With a lot of passion and love for music, in 2012 at his 22, Marius Lauber started working under the moniker Roosevelt, quietly released his debut single, Sea. A pulsating, hypnotising slither of sun-kissed disco with its own self-made video, it steadily tiptoed across the blog world, eventually reaching the ears of hugely respected electronic pop label Greco-Roman (co-run by Hot Chip's Joe Goddard), who would go on to sign him and subsequently release his debut EP, Elliot.
Sea was the first example of the happenstance that's dotted his career so far, helping him move from playing in guitar bands as a teenager to being one of the most exciting prospects dance music has to offer, as showcased by his forthcoming self-titled debut album (released by Greco-Roman/City Slang). With coverage from the likes of Pitchfork and Thump, over 5 million Spotify streams and 1 Million YouTube plays, support tours with Hot Chip and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and a litany of high-profile festival slots around the world, Lauber has steadily built up a dedicated following drawn to the forward movement of his expansive, dreamy productions.
Written, recorded and produced solely by Lauber over a period of two years, and mixed by Chris Coady (Future Islands / Beach House), ”Roosevelt”, the album, is a pillow-soft hallucinatory dreamscape taking in acid funk, nocturnal reveries and a lilting sense of melancholia.
Playing drums in mainly guitar-heavy school bands in his teenage years, and move to Cologne by himself at the age of 19 permanently shifted his relationship with dance music as he was slowly educated by its hypnotic and steady repetition. His immersion into that world was so complete that he soon became resident DJ at Kompakt’s Total Confusion party with Superpitcher & Michael Mayer. It helped Lauber realise how dance music connects to its audience in a different way to what he'd experienced in his various bands.
“What I really enjoyed about DJ-ing was that you could see the results immediately,” he explains. “Before it was about playing in a cool band and people would come and see it but often there would be no feedback or interaction really between people. That's why I instantly connected to dance music.”
That's not to say that he's completely ditched his guitar past, as all of Roosevelt's songs – from the percussive shuffle of Moving On to the soft shimmer of Close to the undulating disco of Night Moves - feature layers and layers of delicately constructed guitar playing that weaves in and out of metronomic beats and expanding synths.
Roosevelt will be playing this Sonar 2017 in Barcelona Spain, and previous his show, we wanted to ask him few facts of his life, enjoy.
Bizzarre: 5 songs that must be in a playlist?
Soulwax - Missing Wires
Chrome Sparks - The Meaning Of Love
Neon Indian - Polish Girl
Thin Lizzy - Dancing In The Moonlight
Elton John - Tiny Dancer
B: A crazy night to remember?
R: I actually had a fantastic time the last time I was at Sonar in 2013 - which ended on a hotel rooftop watching the sunset.
B: Your favourite place on earth
R: Have to say Barcelona is quite close, but I'm starting to really love Los Angeles. I'm also really happy to live in a smaller, more cozy place like Cologne though. Favourite place in general is probably my studio in Cologne.
B: If you could go back to your past where you will travel and why for?
R: We had a really crazy time in Brazil a few years ago. We stayed in Olinda, which is this weird little colourful town built in the 16th century. We were there right in the Brazilian carnival preparations, so everyone was wearing masks and huge inflatable costums. We felt like hallucinating from the jet lag!
B: What are the artist or music that have inspired you the most to be a musician?
R: Talking Heads, Paul McCartney and David Bowie
B: As producer of your own video for the single: SEA. How was this experience behind cameras?
R: It was great but a lot of work! I'm really hands-on with all my visuals and back then I even was keen to shoot the music video by myself.
I'm quite happy though that I found people to work with that can express the visual mood that I have in mind for the tracks - or sometimes go in a completely new direction.
B: What do you think of giving "names" or "labels" to different styles of music nowadays?
R: I think that's part of music culture - you always try to find labels and genres if you listen to something - just because you automatically compare it to the stuff you already know. It's not a bad thing at all, i think.
B: You will be on tour pretty much all this summer, how do you feel about it and what do you like the most while you travel?
R: I'm really excited about it! I just added a new member to my band so the shows feel like something really new. It's fun to change things to make things still exciting and not to fall into a routine.
B: What do you expect from sonar and your show?
R: I've been to the Sonar Villlage twice now and saw some great shows. Spanish crowds have always been great to me and we had one of the best live experiences ever at Primavera last year. So the stakes are high, but I don't think Sonar will disappoint us.
B: Describe yourself in 3 words?
R: Kick, Snare, Hihat
Roosevelt - Moving On