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2011 in Romanian music by Tom Wilson

Published January, 2012
by Easterndaze

Tom Wilson is a British Bucharest based journalist, BBC radio correspondent and DJ and one of our connections in the city while we were there on our exploration journey in 2010.

What’s the highlight for you in Romania’s music scene?
The highlight of my year had to be either the Rokolectiv festival or Romania’s continuing global take-over of the charts with Europop artists like Inna, Radio Killer and Alexandra Stan. You literally couldn’t turn on the radio in the UK or the US without hearing one of them – which is a truly great thing for Romania.

It’s better ‘nation branding’ than anything that could be dreamed up by some ad agency. I know it’ll wind people up if I say that Alexandra Stan’s “Get Back (ASAP)’’ was the highlight of my year instead of some obscure netlabel release, but for me, piano-driven laminated europop with utterly incomprehensible lyrics just doesn’t get any better than this. 

Rokolectiv Festival 2011 | documentary from Rokolectiv on Vimeo.

What is the low point for you in Romania’s music scene? 
The low point of the year was the fact that there wasn’t some kind of horrific plague that struck down Romanian parliamentarians that caused them to expire in indescribable agony.

Discovery-new artist of the year /in Romania/?
There’s lots to chose from: Montgomery Clunk has had a great year, and is probably my number one Romanian artist at the moment. Also, the Legendary 1979 Orchestra deserves a mention for having a nice vinyl release, and boys from Future Nuggets put out the superb ”Forever Unreleased“ which has introduced lots of fantastic new producers to the world.

Forever Unreleased Vol. 1 by future nuggets

Local Records also put out some great bits and pieces, with an honorable mention going to Rusu and Flore for their debut EP under the ’Poor Relatives’ moniker, which deserves to get much more press – it’s a release that really rewards repeat listening.

The Future Nuggets guys also unearthed a producer called Rodion who’s been making music for the past 40 years or something. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to chose music from the mid-1970s as my Best New Artist, but I can’t wait to hear what other bits of his stuff they’re going to put out.

Rodion – Cântec Fulger by future nuggets

Personal tips and wishes and plans for 2012?
I’m currently stockpiling food for peak oil / the implosion of the eurozone / zombie apocalypse.