Category Archives: Interview

Rodion G.A.-The Lost Tapes-Review in metrojolt.com

Standard

From an early age I found that when referring to music, the phrase “Lost Tapes” had a certain pull to it. The two words together embodies my fascination with both music and history and I would find myself obsessing over the backstory of the music’s journey. I’ve always tried to assess music on just the music alone, but I am not the first to admit that sometimes the music’s backstory can make a song that much more amazing. The story of Rodion G.A. is that of genius, oppression and overall…a style of music all its own.

Their music is raw, distorted, complex, lively and very phaser happy. At the music’s very core its rock, but the electronic elements incorporated into the groups tracks takes on a life of its own. Building and tweaking their amps and gear to perfection, Rodion G.A. had successfully developed a one of a kind sound that has remained unique to this very day.

Rewind 34 years to the country of Romania in the city of Cluj where a man by the name of Rodion Rosca started his epic musical journey. Known to his friends as “The King of Records”, Rosca collected an extensive collection of rock records from both the Western and Eastern hemisphere, immersing himself in the genre completely and drawing from countless influences that would help in developing his own unique style. Rosca formed Rodion G.A. after recruiting members Gicu Farcas and Adrian Capraru to help him in his musical endeavors. Recording everything himself, Rosca built his own sound from the bottom up by using reel-to-reel recording along with a number of Tesla tape recorders that he built himself and toy organs hooked up to various effect pedals. His means of making music were unlike anything seen at that time. This raw, alien noise he managed to create kept Rodion G.A. out of the mainstream and with only one active record company functioning within the country, Rodion G.A. was only managed to record and release a handful of their songs.

For Rodion G.A., finding gigs became increasingly difficult as the oppressive Ceausescu regime of Romania continuously increased cultural restrictions and being behind the Iron Curtain, anti-western sentiment was enforced, making it difficult for rock loving musicians like Rosca and his band to play anything that resembled the Beetles or Led Zeppelin. Rodion G.A. was still able to perform at different summer festivals and events but had to remain ever cautious of what they would be playing for inspectors could show up at any show and shut them down if they did not approve of what they saw.

Rodion-GA-2-3

Rodion G.A. received some intense, but brief exposure over Romanian Radio for a period of several weeks in the 70’s and was even at the top of the Romanian charts for a while but eventually fell from public view. In 1987, Rodion Rosca walked away from music forever following the death of his mother.

In a fantastic effort to unearth Romania’s musical past, the group Future Nuggets and Strut Records have reached out to Rodion Rosca and are proud to bring you Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes, a 10 track album that offers a one of a kind glimpse into the raw and bold sound of a group who’s artistic endeavors provided them with an escape from the tense political atmosphere they were forced to live under. Their sound lies years ahead of its time and despite their lack of access to unique, cutting edge musical hardware, Rosca and his group made due with what they had. Their dedication to their sonic possibilities is what birthed this sound that is truly unlike any rock album I have ever heard.

Thanks to http://www.metrojolt.com

51q6G5DZX0L

Lost Tapes Finally Undiscovered-Rodion Rosca Interview by Erith Duncan in frank151.com 3rd June 2013

Standard

It was 1978, and the Romanian dictator Ceausescu and his Communist party were ruling the country. People were being prosecuted and isolated due to their background and the way they looked. At this time, Romania was also overrun by pop-rock music, which was perhaps a way to speak out against unfair treatment at the hands of the government. Amongst all of these elements stood musician Rodion Rosca

The Romanian producer is 60 years old, and only just put out his debut album this month. Despite being his first LP, Rosca isn’t a newbie to the music industry.

“I feel sad for me. I am now 60 years old and before I die, just now, I have the possibility to enjoy my records,” says Rosca. “My whole life was destroyed by this Communist regime, but it’s too late right now. Like an umbrella after the rain.”

Rosca began creating music at the age of 18 after acquiring records during Romania’s Open Period between the years of 1965 and 1972. During Romania’s easing of censorship, the producer was exposed to icons like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton, frequenting the border of Hungary to get records and speak with record collectors from countries like Japan and Norway.

After getting a little guidance from records and developing a sound, Rosca began creating his own music. “I started to compose music at the age of 18 years old, in music college,” he says. “I played the guitar. I was a guitarist from 18 or 19 and I started to record my music to memorize my ideas.”

In 1975 Rosca hooked up with likeminded individuals Gicu Farcas and Adrian Capraru and started a group called Rodion G.A.  The band was a departure from everything that was current at the time; it was a hybrid band of sorts, combining electronic music, synths, drum machines and a psychedelic vibe. The group created a project around four Tesla machines, guitars, a toy Casio VL Tone, Soviet-made Faemi organ, and drums. Sadly the band never reached their full potential; they only released two singles, and only performed once.

Most people who have dealt with the negative side effects of the music industry the way that Rodion G.A did may leave the industry. Rosca however is different, and still enjoys the possibility and excitement that comes with creating music. To this day, one of his hobbies still remains collecting and composing music. And, finally after more than 40 years, Rosca is finally get the opportunity to release some of his own.

The Lost Tapes released last week via Strut Records, is an anthology of music Rosca created between the years of 1978-84. The album acts partly an artifact and has a depth that was far ahead of its time. During an era when artistic expression wasn’t necessarily appreciated due to censorship, this project is different and was very innovative at the time. Rosca describes the project as being dramatic, original and creative.

“I am thankful for Sorin Luca [blogger and filmmaker] who discovered me. He tried to make me alive again,” says Rosca. “I cannot find the right words for what I have to say and we began to make my music to be heard by people.”

Thanks to http://www.frank151.com

header2

screen-capture-1

Rodion G.A. Interview For CTM Festival February 2014.

Standard

The music of Rodion G.A. has, until recently, remained unknown to most of the world. The group was formed in Romania in 1975 by Ladislau Roșca with Gicu Fărcaș and Adrian Căpraru, and used Tesla reel-to-reel tape machines to layer sounds and construct a unique stylistic hybrid of electronic music, psychedelia, and progressive rock.

Due to a  1971 state regime shift in the country, inspired by the communist policies of North Korea that imposed censorship on artistic production, only two Rodion G.A. tracks ever saw official release, both on state-run label Electrecord’s Formatti Rock Vol. 5 compilation. The band performed throughout the 80s and composed scores for the film Delta Space Mission and the Romanian National Opera, but the majority of their work remained suppressed, despite avoidance of explicitly political content and the overwhelming popularity of their radio-only singles.

In recent years, Romanian filmmaker Luca Sorin began collecting rare film footage of the band, together with experimental music collective Future Nuggets, resurrecting interest in the enigmatic Roșca and the story of Rodion G.A. In June 2012, Rodion G.A. performed at the Transylvania International Film Festival in Rosca’s hometown of Cluj, Romania. The Lost Tapes, a compilation of remastered original Rodion G.A. reels, was released in May 2013 on Strut Records, increasing interest in the musician outside his home country. The release was issued in conjunction with Future Nuggets and Steve Kotey’s Ambassador’s Reception label, on which Future Nuggets’ LP Sounds Of The Unheard From Romania came out in 2012.

Rodion G.A.’s appearance at CTM 2014 marks their first performance outside the Iron Curtain.