The Romanian musical landscape moves around the principle of concentric circles. The robustly-diametered outward circles are the masses listening to a strange breed of pop culture and gypsy music that I will not post. Then there's the mediocre brand of pop, substandard and all. The more you get to the center of the circles, to that one throbbing disc of lava that I like to pop my toe in, you either burn your skin or start dancing (after the convulsive twitching). Yes, bingo, adapting is the word. Again, I hope you haven't gone away. If you're still here…
Exhibit A. proto pop
Here we have a circa 1980s pop tune from a communist-era teeny bopper flick, "Liceenii"(The Graduates). Not as scary as it sounds, the film is a classic and so is this kitschy-catchy electro-pop-for-your-nan song. I still dig it.
Exhibit B. The Take-A-Stab at Indie Rock
Moving on to latter days in rebeldom, here's a band called OCS [formerly Omul cu Sobolani (The Man With The Rats), inspired by Steinbeck's Of Men and Mice]. This song expresses the struggles of having two emptied beers before you and the wish to exchange them with a new foamy pint.
You can buy OCSTV (concept album, la-di-dah) here.
Exhibit C. The Underlying Electro protest
Sometimes I find myself surprised by what my fellow-countrymen conjure up. There's an astute affinity and a growing understand of electronic music here in Romania. I know, shocking. The thing is, this goes beyond that. This, in my book, is genius. This is music for partying, sleeping, being disheveled, being a butterfly, looking at the sky. You have to download this next song. Just trust me. If you hate it, say so. (But you won't). Have you ever discovered music you just wish everyone would love? This is my pet-hype for today. Shukar Collective. Shukar is the gypsies' (Tamango, Napoleon and Clasic sing on this record) clan.
Shukar Collective – Malademna mp3 ESSENTIAL
Here's the iTunes link for the LP Urban Gypsy.
Exhibits D & E (for lack of time)
Folksy: A fable with vivid voice makeovers. Ada Milea – Greierele si Furnica (The Cricket and The Ant) mp3