Romanian Dj / Producers to Watch in 2019

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Despite years of growing popularity, the Romanian scene managed to maintain striking integrity and passion. The list of artists from the country who developed their signature sound in the last decades is remarkable, showing an outstanding creative spirit and a strong will to explore minimal dance music outside the box. But the Romanian scene is also known to pay attention to its local uprising talents instead of focusing solely on the same characters over and over. Meoko is delighted to show its love and support to the Romanian scene and signal some talents to keep an eye on throughout 2019.

Abel Soleil

 
Apart from a release on Blumea in 2017, we don’t know much about Abel Soleil, but a quick online search of this mysterious pseudonym will lead you to some of the highest quality music we’ve heard in a while. The rhythmic, atonal and strikingly well-produced minimal textures under this moniker make us think we’re going to hear a lot from him in 2019.
 
 
 

Aparte

 
Very active in the Bucharest scene, this year Aparte played next to DJs like Arapu, Barac, Lizz, and more. The Dj and producer delivers a strong synthesis of modern micro-house infused with old school Detroit acid techno. While we are waiting for more news on releases in the new year, we can enjoy the few previews shared on his Soundcloud, that just leave us wanting more. 
 
 

Bizar

 
Bizar is, like most Romanian artist, one who would rather share his art through sounds instead of long DJ descriptions. We don’t have a lot of info about Bizar, but going through his Soundcloud and Bandcamp you will find an impressive variety of quality minimal productions. As his name suggests, his music might sound ‘bizarre' at times, but isn’t originality something we all love? The producer is certainly bringing something fresh on the table and we’re excited to hear more from him. Check out more on this artist here - Bizar Bandcamp 
 
 
 
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Diferit

 
Is likely that 2019 is going to be a great year for Diferit. The Romanian DJ and producer has been shaping up an open horizons style, where quality is the only imperative. His 2018 release ‘Edge of Space’ is simply something else, adding a steady electro rhythm to a marvellous and spacey ambient background (on the B-side you also find Christopher Ledger on remix duties - check it out below). We’re just thrilled to hear more this year.
 
 
 
 
 

Dragusanu

 You might have heard Dragusanu's project together with BRYZ, Fildesh, which has been going strong since 2015. The young Bucharest born DJ and producer has also been making excellent music under his solo moniker ‘Dragusanu’; his ‘Umbra EP’, released this year on the artist’s Bandcamp, captured our attention for his soothing and dreamy vibe.
 
 
 
 
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Herck

Despite being around for a while, we feel this year might be a great one for Herck. The artist has been developing a peculiar and complex sound; in his music very often you might hear processed vocal samples that sound from outer space and glitchy robotic rhythms. Whether you like his style or not, his sets and productions have the outstanding quality of never being boring.
 
 
 
 
 

Leanca

Vlad Leanca is another one to watch in the coming year. The DJ/producer has been developing a psychedelic sound showing he is not afraid to experiment (his Alter Hour mix sounds almost hypnotic - in the best way). Leanca has already been receiving support from notable figures in the scene: check out Barac playing an unreleased hallucinatory bomb from him at this year’s edition of Ostrov Festival in Ukraine below. We’re very much hoping for this one to be released in 2019.
 
 
 
 

Macarie

The young DJ and producer from Cluj-Napoca shows a remarkable sense of groove in his mixes and productions. The bass in his recent remix of Sonohat's ‘Whispers’ results in instant head nodding, and his mix for RTS.FM Budapest this year combines undiscovered gems and solid tracks with impressive fluidity, convincing us he’s one to watch in the new year.
 
 
 
 
 
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Matje

 You probably have heard Matje’s reinterpretation of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm more than one time throughout 2018, either at an afterparty or from your favourite Youtube recommendations. Matje’s inventive rework of this psychedelic rock classic was one of the most iconic tracks of the year; the Romanian DJ and producer seems to able to turn anything into a deep dance-floor cut, as you can also hear from his Stayin' Alive remix (listen below). But Matje has proven to be capable of delivering much more than that: his style also adds a mesmerizing and hypnotic ‘dub’ vibe to a solid Romanian microhouse substance. The result? His sets to sound like deep submersions into unknown worlds, where it is extremely easy to get lost. Just check out his last podcast on Soper Univers below.
 
 
 
 
 

r107

 r107, pronounced “riot”, is another Romanian talent to keep an eye on into the next year. Apart from the many shows in Bucharest and around his country, this year r107 also played in Corse and Switzerland delivering the Romanian style we all love with a tight attitude. You can listen below to his track ‘Infinitea’, which was included in the Ensis Black compilation ‘Unknown Heroes' this year.
 
 
 
 
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Robert Apetrei

We don’t know much about Robert Apetrei, but his November release ‘Alpha Si Omega’ speaks by itself. Vibrant and rhythmic, with a clean audio design, the two tracks sound more like an expert’s work than a debut. We’re already hoping for new releases in 2019.
 
 
 

Sonohat

Sonohat’s debut on the new underground minimal Miami/Bucharest label Cedesciu Wax is nothing short of impressive (in here you also find Macarie’s remix referenced to earlier). The frisky beats of ‘Whisper’, the brain-scraping sounds in ‘Hoe Lee Choir’ and the non-stop energy of ‘Galop Dupa 5’ all make us guess we’re going to hear these often at parties in the next year.
 
 
 
 
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Zen

 
Last but not least we would like to signal Zen, a.k.a. Chronosymmetry. As his name suggests the music has a nice meditative connotation to it. Just check out his recent mix for Exid, or the ‘Symbiosis’ release under his Chronosimmetry moniker, which feels monumental thanks to the atmospheric string progressions, but also tranquil and sedative at the same time. Sit back, relax, and let the music transport you.
 
 
 
The upcoming year promises to be one filled with exciting news and creativity. It’s impressive how the underground music scene in Romania still manages to reinvent itself and surprise us with new talents. We’ll keep our ears up for more news and releases throughout 2019. Meanwhile, see you at Sunwaves in Spring.
 
Words by 

Giovanni Bodrato

 

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