Romanian Artists to Watch in 2021

2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before. Without the interaction on the dancefloor all this seems pointless, but we have to stay resilient and hope for the better.

Looking at the local scene in Romania, during these times of hardship with movement restriction and curfew for almost the entire part of the year, with people fears and anxiety, there was almost to nothing happening in terms of events. But, the Romanian artists proved to be fairly active in the studio. We have here a summary of releases from Romanian artists that caught our attention in 2020 and a sneakpeek in what’s to come in the first part of 2021.

Continue reading “Romanian Artists to Watch in 2021”

Romanian Artists to Watch in 2021

Byard Lancaster – My Pure Joy [STRUT240]

 

LANCASTER, Byard - My Pure Joy

Lancaster had initially cut his musical teeth with the avant-garde on New York’s Lower East Side in the 1960s and in Paris during the ‘70s but, throughout his career, his path was built around community engagement, positivity and “the Philly jazz sound, Germantown style.” He became an ambassador for the music of the City Of Brotherly Love, starting his own Dogtown label, helping launch the Philly Jazz imprint and campaigning tirelessly to improve the circumstances of the city’s street musicians. Lancaster’s sessions for Black Fire were planned following a gig at Caverns Jazz Club in Washington DC. “Jimmy Gray of Black Fire and I originally met during the ‘riotous blisters’ of the late Sixties there,” explained Lancaster. “We became the best of friends.” Backed by a band of Philly musicians including percussionist Keno Speller and Baba Robert Crowder (drummer for Olatunji and Art Blakey), the album also featured the Drummers From Ibadan led by Tunde Kuboye, another influential figure dedicated to community jazz with whom Lancaster had bonded while teaching in Lagos. The result was a free-flowing set of spirituality and positivity, built around full band groove workouts, solo pieces and heavy African roots. “We had big fun documenting this music,” remembered Lancaster. The message of the album remains as relevant today as ever, “I dedicate this album to all African Americans in the USA. To the youth, I ask ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’”

vinyl / CD

Byard Lancaster – My Pure Joy [STRUT240]

CV Vision – Tropical [SONLP005]

You could think of the collection of tracks here as a library record of sorts, and each track inhabits its own universe. Tropical fits various moods and situations, and it could soundtrack any number of activities at home or on a dancefloor – whether real, imaginary, or hallucinated. Strangely enough, it sounds like it could have been constructed from obscure Italian library breaks, when instead every instrument has been played and panned, several times over, across magnetic tape. The genesis of many of these tracks began when CV Vision moved to Berlin in 2014. His flat had a small chamber where he could fit a drum set, so he treated the walls with foam, and in true DIY style, dived headfirst into recording these tracks. It was the natural next step on an audio adventure that first began when CV Vision picked up the guitar in his teens, and a couple years later started recording with friends in his home town of Bayreuth. Fast forward ten years and here is his debut – a culmination of practising chops and learning instruments, mastering recording techniques and fine-tuning the CV Vision sound. It’s a sound that condenses elements of acid rock, psych soul, library funk and new wave oddities into a movie soundtrack for your mind. It’s a journey from ‘60s west coast LSD-drenched excursions to ‘80s synth and post-punk mutations. Tropical is a plunge into another time, another music you can simply swim around in and explore.

listen

CV Vision – Tropical [SONLP005]

The Paradox – Counter Active [AX096]

When a spark ignites between two musicians, the state of flow can be achieved. Usually, a fleeting sensation, but when captured, it is an unstoppable force. The coming together of Jeff Mills and Jean-Philippe Dary came from a collaborative project with the late great Tony Allen and created chemistry instantly. Both being cognizant of the skilled innate improvisation that was happening in small jam sessions, they conceived the concept for their collaborative project: The Paradox. They believed that this uncompromising freedom and the manifestation of new ideas allowed them to reach a higher level of spiritual consciousness within their work. Recorded in real-time; these compositions reflect captured spontaneous actions which concede honesty and truth.

listen

The Paradox – Counter Active [AX096]

Move D – House Grooves Vol. 1 [ATJ008]

Move D has seen a massive career over the years, starting with his early days as a German pioneer of House Music. In 1993 this was one of his first 12“ records on Time Unlimited which was mostly known for Trance and Hard Trance. This surely is a cult record and has become highly sought after over the last ten years. Its unique style of sampling comined with an uplifting, basement style production is still mindbending and timeless. This reissue was remastered by David’s long-term friend Lopazz for a full range sound experience.

listen

Move D – House Grooves Vol. 1 [ATJ008]

VA – Same Bitches [SMBX01]

HANDMADE/VCO/RON WILSON/DEREK PLASLAIKO - SMBX 01

The raves at Same Bitches have not changed much since back in March 2014 at OHM, Berlin. Every second month on the first Saturday at noon sharp the residents Handmade, Ron Wilson, Derek Plaslaiko, VCO and Manuela Mayoral play each a three hour set and after everyone is through the Dj who warmed up goes into the next round continuing the running order with the usual ending in a full on back-to-back orgy. The occasional special guest never gets announced, it is mainly the same bitches in charge. After seven years it has come to the point of expanding the realm and the crew decided on releasing a record. The tracks of the first Same Bitches record featuring Handmade, VCO, Ron Wilson and Derek Plaslaiko represent their diverse yet homogenous sound of the parties and arrive just on time for their anniversary in March. Hopefully soon the party can continue and we can all enjoy the music and dance together again…

listen

VA – Same Bitches [SMBX01]

Foreign Policy – Watching Existence [X-IMG20]

FOREIGN POLICY - Watching Existence

Foreign Policy is the electronic music project of Berlin based artist Thomas Ricard, co-founder of the Area Z collective. ”Watching Existence” marks his debut release as well as his first 12”, a six track journey of scorched electro industrial & techno body music operating as a conduit for his social observations on the modern condition, human rights and civil liberties.  The 12″ EP also includes a remix by SARIN.

listen

Foreign Policy – Watching Existence [X-IMG20]

Psyclones – Tape Music 1980 – 1984 [NB005]

PSYCLONES - Tape Music 1980-1984

Since the early 1980s the Eureka, California based duo Psyclones freak out in music. As one of the most long-standing DIY duos, Brian Ladd and Julie Frith created a body of work, that flirts with Ambient, experimental industrial sounds, New Wave, Post-Punk, Synth-Pop, and all that electric jazz. Besides a few hard-to-find vinyl releases, they published their music regularly via cassette tapes on labels like their own imprint Ladd-Frith or other famed 1980’s underground tape labels like Cause And Effect from Indianapolis, legendary San Francisco based Subterranean Records, Sound of Pig from New York, Insane Music from Belgium or the Spanish label Auxilio De Cientos to name but a few. Now, Notte Brigante is dropping “Tape Music 1980 – 1984”, a detailed compiled sampler on Psyclones early output, that was scattered over diverse tape releases. A nine tracks long trip into the work of a highly underrated band, that never lost their drive to explore new avenues in sound.

listen

Psyclones – Tape Music 1980 – 1984 [NB005]

Plugpoint Music – Last Chance [MW076]

Minimal Wave present the reissue of a rare self-released record by Plugpoint Music called ‘Last Chance’. Plugpoint Music was the minimal synth project of Reiner Ossmann, who recorded the 12 songs on this album in his home studio in Germany in 1987 and released them as an edition of 200 copies. This gem of a record was never properly distributed and so essentially disappeared until it began circulating amongst various collectors during the last 15 years. It’s a true minimal synth classic in all of its eccentricity and lack of self-consciousness.

listen

Plugpoint Music – Last Chance [MW076]

Borusiade – Purge [TRPLM007]

Romanian producer and DJ Miruna Boruzescu aka Borusiade knows how to create ethereal tracks, somewhere between post-wave, techno and industrial vibes. “Purge”, the new EP for Tripalium Corp, is about heart-break in forced isolation, when the only way to stay sane is purging through music and lyrics. From the 80s synth of “Let Go” to the experimental ten-minutes-trip “Haunted Evolution”, these five tracks are talking about of one’s coping systems in extreme emotional situations, hope and power to move on and last but not least, learned lessons and empowerment.

listen

Borusiade – Purge [TRPLM007]

N-Gynn – Another Planet EP [PCLUB008]

N-Gynn returns to Pleasure Club for his third outing on the label, this time with four electronic compositions designed for interplanetary exploration. Expect mind-warping house, psychonautic techno and otherworldly electro sounds, referencing the past whilst offering a new vision of the future.

listen

N-Gynn – Another Planet EP [PCLUB008]

Benedek – Mr. Goods LP [LIES162]

LA’s Benedek delivers a killer old school house LP influenced by 78th Street era Beltram, Latin freestyle dubs and WBMX drum tracks. This is street beat at it’s finest and Benedek executes with precision. Classy and catchy, with a knack for melody yet still grimey as hell and full of beats you can mix. Primetime ”86 mix show material brought to life in the present tense, carrying on with tradition while flipping it upside down.

listen

Benedek – Mr. Goods LP [LIES162]

VA – Tales From Chicago [TALES01]

New vinyl piece from Italian label named Tales. Featuring four Chicago producers that span 3 generation. This release represent a taste of the many sounds of Chicago: blending house with acid, moving along with the sublte, and making sounds full with less. Chicago is the promised land, four stories from where it all began featuring Gene Hunt, Ed Nine, G Marcell and Hakim Murphy.

listen

VA – Tales From Chicago [TALES01]

backtotheparty – Acid Life [BTTP001]

backtotheparty, focused on restructuring and representing, without compromising the original spirit. Three cuts as versatile as they are captivating, from a crunching acid-laden powerhouse to a jazz funk bomb, rounded off with a hip house flecked, percussive groover.

listen

backtotheparty – Acid Life [BTTP001]

VA – Boots & Legs Vol.3 [BOOT003]

It’s the start of a new era for the cobbers, as they present their first compilation of 100% original music. Cementing the label’s New Age Italo manifesto, these four tracks straddle neon-tinted nostalgia and sleek futurism. Sounds from yesteryear, for the dancefloors of tomorrow.

listen

VA – Boots & Legs Vol.3 [BOOT003]

Quattro Valvole – Into The Night [FRZ002]

QUATTRO VALVOLE - Into The Night

Quattrovalvole is the future/past/disco/drive project designed by Joone and Miss Zagato. Four on the floor Italo-disco, glossy 80s new wave pick us up in this after dark lifestyle EP. These are three high class disco tunes with real song craft at their heart.

listen

Quattro Valvole – Into The Night [FRZ002]

Work Money Death – The Space in Which the Uncontrollable Unknown Resides, Can Be the Place from Which Creation Arises [ATALP022]

A transcendental journey that takes in meditative musical mantras, sprawling tenor sax improvisation and mesmeric percussion, the new album by Work Money Death, titled ”The Space In Which The Uncontrollable Unknown Resides Can Be The Place From Which Creation Arises”. Originally conceived as a large scale group performance of a single extended piece the album was written by Tony Burkill and bassist Neil Innes through a series of extended improvisations similar to the extended meditation sessions that both musicians practice. These sessions enabled a state of flow through which Tony’s compositional approach to improvisation yielded meaningful melodic fragments that would be returned to and developed in a way similar to someone returning to the mantra. Also featuring on the record are drummer Sam Hobbs, pianist Adam Fairhall percussionist Pete Williams.

vinyl / CD

Work Money Death – The Space in Which the Uncontrollable Unknown Resides, Can Be the Place from Which Creation Arises [ATALP022]