Raze de Soare - Albatros
3 weeks ago, 30 September 2014  ·   2 notes

"In Romania we have the advantage of oriental culture, it was close and everybody talks about it as if it was something bad. But it’s good, we have an advantage. It is a type of psychology, you have extra programming, you have oriental programming, not only German, French or Slavic. You also have Turkish programming. It helps your body, your mind," says Andrei Dinescu, the charismatic co-founder of both the imprint/collective Future Nuggets as well as numerous bands, including the manelegogic project Steaua de Mare and the “prison band” Shamnelism. Imporant within the context of their ouevre is also the collaboration with Romanian electronic legend Rodion, whom they brought out of obscurity in effect reviving his urge to make music after two decades.

Raze de Soare bears all the signifiers of their trademark “maneletronics” - taking cues from the bustling but traditional Romanian lăutărească - the Oriental motifs, the nostalgia and longing, mixed with 20th century electronics, a sort of psychedelic 70ties or 80ties chilled sound, starting off with dope bass and squeaky synth sounds. It could be made in the retromania of present day, as well as dug out from the vaults of Romanian synth pop. Once, when I visited them in their Old Town flat in Bucharest, they mentioned the phantom nostalgia for the heady days of the 90ties (phantom in the sense that all of the members are 25 years and younger, thus can barely remember this “magic” time), which have been replaced by ruthless neoliberalism in post-communist Europe.

Most of their records, especially released under the Steaua de Mare and Plevna monikers, remind of dreamed out holidays by the Black Sea, coated in hazy sunshine, devoid of any traces of the currently en-vogue darkness and angularity in contemporary electronic music. No wonder, the English translation of their latest release, Raze de Soare, is actually “sunshine”. The identity of the project is as of yet unknown to me, but judging by the penchant for Future Nuggets for their numerous aliases and projects, it could be their latest sun-kissed endeavour.

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Zombies, corporations and disturbing truths
4 months ago, 28 May 2014  ·   1 note

imageThis is the story of apocalyptic times for Bog in ancestral lands of his country. Bog lives in Romania, Bucharest, a young girl half-naked and wild. Her body struggles between the stars of Europe and America’s omniscient eye, surrounded by hostility from her sisters Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa.

A pseudo-mythical past, ideologies and inconvenient truths feature in the 40minute audiovisual bonanza entitled Cocalar Cosmos - National Geografic soul mix. Ceaușescu appears with his gargantuan palace, “Dacian hypnotized zombies”, corp/cores (Chevron and Rosia Montana, which spawned a wave of civic unrest in Romania last year with their environmentally damaging business activities in the country), as well as objectification of women. Bucolic landscape images are interspersed with graphic porn images…

Bogdan Marcu, the creator of both the music and the visuals, has toyed around with subverting nationalism and Romanian national identity. His bona fide insane mashups (check out his Easterndaze one here) encompass Romanian music - be it the much hated manele or the more traditional and contemporary one - with anything and everything that catches his fancy. In that way, he alludes to Negativland and their plunderphonic activism.

Cocalar Cosmos - National Geografic soul mix from LocalRec on Vimeo.

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Východiska Xmas mix
9 months ago, 27 December 2013  ·   4 notes

Every week on Wednesday Czech Radio's Wave station, we try to present a project, label, in a short interview format. Our show Východiska (you can check the archive of the show here) aims to map the latest happenings on the independent music scene in Central and Eastern Europe. We have created a special mix featuring our favourite labels and project, and asked them to send us their upcoming releases. Here is what came out of it.

1. Superskin – Drown
2. Lightning Glove – Brave New World
3. Plevna – Imperios
4. Shamanelism - Shamanelism
5. Steaua de Mare - Babadag
6. Katraven – Stars
7. Obete Sekty – Čo ak sa nevrátim /noitt remix/
8. Jonáš Gruska - Site specific resonances II
9. Dead Janitor – Divided
10. Lutto Lento – Vengo
11. Skan-zen – Tothem
12. Carla Under Water - Cocoon Boy
13. Alpár - Psychedelic Leftovers For Sunday Brunch (Chapter ‘Definitely Bad Trip’)
14. Nightmare Carpet - untitled
15. Kucharczyk – Green Green Kick
16. Sillyconductor - Piano

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Nava Spatiala’s - noisenautics Vol​.​4
11 months ago, 2 November 2013  ·   0 notes

The Romanian project Nava Spatiala, whose Miron Ghiu has done a fantastic remix for fellow Romanians Somnoroase Pasarele whose album ABECD appeared our Baba Vanga label, are one of the proselytizers of dark techno and its industrial, offbeat guises championed by Downwards’ Samuel Kerridge or Blackest Ever Black.

They hover between the eerie, paranoid territory of narcoleptic soundscapes, industrial and meandering atmospherics. Self-proclaimed “noisenautics”, Nava Spatiala is a duo “relying on apparently chaotic, unintentional and improvisational use of the spectrum.” Much like psychonauts with “mind-altering substances”, Nava Spatiala are experimenting with mind-altering sonics, delivering a haunting, disembodied world devoid of any hope and solace, but which is at the same time hypnotizing and hard to leave. The drone-tastic tracks are a journey - both figuratively and literally - ranging from 6 to 18 minutes.

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Somnoroase Păsărele - ABECD - pataphysics technoulipo
1 year ago, 20 September 2013  ·   1 note


Somnoroase Păsărele, named after a famous eponymous poem by a Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu, is a duo from is a duo from Romania, based between the coastal city of Constanta and the capital Bucharest. Gili Mocanu is an established painter and together with Elena Album, also a visual artist, they have started a musical endeavor, quirky and tactical, organic yet otherwordly, witty and utterly serious at the same time. “Five years ago I began to create music again, after a 15 years break. Before the break I used all kinds of objects of resonance for instruments, including self-made classical instruments, accompanied by pre-recorded, distorted sounds played on magnetic tapes. Experimental music would be the term,” they told us in an interview a few years ago

SOMNOROASE PASARELE - ABECD from Baba Vanga on Vimeo.

Their musical output is conceptual, ranging from twenty minute long medleys to recontextualisations of Caucescu’s speech. The sonics are idiosyncratic, alien mutant sounds that are mysterious and beautiful at the same time. The musical process is intuitive and irreverent: “First of all, our music is disharmonic from the beginning. I am familiar with the piano keyboard (even though I can’t play in the classical sense, I can produce the sounds accordingly with my feelings) so the score goes from basic intuitions played on the piano. The architectural formula of the songs is mostly a repetitive pattern, sequentially entering the orbit of other cycles of patterns,” says Gili.

Their latest album, released on 18 September on Baba Vanga, is also a conceptual record, with their own artwork. “ABECD is the title of the album, is constructed by 5 colours, each of them is also a letter.The songs are short and simple, the colored squares game resemble to the structure of the music,” says Gili. “All around, musical dunes for Fata Morgana, Yeti in a chairlift, Sisyphus pushing Prometheus in a convertible, Gili does ‘pataphysics technoulipo for the gymnastics of heavenly bodies in the sky and other macrotonal didascalia that remain to be demonstrated,” Octav Avramescu.

Listen to the whole album here:

And a remix by fellow Romanian Miron Ghiu:

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