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Foot Signal


The New York and Miami based-duo ROM deliver this CD with 12 wildly energetic instrumental pieces. Pingipung very happily welcome Roberto Carlos Lange and Matt Crum to their artist family. ROM is the vibrant collaboration of two sound artists who have been on the radar for a long time, as members of beloved projects such as Savath & Savalas (Warp, with Prefuse 73's Guillermo Scott Herren), Comic Wow (Asthmatic Kitty, with Tortoise's John McEntire) or Roberto's solo project Helado Negro. ROM's first appearance marked their self-titled debut on the Japanese WIMM imprint in 2005. Despite having been recorded over the span of three years, and in various locations in different cities, ROM's sophomore Foot Signal effort is an entirely cohesive sonic outing. That they used mostly broken instruments throughout the process only reinforces that soundscape they sought to create. That they played them even with their feet as the title reveals gives us a slight visual hint at the anarchy of the sessions. Could they have used an organ that stayed in tune? Probably. But taping its keys down and pressing record in hopes to document something at all usable is part of the random fabric that makes ROM's music so incredibly transcendent. Largely recorded with Will Loftin at Shangri-la Studios in Atlanta, Roberto Lange and Matt Crum captured scores of live improvised sessions onto two-inch tape. The two also set up shop in apartments, studios, and storage units in Miami, Savannah, New York -- even Jeremy Lemos' Chicago studio to try and document the inspiration they felt lurking. The sessions were then labored over at home studios, shared over the Internet, processed and reorganized until this collection of 12 instrumental pieces emerged. Standout track "Whale Vomit" does not sound like the regurgitated mess it purports itself to be. Instead, it is the perfect combination of unwavering percussion, vibraphone flourishes, and studio-manipulation wizardry. It's the kind of stuff that makes ROM so darn exciting.