We’ve all heard the adage about timing trumping talent, but if Roosevelt is any indication, some people can stop the clock and make their own luck. Cologne-based producer and DJ Marius Lauber chose his presidential alias on a whim so he could play his first gig. Many sold-out shows later, Lauber delivers Roosevelt’s first LP, and it couldn’t have arrived at a more fortuitous time, when bands like S U R V I V E have generated new interest in doomy synth music. On these 12 tracks, Roosevelt imbues disco-pop with masterful synth layering influenced by Neu! and Ash Ra Tempel. The result hits a sweet spot between the works of John Carpenter and St. Pepsi, and Phoenix’s “Fences”—a moody, Balearic record primed for dour dance floors full of people trying hard to not try too hard.
The excellent “Night Moves” beams seamlessly from pure pop to stalwart shuffle as Lauber guides the sunset (“There’s no reason to hide/ You know the night goes on and on”). The meteoric synth flourishes on “Wait Up” crash into the hook, then carry its funk debris onward. “Fever” takes the looping synth from “Daytona” and transforms it from skeleton to superhuman, baptizing the chorus with a cascade of five notes. In a post-Stranger Things world, fervor for atmospheric synth music is at its peak. Roosevelt takes that demon and makes it dance.