2017 proved to be a good year for the electronic music world, from my point of view. With the revival of the old school electro, with acid, industrial and afrobeat still hot and EBM growing stronger, 2017 was a very interesting year music-wise.
Regarding the Romanian producers, things are also moving in a good direction. There are no new faces to the game, but the ones already there are leaving their mark and their music heard more and more.
It has been 4 years since I made the last ‘review of the year …’ or ‘best of … ‘ list and it was not planned for 2017, but looking back at last year somehow the music scene shifted in a good way. From the music point of view, I think we are living better times now, we can see a revival of the old school electro and acid house, afrobeat is still hot, EBM is going strong.
Debut longplayer by Romanian DJ and producer Jay Bliss. After a few years of releasing quite a bunch of EPs on various labels, Jay Bliss has pulled down the throttle for a while. This doesn’t mean that he took time off from the studio, on the contrary, he perfected his signature sounds. Spending time to bake his own imprints aswell, its only natural that his first LP will see the light of day on Stomping Grounds. Lush and organic pads, playful textures and attention to details are the building blocks of this introspective work, divided into 6 pieces.
Its fairly safe to say that Jay Bliss is on fire at the moment. Now he takes time out from his recently launched “Stomping Grounds” imprint to follow up on his 2013 appearance with OCH on “The Remix EP”. Here the warm, punchy 9 minute A-side creates a highly seductive floor-tension. Flip the disc over for two modern take’s on minimalism, possibly paying homage to Studio One or Basic Channel with persistent rhythms, undertones of original dub, shaken and stirred with plenty off Jay Bliss magic.
photos by Cătălina Drăghici
Heavy groovin 3 tracker. New imprint run by Jay Bliss, trying to find the balance between house and techno, retro and future, art and dance.
OCH has a strong pedigree of collaborations with fellow underground stalwart Jay Bliss the latest to share space on a Autoreply record with the label boss. Bliss should be known to many as the co-owner of Electrique Boutique alongside Markus Homm, for a long time the only vinyl outlet in Romania, and his discography makes for impressive reading these days. Recent times have seen Mr Bliss share record space with the likes of Skudge and Petre Inspirescu on respected imprints like 20:20 Vision, All Inn, Hudd Traxx and Fear Of Flying. AUTO 015 kicks off with a bouncy rework of OCH’s “Scammell” from Bliss featuring sub-aqua sound-scapes and sonar blips on an instantly playable US inspired groove. OCH’s original has a distinctly liquid approach possibly referencing the work of LTJ Bukem and Good Looking over techno framework. Jay’s main offering “Men Are From Mars” is sexy controlled acid which OCH shifts up a gear for peak time floor-play layering the original TB303 patterns to thundering climax. Road-tested on Eleven Club, Tokyo’s Alpha System’s custom speakers.
Here we have a very special installment of The Hipodrome Of Music podcast series, featuring a guy that I was hunting for a long time to get it on Hipodrome. Iulian Cazan aka Jay Bliss is one of the persons and djs that had a great influence on my evolution in the electronic music, opening my mind to new musical horizons when moving to Sibiu 8 years ago.
Since then, Iuli has moved from being one of Romania’s youngest dj talents to one of the most respected Romanian producers and djs, with releases on labels like Diynamic, Hudd Traxx, Fear of Flying, All Inn and 20:20 Vision and collaborations with fellow Romania starlets Mihai Popoviciu, Petre Inspirescu and international artist like Och, Markus Homm and Skudge. Also he had shows all around Europe, from UK and Spain to Germany, Holland and Russia.
Romanian Jay Bliss makes his debut on 20:20 Vision Recordings with ‘Pluto’, in his style sitting somewhere between house and techno, with strong Detroit roots. ‘Pluto’ it’s a smooth and crisp tech house roller that recalls classic 2020 releases gone. On the flip, Skudge gives their own take on ‘Pluto’, a different beast to the original, all stuttering percussion and menacing strings, a perfect counterbalance to the original version.
All Inn represents the Romanian Jay Bliss in the 8th round of Black series. “Kokkoo For Coco Puffs” gives a repetitive hypnosis to the dancefloors in more than 13 minutes. After the long tracker trip on the flipside “War of the Worlds” comes front of us with dry and housey rhythms filled with funk, and “Mission Control” closes the line with its perfect toolistic sound for main-time djsets.