It had been advertised as a masterpiece for months: The debut album of the New Yorker who has recently moved to Berlin had been sceptically eyed, but is now on the shelves and in all ears.
Analogue drum machines in RobertÂ´s house provide for a certain vintage-attitude similar to Larry Head – I refuse to use the inflationary description »deep« here. The piano chords, melodic on one hand, highly fragmented on the other, are full of musicality. Percussion elements, which are arranged with an obsession for details, can be heard on several levels just as other small bits and pieces, which break the soft, sometimes melancholy sounds. Back to the drum machines, though: They are the basis for all the small, jingling ingredients, are fed as well from Detroit as from Chicago, but they leave the other elements enough space to breathe and are produced so concentratedly that one wished, the album would also exist as a »Percussion only«. HeÂ´s a hell of a guy, this John Roberts, who rises to be the patriarch of the »Dial«-family. A masterpiece? Bigger than that!