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Music Review: Roman(US) – The Secret Lives of Trees

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The sound of water… drops falling, in a cascade… foggy woods, in a distant land… these are all feelings that the latest project by Roman(US) evokes with ease. Roman(US) is a duo not unlike The Postal Service, in the sense that it was the result of a long distance musical collaboration. Like their Venezuelan colleagues Masseratti 2Lts, Roman(US), is a family project: on one side, there is Jose Duque (also well known for his work with ZumbaTres), who lives in New Hampshire; on the other side, there is Felix Duque, Jose's cousin, who lives in Barcelona Spain.

The Secret Lives of Trees came as a surprise. It is a complete departure from Jose's previous (jazz) work, falling more under the category of ambient or electronic. The uniquely high-pitched voice of Felix gives the album a very ethnic feel which, coupled with the layers of synthesizers and programmed (yet highly organic-sounding) rhythms, bring Deep Forest, Enigma, and Robert Miles to mind. However, the end result comes closer to serving as the score to a very surreal dream than an actual world music album. Think Massive Attack meets Jeff Buckley and maybe you will come close.

In the end, this is an amazing album to play with low lights, at night or when you need to have music not get in the way, but rather go along… to let you dream it, almost without thinking. For now, the album is available online at CDBaby and iTunes. For more information, visit the band’s MySpace page.

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