Inspired from Romanian cultural heritage, be it film, dance or musical instruments, Folclor Abstract is a glance back to the roots in search of a meaningful future. The first track is inspired from the soundtrack composed by Cornelia Tăutu for the Romanian historical adventure film “Buzduganul cu trei peceți” (1977). The film presents a politicized version of the events that led in 1600 to the unification of the three Romanian countries, in the aftermath of a victorious battle against the Ottoman invasion (Călugăreni, 1595). Dance your way through as the story unfolds. Dans cu balans is the result of a personal fascination for the cimbalom, an instrument of high versatility, frequently used in the Romanian fiddle music. In contrast to orchestral performances, which adhere to the composer’s notes to reproduce a work faithfully, fiddling is also open to improvisation and tends to produce rhythms that focus on dancing, with associated quick note changes. Searching for inspiration within Romanian folklore, I found Ivan Braga who was on his own pursuit of cultural heritage, experimenting with a variety of traditional instruments and rhythms from different regions of the country. Doba lu’ Braga is Ivan’s modern take on Romanian drum patterns performed on a traditional Moldavian drum (dobă) with an uplifting twist and arrangement for the dancefloor experience. Reverie is an expression of the creator’s state of mind. Lost in thought, stolen by imagination, haunted by memories, liberated by dreams
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.
The last few years were quite good for the electronic music world and again in 2019 there was a lot a quality music coming out and revitalization of electro, broken beat, new beat and EBM continued. Looking at the situation locally, unfortunately 2019 feels like a step back for the Romanian scene after three years of growth and development. The three pillars of the Romanian electronic music are the same Borusiade, Cosmin TRG and Khidja and very little besides them.
In the beginning of the summer of 2019, AM returns with four exotic edits and reworks to dance to on grass. Solima is a pitched down lush and spatial Afro gem that will cause instant euphoria on any dance floor, followed by a faster and uplifting African jam called Ali Baba. Both have that late 80’s synthetic vibe we dig so much.On the flip there are two tracks which are constructed upon respectively an Egyptian and a Turkish sample. Badaouiah reminds of Carl Craig’s edit of Congo Man, builds up slowly and gets highly hypnotic and deep, while the second track Mustapha rolls out a quirky rhythm pattern with a hysteric Turkish clarinet sample.
After a good 2017 in electronic music, the trend continued in 2018 with more electro, broken beat, new beat, industrial and EBM, with new artists jumping on this train, so I’m curious where this will go in 2019.
On the local scene, in Romania, things are evolving in a slightly slower pace, but still in a good direction.
Articulat is the new artist name of Ovidiu Stanciu, a Romanian dj/producer living in Rotterdam. Under the moniker Manikin, he worked on several concept albums with titles like Popular Mechanics, Taxim and Grandma’s Attic Revival over the last couple of years. The A-side includes three thriving and pounding slow-beat bangers, while the B-side shows a Articulat’s more versatile style. Expect experimental electronic songs inspired by themes like Steampunk and Romanian folklore, very precisely engineered to experience storytelling in the most physical way.