How Romania helped change the face of House Music

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For all those out there familiar with the London music scene, who have encountered the sounds that have reverberated through one of the many London warehouses, may question the relevance of this title to them.  Why Romania? After all, this country probably isn’t the next place you’ve planned to spend your holidays in…

Yet, if you’ve been out clubbing in the past decade, you without doubt have already thrown some shapes to this significant export. Their influence has shaped much of current electronic music and Minimal-Deep-Tech-Micro House (or whatever its name could possibly be).

Far away from London’s brick made clubs, Berlin’s never-ending Techno metronomes, and that one Spanish island, who would have thought that a sound of a third type would come from the depths of Eastern Europe? It’s precisely there that a collection of people, with a love of electronic music decided that it would change: if Techno wouldn’t come to them, they would become Techno.

A ‘breeding ground’ of talent was present, yet it was missing the spark that could set the genre on fire. And it’s precisely at this time that Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu, and Raresh set the cat among the pigeons when they gave birth to the label Arpiar. Miles away from the Beatport DJ generation, they would take the 24hr train to Prague to find the nearest record shop, and since have been releasing their music on vinyl alone. Their talent didn’t however remain unnoticed for long as Ricardo Villalobos quickly decided to take the young Romanians under his competent wing. The Chilean augur foresaw in them the logical continuity of his musical works, and undoubtedly has been influenced by them as much as he influenced the Romanian sound.

 

After all what really was added to the scene? It brought back some meaning to it, like a poet unveils words and give them unexpected meaning, the Romanian musicians gave up with ridiculous samples and high-energy vocals (if in need for a human voice, they prefer to record directly with an opera singer). Minimal music brought the necessary space for Romanians to make use of their sound design goldsmithery, forging music with various levels of understanding. Numerous artists are now proudly carrying the torch (Phrasis Veteris, VID, Nu Zau, TC Studio and Sepp to name a few) with an almost chocking humility.

 The point here isn’t to say their music is going to be the next big thing (it has already been existing and moving people around the world for an extended period of time) but to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s: the Romanian sound can be considered as a genre itself, and the evidences of its radiation are everywhere around you. If you feel curious enough, head to the nearest record shop and check out their ‘Romanian labels’ section: discussing their music is certainly one thing, but listening to it is another kind of experience.

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by Jonathan Cornacchia