Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes [STRUT111CD]

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Strut, in conjunction with Ambassadors Reception and Future Nuggets, presents the first ever retrospective of fabled band Rodion G.A., one of Romania’s best kept musical secrets of the last 30 years. As a band, Rodion G.A. were a unique phenomenon in their homeland at the time, operating in their own universe during a prolific period of recording from 1978 to 1984 at a time of significant political repression under the Ceausescu regime. Bandleader, Rodion Ladislau Rosca, was an enigma. As half-Hungarian, half-Romanian, he lived near the border in Cluj, a city with a healthy music culture which had spawned important prog rock bands incuding Cromatic, Experimental Quintet and Semnal M. Despite the political conditions, a music scene existed in Romania, mainly within a network of festivals around the country and in seaside towns at restaurants and clubs.

From the start, Rodion was concerned with his own style of composition and set himself apart from the predominant rock sounds that dominated Romanian music during the late 60s. Technically and in his compositions, he was obsessed with every detail. His first sessions were recorded during 1969-1972 – simple, sparse and haunting pieces using reel to reel recorders, based around vocals, guitars and improvised drums. In 1975-6, Rosca formed Rodion G.A., the G.A. comprising band members Gicu Frca. and Adrian Cpraru. Rosca had amassed equipment and became a DIY tech wizard, improvising his own techniques of composing using reel to reels. Surrounded by three or four Tesla tape machines, he would record beats and guitar on one channel of the tape, then stop and add other instruments on the other a raw means of multi-tracking. He would use the other machines to add effects and delays on both instruments and vocals. Other tools in his armoury included an East German Vermona drum machine, a toy Casio VL Tone and a small Russian organ to which he added phaser, flanger and delay pedals. From the start, the band’s sound was incomparable to other contemporaries – dense electronic sounds, raw programmed rhythms, intricate arrangements, prog and classical touches.

Fast forward to 2012 when the myth of Rodion G.A. came to the attention of excellent Romanian production and DJ crew, Future Nuggets, a collective as dedicated to unearthing Romania’s musical past as they are forging new sounds steeped in the country’s traditions.

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Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes [STRUT111CD]

Eleven Pond – Assemblage [DE045]

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The long lost sophomore album by Eleven Pond is finally out on Dark Entries. The band formed during the mid-80s in Rochester, NY, while attending art school, and were brought together by their shared love of 4AD and Factory Records. They released their debut LP “Bas Relief” in 1986, reisued in 2009. Before breaking up in October 1987, the band recorded eight songs that would sit in abandoned storage containers for over 25 years. “Assemblege” collects these multi-track recordings, which were originally made between March 1987 and July 1987. The lineup for this period was James Tabbi (vocals, acoustic guitar), Jeff Gallea (bass, drum programs, vocals, synthesizer), Jack Schaefer (electric guitar), Dan Brumley (sequences, samples, vocoder) and new member Tim Masick (electronic drums). “Assemblage” is a logical progression from “Bas Relief” and will satisfy listeners who were left wanting more. The songs are driven by strong melodic basslines, atmospheric synth washes, and textural guitars. James’ signature new wave vocals sound more British than American, recalling the best of New Order or Depeche Mode. Tim Masick’s drum programs add an electro element to Eleven Pond’s DIY sound. Their primary influences were Joy Division, Fad Gadget, and Echo and the Bunnymen, as well another obscure American college rock band, For Against.

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Eleven Pond – Assemblage [DE045]

Facit – Mat Åt Duvorna EP [CITI010]

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Facit is the brainchild of Joakim Karlsson hailing from Gothenburg. Featuring both Karlsson and the lovely Mai Nestor on vocals, Facit is quintessential melancholic Swedish wave at its finest. Exquisitely produced, the EP is a minimal synth wave gem, drawing some inspiration from French Chanson as well.

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Facit – Mat Åt Duvorna EP [CITI010]

Popsimonova – Popsimonova [ET027/GOOILAND009]

Popsimonova is the new upcoming queen of cold electro (wave) … her tracks are cold but with lots of energy… intelligent constructed tracks to make you move but also to makeyou take a step back and let the music work on you in different ways… this is what they call electro beyond the former Iron Curtain…and this is what we move to on any good electro party…

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Popsimonova – Popsimonova [ET027/GOOILAND009]

Ekman – Nervous [ET026/GOOILAND008]

Hailing from Holland Ekman has been haunting the dancefloors for some time now with his deformed acid influenced dark and nasty slow electro and techno tunes… his music is fitting in perfect in between drugged out techno and new beat / early techno stuff…  and even some classic electro touches can be found… simply excellent for not your average dance party… but who likes average anyway…

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Ekman – Nervous [ET026/GOOILAND008]