Millions know the name Romanthony because of Daft Punk, but he was really so much more.
Don’t we always say that when someone passes away? But this time it’s true. It takes a monstrous appetite for music to wend your way through Romanthony’s catalog, which is probably the single greatest catalog of any individual artist in our scene, much of it classic and known by heart, but so much of it still sounding so good…
Throughout an exhausting night, searching for confirmation of a fact I didn’t want to be true (but secretly feared it was), I kept coming across the songs. Those songs. There’s a Wall of YouTube Videos that creates itself upon the death of any artist of note. It’s the ritual of our time, like ship burials and Irish wakes once were.
Ned Raggett posted this one, and I heard it for the first time again tonight. For the first time, again. It’s that beautiful moment when enough time has elapsed that you’ve truly well forgotten a song and can listen with virgin ears. With music, like nothing else, you truly can go home again:
And there it is, another – sorry – another brick, and soon you’re building a wall of your own:
And then it comes down to the man.
Romanthony always seemed to be “introducing” himself. Just a few months ago, Mystic Bill told me that one of his great sources of pride was bringing Romanthony to Chicago to play at an underground party. Daft Punk mediated a worldwide handshake between Romanthony and millions of people on Discovery. From Jersey Garage to the rave scene to the brave new world of whatever you want to call Daft Punk’s crowd – it isn’t a bridge many people can cross. I’m not aware of another artist of his generation that’s done it. But Romanthony, he made those crowds his own.
“My music in production is usually physical pain…. When you get a certain rhythm going at the studio, a certain sequence of melodies, sometimes, it’s like… it’s not funny at all, it’s like the opposite of it…”
One of the reasons this story was so hard to verify tonight was the strange isolation around Romanthony. Many of the people that knew him before – the ones you would, from afar, identify as his “peers” and colleagues and collaborators – don’t seem to know him now. No one I spoke to knew he was in Austin. They’ve lost touch. It happens. But the people you thought knew him as a friend could only report back to you rumors you’d already heard from someone else. That likely played some kind of a role in why it took nearly two weeks for this news to spread.
There’s almost certainly more to say on this subject, and we will probably add more to it. In the course of a long night I’ve sent out inquiries to probably several dozen people. We’ll probably hear back from them, and hopefully they’ll have something they wish to share.
We lost still another hero, and all I want to do is listen to records and be very quiet.
Updated 5/19/13 – 04:27 AM CDT:
Updated 5/19/13 – 01:49 AM CDT:
Confirmation of Romanthony’s death on May 7, 2013 from his sister:
Mellony Moore, Romanthony’s sister, has confirmed that he passed away on May 7, 2013 and that services are now pending.
Updated 05/18/13 – 11:46 PM CDT:
#RIP ROMANANTHONY, I’m truly at a standstill. We had a track In the Works. It’s almost done :(
— MîkēQ (@TheOnlyMikeQ) May 19, 2013
IT IS TRUE ABOUT ROMAN, WE HAVE VERY CLOSE FRIENDS, MEDIA HAS NOT RELEASED INFO YET BUT IT IS TRUE. #RIP my friend.
— MîkēQ (@TheOnlyMikeQ) May 19, 2013
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen multiple reports have come in that influential producer and artist Romanthony has passed away.
At this time we’ve been unable to verify this, though we’re trying.
The source of the report appears to have been this Facebook post made five days ago, by vocalist Daone Remmidy, aka Eve Angel:
Our Music Industry has lost yet another pioneer and music legend, I am deeply saddened to Announce the Passing our my Label Owner, Producer, Manager, and Family. Our Beloved World Renowned DJ and Producer Romanthony has passed away. What a great run we had Roman gave me my first break into the Music Industry and introduced me to the world, as Eve Angel. We were working on an amazing project. I will miss him and he will forever remain in my heart. We had a 20 year stint together and he will never be forgotten
Apparently, Daone’s information was not noticed until earlier Saturday evening, when it spread virally. I’ve reached out to Daone and will report back with more details when they’re forthcoming.
The album will feature 10 new tracks, 9 “bonus” classic tracks (new remixes? or items from the catalog that had gone out of print?). Among the tastiest details are collaborations with Maceo Plex, Oliver $, Jamie Jones, Dyed Soundorom, Pleasurekraft, Free Magic and Cajual staples Dajae, Gene Farris, Russoul and Sonny Fodera.
Too Underground For the Main Stage is due out May 13, 2013.
(And I would like to apologize to my 11th grade English teacher, Mr. Mundt, for “daftpunkian”.)
Let no one complain now that the local entries on the festival circuit overlook Chicago’s unparalleled House Music roots.
Wavefront Beachside Music Festival – the newest Chicago dance music festival in an increasingly crowded schedule – released the “second wave” of their line-up yesterday. Along with DJs with an international profile – Anthony Attalla, Droog, Tiefschwarz and Laura Jones – three day festival at Montrose Beach also announced an incredible line-up of both prominent and up-and-coming Chicago DJs playing what they’re calling the “House Comes Home” stage.
It doesn’t get more local or prominent than Frankie Knuckles. Among the other acts announced with a local connection are Crobar DJs Psycho-Bitch and Teri Bristol, Derrick Carter, Diz, Dustin Sheridan, Gene Farris, H-Foundation, Jamie Principle, Mark Farina, Michael Serafini and Ralphi Rosario. The full line-up is below.
Wavefront is going off at Montrose Beach post-Independence Day (July 5, 6, 7, 2013); tickets are at wavefrontmusicfestival.com. Full press release below.
WAVEFRONT MUSIC FESTIVAL, A THREE-DAY ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC FESTIVAL
JULY 5, 6 & 7, 2013
AT CHICAGO’S MONTROSE BEACH
ANNOUNCES SECOND WAVE ARTIST LINEUP
INCLUDING ‘CHICAGO HERITAGE OF HOUSE STAGE’
Wavefront Music Festival is excited to reveal its Second Wave artist lineup, following the First Wave lineup released last month. Bringing the world’s top electronic dance music artists to the Windy City’s first and only beachfront festival, Wavefront Music Festival returns for its second year to the shores of Lake Michigan at Chicago’s beautiful Montrose Beach on Friday, July 5, Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7, 2013.
From The Warehouse to Wavefront, the Chicago-born producers of Wavefront are proud to announce HOUSE COMES HOME: Chicago Heritage of House Stage. The new Chicago Heritage of House Stage will feature the forefathers of house music: Frankie Knuckles, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Gene Farris, Jamie Principle, Ralphi Rosario (Original Hot Mix 5 member), Teri Bristol & Psycho Bitch (Crobar) and Mike Serafini (Gramaphone Records).
“I am truly excited to be a part of the Wavefront Music Festival,” says Chicago house music originator Frankie Knuckles. “From the beginning of this whole ‘House Music’ movement at our little club [The Warehouse] on S. Jefferson St. back in 1977, I couldn’t imagine that that little old good time would turn into such a global phenomenon. For better than 25 years I’ve circled the globe and everywhere I go I leave a little piece of Chicago behind (musically). And now, not only does the world recognize Chicago as a viable entity when it comes to ‘House Music’ but the City of Chicago fully embraces, supports and recognizes the movement I’m so proud to be a part of. Welcome to The Wavefront Music Festival!”
The Chicago Heritage of House Stage furthers Wavefront’s mission to showcase the historic roots and broad dynamic range of dance music with a wide array of the globe’s premiere musical tastemakers as well as the most cutting-edge artists of the moment.
The second wave lineup also includes Subliminal Records boss Erick Morillo, acclaimed hit-maker Fatboy Slim, DFA duo Holy Ghost! playing live, former LCD Soundsystem members James Murphy, Pat Mahoney and Nancy Whang playing DJ sets, French house influencer Jacques Lu Cont, underground icon Lee Burridge curating his ‘All Day I Dream’ stage, and many more. Wavefront will feature artists on four separate stages, with each evening concluding with a spectacular fireworks display over Lake Michigan.
Wavefront Music Festival 2013 Second Wave Artist Line-up:
(in alphabetical order)
Holy Ghost! (Live)
James Murphy (DJ Set)
Jacques Lu Cont
Nancy Whang (DJ Set)
Night Plane (Live)
No Regular Play (Live)
Pat Mahoney (DJ Set)
Robots on the Run
Shit Robot (DJ Set)
More names to be announced!
General admission and VIP tickets for Wavefront Music Festival are on sale at www.WavefrontMusicFestival.com. Tickets start at $189.99 for 3-Day General Admission and $299.99 for 3-Day VIP Admission while supplies last.
To keep up with breaking news and additional line-up announcements, be sure to stay connected:
Sign up for the mailing list at www.WavefrontMusicFestival.com.
Like us at Facebook.com/WavefrontMusicFest
Follow us at @WavefrontFest
SATURDAY MAY 25 2013
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY:
2:00 T. Williams
3:30 Shigeto – live
7:00 Carl Craig
8:30 Dave Clarke
10:00 Richie Hawtin
12:30 Chris Malinchak
2:00 16 Bit Lolitas
3:30 System of Survival
5:00 Miguel Campbell
8:00 Matador – live
9:00 Paco Osuna
10:30 Moby (DJ set)
MADE IN DETROIT:
12:00 Mr. Joshooa
3:30 Chuck Daniels
5:00 Bruce Bailey
6:30 Al Ester
8:00 Alton Miller
9:30 Terrence Parker
2:00 Nina Kraviz
7:30 Nicole Moudaber
9:00 Ben Sims
2:00 Sndoz ft. Marcus Flow
3:00 Ronin Selecta w/ Bombscare
5:30 NiT GriT
8:30 The Bug – live
10:30 Andy C
SUNDAY MAY 26 2013
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY:
2:30 DJ Hatcha
5:30 Adult. – live
8:00 Audion – live
9:00 Stacey Pullen
10:45: Squarepusher – live
12:00 Annie Hall
2:00 Bill Patrick
4:00 Soul Clap
7:00 Art Department
8:30 Dennis Ferrer
10:00 Masters at Work (Kenny Dope and Louie Vega)
MADE IN DETROIT:
12:00 Dan Wagner
2:00 Stone Owl
3:00 Midnite Jackers
4:30 Jason Kendig
6:00 DJ Minx ft. Diviniti and Eva Soul
9:00 Daniel Bell
1:00 Benjamin Damage
4:30 Gregor Tresher – live
6:00 Tommy Four Seven
7:30 Ben Klock b2b Marcel Dettmann
9:30 Luke Slater/Planetary Assault Systems – live
10:30 Steve Rachmad
8:00 Samo Sound Boy
9:00 The M Machine – live
MONDAY MAY 27 2013
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY:
2:00 Nick Hook
5:30 Azari and III – live
6:30 Nicolas Jaar – live
8:00 Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – live
9:00 Francois K
10:30 Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson (The Hi-Tech Soul Concept)
12:00 PHantasmagoria – live
1:00 Laura Jones
2:30 Matt Tolfrey
4:00 George FitzGerald
5:30 Ellen Allien
10:00 John Digweed
MADE IN DETROIT:
12:00 Corbin Davis
2:00 Dantiez Saunderson
3:30 Carlos Souffront
5:00 Erika – live
6:00 Don Dada (DJ Godfather and DJ Zebo)
7:00 Ryan Elliott
8:30 Buzz Goree
10:00 Reference – live
2:00 Brendon Moeller aka Echologist
3:30 Mike Parker
9:00 Silent Servant
2:00 Circa Tapes – live
3:00 Deastro – live
4:00 Kidnap Kid
5:00 A Tribe Called Red
6:00 Big Chocolate
7:00 Break Science – live
8:00 Paper Diamond
11:00 Big Gigantic – live
In addition, fourth wave tickets will be available today at movement.us.
A good deal of the concern – lawsuits, even – about safety at concerts is aimed at protecting the audience. In Chicago, the E2 club tragedy ten years ago is STILL a lightning rod for all manner of regulation ostensibly aimed at preventing another stampede of the sort in which 21 people died.
And yet we now have to ask the question if the safety of performers isn’t equally at risk. This video of Jeff Mills performing at Atlantico in Rome went viral over the weekend. It shows a number of projectiles (drinks, you’d have to figure) thrown directly at him – one scoring a direct hit.
(Edit: As mentioned in the comments, the first couple of blurry things darting in the image do look like dancer’s arms or something. Thanks for pointing it out.)
The comments are mostly in Italian, and, unfortunately, quite wrong in their self-flagellation. “Only in a country like Italy could this happen, because the Italian is a jerk,” reads one comment. But it’s not just in Italy.
It’s pathetic that we need a Public Service Announcement featuring Jenna Elfman or someone lecturing people that it’s bad to throw projectile weapons at a DJ’s face, okay?
But I guess this is the reality of clubs with stage show-type “booths”, and new fans for whom an electronic music night is indistinguishable from the kind of imaginary punk rock show that really existed mostly in ’80s teen movies.
In the days when bar bands still existed, travelling musicians often told stories about The Gig From Hell, which usually involved playing in a club so rough they strung chicken wire around the stage. The legend (or not-legend) became so iconic that it made an appearance in a memorable scene in The Blues Brothers. Perhaps that’s where we’re going…