RODION G.A., THE ROMANIAN SYD BARRETT-REVIEW IN NOISEY BLOG BY TIM SCOTT.

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From all accounts, Romania in the late 70s and early 80s was a tough place to be a prog-rock musician. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had his Communist party goons kicking the heads of longhaired hippies and intellectuals while reasserted neo-Stalinist policies meant that it was illegal to own a typewriter without an official licence.

But it was in this tense political and social environment that Rodion Roșca and his band Rodion G.A. began fusing distorted synth riffs and Krautrock rhythms on a set up of Tesla tape machines, guitar, drum machine, synth and a Soviet-made Faemi organ.

It’s music that brings to mind Kraftwerk, Tubeway Army, Pink Floyd and Faust and led to Rosca being hailed as the Syd Barrett of Romania and Romania’s answer to Giorgio Moroder”. Recorded at the height of Ceausescu’s suppression and censorship this was truly radical and dissident music.

The music on an upcoming Rodion G.A album Behind The Curtain-The Lost Album was feared missing since 1987 when Rodion turned his back on music, following the death of his mother.

Now in his 60s and suffering from liver cancer Rodion took some time to answers questions about the Romanian musical and political situation at the time.

Noisey: The rediscovered music was recorded between 1980 and 1983. Had Ceaușescu shut down the radio stations and TV stations by then? 

Rodion Rosca: Ceausescu, who destroyed my youth and my life, among other peoples, was not interested in shutting down the radio and TV stations because those were the main channels for his propaganda. In the latter years of his reign TV had been reduced to only two hours a day, 8 to 10 pm, and this included two almost interminable news bulletins. He, and his wife, including the government “invented” a legislation, to forbid citizens to use and promote in Romania any occidental arts, sounds, aggressive rhythms, fashion, culture and rock music.  

So Ceaușescu himself wasn’t a fan of your music?

Surely not! Ceausescu was a just a peasant. He mostly liked folklore music, or Romanian ethnic music. His wife Elena had an aversion and deep antipathy against anything that resembled modern music and all who supported it. But their children spent a lot of time among other young people, listening to and loving rock, disco, and pop music. Ceaușescu the elder had no chance of winning against this phenomenon, fighting against the will of his descendants, who loved the modern music with English lyrics. 

Are the sounds of breaking glass on “Dans Macabru” meant to have any symbolism of Romania of the time or was it purely an affect?

When somebody is smashing an object or a piece of glass against the floor, at his home, it means that he is nervous, and that’s enough for him! My music is both expressive and illustrative. This music deserves to be much more expressive smashing an empty bottle against the floor, then adding that sound to 
complete the music and transmit to the audience what I feel in my heart. 

Rodion G.A. – Behind The Curtain – The Lost Album” will be released on October 20 on BBE.

Thanks to http://www.noisey.vice.com for the use of the article.

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About dereksmusicblog

Hi to everyone who reads this. My name is Derek Anderson, I'm 50, single and live in Scotland. My main interest in life is music. I am and always have been, immersed in music. Music is what I love. It means so much to me, it brings back memories, changes the way I feel and has been a constant throughout my life. Throughout my life, music has provided a soundtrack to my life. Some people have photograph albums, I have a music collection. My love of music, and my desire to share that love of music is why I decided to launch this blog. Each day, I put up new material for you all to read. So each day, when you look at this blog, you'll always find something new. I also write the Rodion G.A. blog, which I recently launched. Hopefully, you'll enjoy it too. My musical tastes are wide and varied. I enjoy most musical genres, and my music collection reflects that. There must be 3,500 CDs, box sets and vinyl. I'm fast running out of room, and I'm becoming submerged in CDs and LPs. My taste in music is eclectic to say the least. Within my collection there is everything from classic rock, Nordic Wave, progressive rock and Krautrock right through to avant-garde, experimental, indie, folk and ambient. That's not forgetting dub, jazz and free jazz. If pushed to pick my favourite albums, it would have to be The Blue Nile's quartet of pop perfection. Then I'd mention albums by The Bathers, Can, Harmonia, Neu!, Cluster, Primal Scream, Dr. John, Tim Buckley, John Martyn, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. I could go on and on. I decided to write this blog as I've been immersed in music throughout my life although my life has taken a few twists and turns. Originally, I studied business studies, over twenty five years ago, then later in life, I decided to branch out, try something different. This lead to me studying first social sciences and then English Law. That resulted in me gaining a 2:1 in English Law. However, regardless of what I've done in life, music has been what I've always loved. This lead to me writing this blog, something I enjoy doing. I review all sorts of music on this blog. As you'll have realised, I review all genres of music. As long as its good music, I'll review it. I try to review an eclectic selection of music, whether compilations or albums. Should you enjoy an article so much that you want to to re-blog or repost it then please ask my permission to do so. The copyright to all the articles belong to me. I’ve nothing against anyone reposting or re-blogging an article, that’s great, just as long as you ask permission and then credit me for it. Remember, I own the copyright, both moral and legal copyright. Anyone reposting an article, must ask before doing so. Once permission has been granted, then they can repost it, if they credit me. If you want something reviewed, just get in touch and I'll tell you where to send a CD or LP. I'm always interested to hear from new artists. My other interests are reading, technology and football. I have supported St Mirren FC all my life, and I'm delighted that we won the League Cup in 2013. That means I must be the eternal optimist. Anything else you want to know just ask. Enjoy the blog, and remember, it's "the music blog, where music matters."

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