Rodion G. A.
The Lost Tapes
, June 25th, 2013 07:18
This is some of the raddest music you’re likely to hear this year. Rad in its overall excellentness and radical as to its forward-thinking nature, sounding so even today, though recorded at the height of Ceausescu’s suppression and censorship.
Romanian electronic psych pioneer Rodion Rosça founded Rodion G.A. in 1975, continuing with different line-ups until 1987. Although everything they recorded for radio sessions went to number one in their home country, only two tracks were ever released on an Electerecord, the state record company, compilation. For more on their history along with an interview with this fascinating man and triumphant television performance of an unreleased song see our Quietus piece here.
Recorded at Rodion’s studio in his hometown of Cluj between 1978-1984, these ‘lost tapes’ combine post-punk’s aural assault, the melodic and motorik sensibilities of Kosmische, heavy classic rock riffing with prog’s lead line explorations, and spaced-out psychedelic sounds to create a captivating and rapturous sonic brew. This unique blend also throws in traditional Romanian folk elements and Mid Eastern modes and rhythms, such as on ‘Citadela’, which shifts effortlessly into and between sections rocketing off in major key jubilance. Here, as with ‘Salt’s angular groove and on ‘Zephyr’s saw-toothed charm, it’s easy to see why Rodion was known as ‘the father of Romanian new wave’.
Chirping space birds herald opener ‘Alpha Centauri’ and it is impossible to deny just how HUGE this is that’s moving into being. A galactic synthesis of opposites, as enchanting twilight and glorious dawn merge into one. Harmonious unity between man and machine, looseness and precision, huge wobbly waves wandering over its robotic pulse, flowing aswirl in a celebratory cosmic dance. The eternal moment mystics speak of. And then, just as smoothly, letting go of even this.
Riffs abound, both guitar and synth. Stately yet often frantic processions of the interplay between light and dark. Kicking in at 2:12 of ‘Diagonala’ is an imperial march not to be fucked with. ‘Cantec Fulger’ is a folk dance of such intensity it could only be performed by beings of fire. ‘Disco Mania’ is more Blues Explosion that anything its title implies; a mighty dirty six-string riff with synths slurping and fizzing their way around exhilarated moaning-cum-chant. ‘In Linistea Noptil’ is a gorgeous, haunting late-night closer. Evoking the spirit-soaked blurs of a solitary last-one-before-bed, transporting one further within and farther out to the secret stars at the heart of both.
With the state compilation tracks and TV appearance linked to above, as well as those radio sessions, there’s more out there from this tremendously creative band that will hopefully see release sometime soon. But for now The Lost Tapes will keep you mesmerized for long into the future.