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Raze de Soare – Albatros

Published September, 2014
by Easterndaze

“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in the sense that all of the members are 25 years and younger, thus can barely remember this “magic” time), which have been replaced by ruthless neoliberalism in post-communist Europe.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.