Romy At The Regent Theater, Wednesday September 27th 2017
On Wednesday night, the mysterious Romy was opening for a night of industrial electronic dance music at the Regent theater, At first, I couldn’t figure out if she was a man or a woman, she was the latest of course, but the voice coming from behind the thick table of electronics didn’t immediately sound like a woman’s. Not only Romy was deforming her vocals into some frightening creature, but she was furiously beating her electronic pads behind clouds of fog, which, under the red light, looked like the flames of hell or fumes escaping from torrents of fluid lava.
She was surely cooking some hot concoction, her set was very intense, as she played a dense mixture of industrial-electro pop with her silhouette agitating between darkness and red light, as she was restlessly moving with a rare passion. Soon, I was certain Romy was indeed a woman, and the crowd, who was there to see two veterans of the genre, Severed Heads and Front 242, couldn’t detach its eyes from the violent cloud of noise and dark synth. Although her set was relatively short, the songs were diverse and multi-faceted, driving my imagination in all directions. It’s simple, one track was like a cross between the fired-up dancefloors of Beth Ditto and the volatile beats of Lykke Li, wrapped into a thick industrial layer. During the next one, Romy’s deep voice was echoing inside the venue over obsessive beats, before switching to a power pop chorus à la Lady Gaga copiously filling the space around. There were dark beats all set-long combined with an omnipresent synth that could even bring a 80s Bauhaus nostalgia while her vocals were all over the place, from male-like howls to some Grace Jones sensual growl, with X-rated lyrics borrowed from Peaches. Romy’s epic set was sweating a heavy fever over a sensual and punkish industrial ambiance, whereas she was all alone behind her giant synth-electronic machine.
I haven’t found much about her on line beside the fact she is from Melbourne, but now based in Los Angeles, and has performed under the different monikers of Romy, AGENDER and Macromantics (a hip hop act which demonstrates how versatile she can be). Signed by Kill Rock Stars, she has toured with Lily Allen and MEN, and she is about to release a new record, as she told us at the end of her set. So expect to hear more about the mysterious Romy very soon.