Best Romanian Electronic Music in 2021

With a long overdue, we finally managed to find the time to compile this list, so with no further comments here is the best electronic music created by Romanian artists in 2021, according to our opinion.

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Best Romanian Electronic Music in 2021

Le Brouf – ProAntiAnti Going Nowhere EP [PHY122]

The Romanian duo Le Brouf presents “ProAntiAnti Going Nowhere” a six songs EP that will be released by Diffuse Reality’s sublabel Periphylla Records. The band goes through several musical genres and styles, from post punk to alternative rock with electro and industrial influences. The entire release can be listened on youtube and is available for pre-order on Diffuse Reality’s official Bandcamp page.

Composed of Edward Nicoara and Mircea Florut, Le Brouf was founded in 2017 in Oradea, Romania. After almost 2 years of experimentation, Le Brouf took its final form towards the end of 2019 when they started working on their first album titled ‘Charade’, self-released in April 2020, followed by ‘Counter Measures LP’ which came out on January 24th, also self-released.

Continue reading “Le Brouf – ProAntiAnti Going Nowhere EP [PHY122]”
Le Brouf – ProAntiAnti Going Nowhere EP [PHY122]

A Dublu – Polytraffic EP [GEODESIC003]

There is a place in this universe called Ploiești. A former industrial city, grey, totally colorless. This is where the story begins for A Dublu, a project founded in 2012 by Ardeleanu Bogdan and Andu Simion, when they created musical sequences inspired by Cameliei or Vlasiei areas. Geodesic 003, or Polytraffic EP is a collection of tracks suitable for different moments in a clubbing night, acid textures, warm synths for warm-up but also techno directions perfect for more aggressive sessions or more alert bpm.

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A Dublu – Polytraffic EP [GEODESIC003]

VA – Not So Whisky Tracks [PLUGGED​:​IN01]

“Not So Whisky Tracks” comes, without any doubt, to present a matured vision of some of the usual suspects of the Romanian underground scene but also gathers new forces along the way. Enchanting soundscapes are here to take you in a dream like state, moving your mind and spirit through a complete adventure. The release is here to make you feel nostalgia and to make you dance. To make you feel adventurous and to make you wonder.

VA – Not So Whisky Tracks [PLUGGED​:​IN01]

Kosmogonik – Polyverse [PRTR21]

KOSMOGONIK - Polyverse

Polyverse is the new debut album of the very exciting and fresh sounding Kosmogonik from Bucharest, Romania. Nine driving and atmospheric tracks that vibrate all the way from heavyweight techno to cosmic ambient.

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Kosmogonik – Polyverse [PRTR21]

Karpov not Kasparov – Memory [DH027]

KARPOV NOT KASPAROV - Memory

Romanian two-piece Karpov not Kasparov have dropped their new EP ‘Memory’ on Disco Halal. A five-track release opens with the sunkissed, synth-driven vibes of ‘Except For Bears’, ensuring the EP commences with some cosmic disco energy. Next up is the hypnotic, computerised sounds of ‘Fool’s Mate’ and otherworldly synth oddity ‘Les Pions Sont l’Âme du Jeu’, before the title track and recent single ‘Memory’ sees the Bucharest duo delve into psychedelia-laced outsider pop territories. Things are then closed out with an instrumental of the same track.
Valeriu Borcoș and Eduard Gabia aka Karpov not Kasparov describe what they do as ‘a musical game of chess between synthesizer and drums’. The Romanian duo also incorporate an analogue visual artist and contemporary dancers into their live performances, resulting in a theatrical show and a kind of real-time soundtrack to the action around them.

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Karpov not Kasparov – Memory [DH027]

VA – Hai Noroc! Garage Beat & Pop Artifacts From Romania [667-1]

VARIOUS - Hai Noroc! Garage Beat & Pop Artifacts From Romania

The Romanian music scene in the early 60s was pretty grim if you were young and restless. Traditional music and soppy folk was the norm, but when in December 1961 kids in Bucharest got to see the film “The Young Ones” starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows, their eyes, ears and minds exploded with the seed of rock n roll. This gateway into the wild ways created a wave of bands who were eager to sink their teeth into any morsel of 60s culture from the West. ‘Hai Noroc!’ is the first collection of Beat, Garage and Pop artefacts from Communist Romania. 16 hard to find cuts and previously unreleased tracks offer a glimpse of a youth gone wild in an oppressive Communist state.

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VA – Hai Noroc! Garage Beat & Pop Artifacts From Romania [667-1]

Balkan Taksim ‎– Disko Telegraf [260321]

Disko Telegraf (double vinyle)

Balkan Taksim is a band known for raising a groovy-balkan storm with their intoxicating blend of sharp contemporary electronic music with Balkan psychsounds & vocals. Balkan Taksim is the corduroy-clad brainchild of Bucharest-based multi-instrumentalist/ artist Sașa-Liviu Stoianovici who, along with his electronica producer companion Alin Zăbrăuțeanu, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe about Balkan psych, roots and grooves. The project started by searching for something to link the sense of what has been with what will be. Sașa’s exploration of traditional music of the Balkans, ancient Romanian music and Slavic cultures led him to travel a lot through the region and work with local singers and musicians to record the traditional tunes he later reworked with contemporary electronica sounds, heavy bass and powerful beats. Their stylish electronic psychedelia and bass flow directly from their roots in Romania and the Balkans upstream to global dancefloors. A project that’s constantly evolving, exploring rhythms and sounds from every corner of the Balkans gently fused with electronic beats and tribal basslines. The debut album ‘Disko Telegraf’, recorded in its entirety in Sașa’s and Alin’s home studios in Bucharest during the last two years, is an emotional Balkan roller coaster which has its roots and preconception ideas many years ago when Sașa traveled alone through the Balkans, but especially through Anatolia.

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Balkan Taksim ‎– Disko Telegraf [260321]

Șerb – Transient Recs 2 [NDWAX008]

SERB - Transient Recs 2

In 2015 we stumbled across an EP by a low-profile Romanian producer, which retrospectively was a pivotal event for the development of the label. This record was Serb’s ‘Transient Recs 1’, released via Listen2me from Bucharest. We were deeply touched by the harsh and progressive sound of the tunes, which at the same time were so musical.
After a remix for Fehlzuendung and his LP ‘A12 Proceedings’ in 2018, things are coming full circle in 2021 as Șerb returns to Night Defined Recordings with ‘Transient Recs 2’, a collection of tracks produced between 2015 and 2018.

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Șerb – Transient Recs 2 [NDWAX008]

Heerd / Noah Skelton – Stomping Grounds 006 EP [SG006]

HEERD/NOAH SKELTON - Stomping Grounds 006 EP

The Romanian label Stomping Grounds is putting together their first split EP. The release shareds graciously between Romanian duo Heerd and Irelands Noah Skelton. Starting off with the acid-edged peak timer “Hellrot”, going through the atmospheric depth and hypnoticism of “Kamaals Groove” and “Persistence”, the EP is neatly finished with a healthy “Balance” of rolling hats and percussion.

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Heerd / Noah Skelton – Stomping Grounds 006 EP [SG006]

Experimental Q – Amintiri Despre Viitor [DTC020]

Have you ever wondered what King Crimson or Emerson, Lake & Palmer would have sounded like, had they originated from behind the Iron Curtain?

This may sound like the usual hype promoters write to draw attention, but click on the audio files from this album’s track-list and listen closely. “Amintiri din viitor” [Memories from the Future] will take you back to a time when progressive music was truly forward looking, experimental, and original. The band Experimental Q was formed in the early 1970s, by a group of music students from the Gheorghe Dima Conservatory, in Cluj (Romania). Eugen Tunaru (keyboards), Valentin Farcaș (guitar), Nicolae Bucaciuc (bass), and Nicolae Delioran (drums) were joined by Gheorghe Marcovici (flute), and this line-up recorded a series of songs and compositions for radio and TV, without ever releasing any album on Electrecord, the sole record company in Romania at that time.

Their music was mostly instrumental and featured titles that touched upon intergalactic, or art themes. The band members may have been music students, but while their education was classical, their inspiration drew from pop music’s avantgarde. Prog and jazz-rock fans might find influences and echoes of bands that were carving out new paths in the unexplored music jungle of the late 1960s and early 1970s: King Crimson, The Nice, Jethro Tull, ELP, VDGG. After a few listens, however, it will dawn upon the listener that this music was more than just an East European response to the Western hype of the day. Facing the prejudice of their professors, the skepticism of some of their peers, as well as the numerous material drawbacks and technological limitations, Experimental Q improvised not only musically. In the end, they made their own instruments and adapted what they could get their hands on, to create some of the most intriguing music made on the Eastern side of the Iron Curtain.

“Amintiri din viitor” opens the first chapter in this still untold story of one of Romania’s best hidden music secrets. With the approval of and collaboration from the remaining band members, this project features restored and remastered audio, original artwork, as well as an in-depth essay about the band and its musical output in the socialist historical context, with exclusive photos and memorabilia.

This project is curated by Claudiu Oancea (artwork, liner notes), Adrian Matala (co-producer) and Remus Miron (restored, remastered audio and producer).

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Experimental Q – Amintiri Despre Viitor [DTC020]

Articulat – Folclor Abstract EP [07PM]

ARTICULAT - Folclor Abstract

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

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Articulat – Folclor Abstract EP [07PM]