Rodion G.A. – Rozalia [INV004]

Inversions announce their fourth record release – a further collection of unreleased tracks from Rodion Roșca’s archives, credited to his three-piece band Rodion G.A. The tracks are culled from several studio recording sessions, and one track recorded in Rodion’s home studio. The first sessions, at Radio Cluj over the period 1978-79, produced the basic instrumental backing for what would become “Nu Tu Vei Fi,” “Ore,” “Bătrânul Cais,” and “Moment.” Rodion applied the triplicate vocals and effects that would transform them into the finished tracks at home on his Tesla reel to reel machine. When the last session was complete, Rodion asked the engineer if he could record the instrumental tracks directly from the mixing console on to his Tesla machine. A genius stroke, as he was subsequently able to create many further tracks using various repeated rhythms and loops from this same material, tracks equally individual and unrecognisable from the source, such as “Uneori.” This earned him the accolades “Orchestra Man,” and the “First One-Man Band in Romania.” The second session, at the radio station in Bucharest in 1983, was more straightforward, with the tracks “Tamburași, “Satul De Roua” and “Tic Tac” all finished then and there. “Singur Pe Drum,” although written in Rodion’s teens, was not recorded until 2010 in his home studio. The record is a collection of tracks with a slightly rougher garage or psychedelic rock edge than the more electronic sounding works that have re-surfaced on recordings in the last few years.

listen

Rodion G.A. – Rozalia [INV004]

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.

listen

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