The Lost Tapes was one of last year’s most revelatory reissues, uncovering the work of Romanian psych-electronic trailblazer Rodion Rosca, who founded Rodion G.A. in 1975. Recorded DIY and blending psych, krautrock and progressive influences into an inimitable, avant-garde oeuvre that stood in stark contrast to the oppressive tenor of Romania in the ’70s and ’80s, the group only released two tracks on state-owned record company Electrerecord, making Behind The Curtain a cause for celebration — it features the first complete set of music by Rosca. More cohesive than the tracks that comprised The Lost Tapes, Behind The Curtain finds Rosca indulging his idiosyncratic penchants into more cinematic sounds and tightly structured songs.
The ominous synths and distorted guitars of “Acvila Fragment” serve as an appropriate preamble. “Contrast” is a flighty, psychedelic, sci-fi number with a perky, nearly electro-funk beat and a bright synthesizer melody, while “Cosmic Game” mines darker territory with fuzzed out guitar riffs, an unforgiving rhythm and freaked out synthesizer effects. The tense “Dans Macabru” is punctuated by breaking glass, and an urgent vibe is sustained throughout the rest of the set on “The Gym” and closer “Waterfall,” which is tempered by the historical circumstances surrounding their recording and the fact that Rosca walked away from music following their completion in 1987. Concurrent with Rosca’s rediscovery and his return to performing is the sad news that he’s living with Hepatitis B and C and has liver cancer. Yet even if he doesn’t record another note of music, Behind The Curtain ensures his pioneering legacy is established.
Thanks to Matt Bauer and everyone at exclaim.ca