When word got out that Romain FX was headed to Jakarta, social media undoubtedly went crazy. Donning his “Make Italo Disco Great Again” shirt on the Instagram announcement post, photos of the French-born, now Hong Kong-based artist circulated majorly among the city’s dance music lovers before finally making their way to local hotspot Zodiac for a night of elated dancing to luscious edits and clubbing gems from the crate digger himself.
We caught up with the Romain FX after chowing down on a bowl of ramen the very next day, inviting him to contribute to The Guest List — and how could we not?
Taking pride in his “rootless background” being raised and travelling all over the globe, Romain FX has absorbed a plethora of influences that he’s meticulously curated into his very own sound. All that manifested into spearheading several fresh concepts such as Fauve Radio (winner of Best Online Radio Station of South East Asia from Mixcloud) and The Pharmacy Record Shop as the first dance music-oriented record store.
His cuts have been picked up by world-renowned names such as DJ Harvey, The Blessed Madonna, Gerd Janson, Horse Meat Disco, Lauer, Tornado Wallace, Orpheu The Wizard and others, echoing at iconic venues such as Berghain/Panorama Bar, Robert Johnson, Dekmantel, Igloo Festival, Pikes and more.
“I’ve already got a few tracks in mind,” he enthusiastically responded to our humble request. So here they are — ten tunes straight from Romain FX himself that chronicle his trip to The Big Durian, filled with obscure classics that represent a number of firsts and an all-out good time.
1 Wave Shape 'Dark Night'
Played this on Mojo Radio for the first time and emotionally really felt this track resumed very well the vibe at that moment in Slits. And I’m currently working on a little edit in commemoration of my Jakarta Trip.
2 Machinations 'My Heart's On Fire (Limited Edition)'
Played the edit that I originally made for my Panorama Bar debut and I saw everyone at the party singing out loud and we started some sort of silent karaoke with Kimoji behind the booth. Fun fact: I found another record from Machination in a Jakarta vinyl shop the day after called 'Do It To Me'.
3 Hot Streak 'Body Work (Super Extended Club Mix) 1984'
This was the third track of my set in Zodiac and it really announced the mood for the rest of the set — the lyrics say it all.
4 Maltitz 'Dolce Fragola'
I have been playing this new release in collaboration with Cracki & Fauve Records from Maltitz at almost all my gigs in Asia, and it fitted the quirky vibes of the venue in Jakarta so well!
5 Pet Shop Boys 'Love is a Bourgeois Construct (Little Boots Discothèque Edit)'
This was a highlight of my set; the first time I took my phone out to film the crowd, people were just hugging and having their hands in the air. Then, after the long one-minute break at around the four-minute mark, people went berserk.
6 Grant Santino 'Try Love'
I mean… Perky Club at Zodiac... I could not not play this one. Spot-on disco for the energy on the dancefloor.
7 Dea Barandana 'Mesopotamia'
A couple of days after the gig, I went to visit Dea’s studio and we hung out with Kevin, talked about everything and nothing, and an interesting secret fact came out about this specific track by Dea released on my label Fauve Records.
Probably one of the tracks I’m the proudest of releasing to this day on Fauve. This track was originally intended for Peggy Gou’s label Gudu Records, but didn’t make the cut as it was not “clubby” enough, but to me, this bomb dropped in a club is a huge mesmerising piece, so I’m happy to have been sloppy seconds.
8 Past Futura 'Hypnotic Faces'
During the trip was the first time I got to catch up face-to-face with Aan aka Past Futura finally after all these years of talking on Instagram.
9 Guy Cuevas 'Gallo Negro (The Ronan Mix)'
As much as this track is from Cuban-born Guy Cuevas, the vibe on this track is the perfect blend between Asian influences and European new wave.
10 The Turtles 'Happy Together (Wade Nichols Edit) 2007'
And of course, last but not least, the closing track of this list, and also the closing track of my gig at Zodiac with Perky Club: Happy Together. It sums up perfectly this feeling of unity and warmth that I received during my trip here in Jakarta.
Romain FX's latest album 'Le Sucre d'Adam' is out now via Paris-based label Cracki Records. Purchase it in vinyl format here.
Amira Waworuntu is Mixmag Asia’s Editor, follow her on Instagram.