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.
After a first EP of the year from STL, the Solar Phenomena label now welcomes Romania’s Romansoff. The Raw Tools label boss hails from Bucharest and has also released his gritty, stripped back house and techno on Creme Organization and Sportiv. Here he offers four new tracks, with one remix from Timedance man Ploy completing the package. ‘Halo’ epitomises Romansoff’s style with its slow, heavy drums and sparse, scattered perc sounds. A lo-fi melody adds colour, while ‘Coach Jacket’ ups the ante with busier claps and crashing hits laid over a turbulent, unsettled bassline. Increasing the pressure further, ‘Graded’ grows manic with punchy drums, layers of fuzzy synths and bass and distant cries that are dark and unsettling. Ploy flips this one into a prickly and atmospheric drum track that keeps you on edge and Romansoff’s digital exclusive ‘Michigan Lake Tapes’ is a slow motion workout with unsettling synths and tortured pads that grows ever more unhinged. It rounds out a leftfield house EP in style.
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.
Bucharest’s Romansoff brings post-industrial heat on the second Sportiv release. Tudor cranks it to 11 and does crunchy, saturated beats under a killer analog riff on “Colonial Past”. “Bodylock” on the flip is equally intense but chooses a more stone-cold approach. Gripping, energetic material from a country at peak creativity. Sportiv is a dexterous white label operation that brings you heavy-weight rhythmic performances from the world of techno athletics.
In the last years more and more Romanian artists are making their voice heard across the electronic music palette.
Romania is well known for the minimal/micro-house/Romanian-techno and tech-house music, but now we have artist that experiment and dive into other sounds, the kind of sounds we love at the Hipodrome of Music.
Raw Tools label boss and Bucharest based producer Romansoff is making his debut on Creme Organization in 2016. His Wrath of Zeus EP features four tracks of the sort of frayed and authentic house music that the label is known for around the world. Romansoff mostly releases on his own label but has also served up plenty of rawness on Machine Records, Mork and Bitter Moon. Bundle of Acid is the opener and is a heavy but mystic track with grainy claps and plodding drums undermining bubbling synths. It’s crunchy and spooky and really comes alive with some squiggly acid lines. The title track is more stripped back and trippy, with corrugated drums and nervy chords trapping you in a suspenseful groove before Who You Gunna Call is another rough hewn analogue monster that manges to take you down into some cavernous underworld at the same time as offering up some angelic emotions. Lastly, She Owns The Game is the most melodic of the lot, with a far sighted ripple of keys, spaced out atmospheres and muttered vocal lines all making for something that is truly from another world.
Signal Code release number eight comes from the Romanian outfit Romansoff, including a remix by Privacy.
Mörk continues a hazy run of releases with a hard-driving, dream-techno 12″ from Romansoff. Known for raw and battered techno excursions and curation through his Raw Tools labels, Romansoff continues his recent stellar run with a more wandering, daylight-dreaming four track EP. The light-splintered techno of ‘Beyond The Self’ melting into the looping shuttered-blind house of ‘Infinite Dreams’. While the flip explores a visceral washed-out 5am sound palette, with ‘Seven Sins’s drowning modems and the incessant clattering rhythms of ‘She Forgives’.