, yearning vocals and a chilly traipse define Roman Photos' "Decline" "b/w "These Arms" 7-inch on the surface. But the soft collision of rhythm and drone really drives both numbers. The group draws as much inspiration from Detroit techno as it does from Manchester's Factory Records scene of the early '80s. But these stylish accents have been reduced to a minimal plod, drawn out and wrapped around each other, giving simple working musical parts the ability to merge and create rhythms greater than the sum of their parts. In the process David Mansfield's wistful voice booms over the mix, despite his naturally slight mannerisms. As a result, these songs are more about creating an uneasy atmosphere than providing a dance groove - but they can be both at the same time. (3 out of 5 stars)