RODNEY CROMWELL – THE WINTER PALACE (REMIXES)
A SPILL EXCLUSIVE EP PREMIERE
It’s been a few years since we featured the music of London electronic artist Rodney Cromwell, but the fact that he will be releasing his latest EP this coming Friday gives us every reason to do so here today. Titled The Winter Palace (Remixes), there are four tracks on offer here and obviously some of them are remixes – but not all… Folks will also revel in the title track (albeit the radio edit thereof). The Winter Palace is also rounded out by one original track.
With washes of synths, strings, tinkering electronic piano, detached vocals and layered harmonies delivered in Cromwell’s lush baritone, The Winter Palace evokes an icy cold soundscape. Where the title track of his previous Memory Box album is about losing the power of recall, The Winter Palace is about trying to forget a lost love, but being haunted by them in his memory. Sonically, the song sits between classic new-wave artists like Joy Division or OMD and more contemporary acts like Ladytron and Black Marble.
The reworks entail collaborations with two other emerging UK electronic acts – Norfolk electro-chanteuse Gemma Cullingford and Brighton-based synthwave act Infra Violet. Both remixes are superb and the first of the two takes the biggest prize for turning up groove to dancefloor status. Gemma Cullingford (formerly of Sink Ya Teeth) injects a unique darker coldwave take on the original, blending experimental electronica, brittle new wave, and noughties electro clash, whereas Infra Violet’s remix spins the track into a duet between Cromwell and lead singer Beth Munroe, creating a sweeping cinematic soundscape with layers of reverb, 80’s Simmons drums-sounds and soaring synths from Toby Campen.
The final original track – “Rod, Jane and Freddy” (named after the performance group from the ‘80s kids show Rainbow) – combines squelchy vintage synths with a rumbling krautrock beat.
But this new offering reaffirms what we have known all along – Rodney Cromwell is one of the world’s leading lights of retro-future synthpop, a certain status that even Brexit can’t take away from the UK.
Produced at Acme Hall Studios in Brooklyn by producer Rich Bennett (Roman Angelos, The Shaggs, Mahogany, Limoncello, Hologram Teen), The Winter Palace was recorded in Cromwell’s home studio in Catford, South London. Since debuting with the Age of Anxiety album, Cromwell has been featured in NME, Electronic Sound, Huffington Post, Paste, Shindig!, Louder Than War, The Big Takeover, Magic RPM, Post-Punk.com and Bandcamp Daily. National radio play extends BBC 6 Music in the UK to also include RTE in Ireland, airplay in Tokyo, and RNE3 in Spain, for whom he recorded a live session.
Rodney Cromwell live is a joyful mixed-media extravaganza, incorporating analogue synths, video visuals and live instrumentation, interjected by Rodney’s “offbeat wit” (NME). Described “like a spiritual experience”, he has shared the stage with icons such as A Flock of Seagulls, Damo Suzuki, Pram, Death & Vanilla, Rowetta, M!R!M and Steve Davis. In 2022, he recorded a live session for Electronic Sound and supported Blancmange on a number of dates, further cementing his reputation as one of the most exciting live acts on the electronic music scene.
As of April 28, The Winter Palace (Remixes) EP will be available everywhere digitally, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. Then, in June 2023, Cromwell embarks on a debut headline tour, supported by Happy Robots label-mate Roman Angelos for all dates. Tickets may be obtained at www.happyrobots.co.uk/tickets.
Enjoy the video for the lead track and other recent output:
The Winter Palace (Remixes)
(Happy Robots Records)
Release Date: April 28, 2023