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The ro-minimal story


by Sof

What is this ro-minimal that more and more people talk about? How did it appear?

Well, “The Romanian sound” or "rominimal" is a term that’s being thrown around a lot these days, a style of music that has gained much recognition in recent years, is actually Romania’s answer to underground minimal techno where its local DJ’s have set a new precedent for the type of sounds that they have created. This epic sound not only has it defined its own amazing sub-genre, it has also established itself globally.

This culture was born from small after-parties and club schedules are often divided into three sections: “warm up,” “main” and “after-hours.”

In our previous article, we talked about the pioneers: Rhadoo, Inspirescu, Raresh collectively known as RPR Soundsystem. Also The Mission parties helped too and have long been acknowledged as a breeding ground for fine artists and producers, through names like DJ Vasile and Rosario Internullo.

The first support came from Ricardo Villalobos, the techno artist, in the 2000's, most precisely 2007. So, this musical style had taken shape within the community with Petre Inspirescu and Rhadoo via Ibiza bringing new music into the country.

Well, let us take you back a few years ago, around 2007 when Sunwaves first edition came out on the 1-st of May. At that time, Romanians started to make their own unique sound.

One way to describe it would be minimal techno that has been handled with some very soft, velvety hands. It is simple, yet complicated in its simplicity. This sound opens new channels of consciousness for those who listen. The music is subtle and ethereal, laced with fragile effects over raw sound-drums and minimalist baseline. This sound Is like channeling your inner self and let us tell you why.

The crowd play a huge role in this music. You play music for the people, but even the crowd in Romania are different. They don’t speak or twist or swirl around, what they actually do is lose themselves in the music and within themselves, as if wired directly into the beat of their hearts.

Because Romanian people party in a more introspective way, they need high quality visuals around them to help them escape, an extra dimension to help along with the music. The lights are extremely advanced, hypnotic and in sync with the track. The tracks duration is around seven or eight minutes, sometimes more, Romanian productions tend to be somewhat long because the crowd prefers 14 hours of flowing music instead of a short set with lots of highs and lows, so artists are not forced to compress everything out. This also, gives them time to build up slowly and then maintain a steady state of flow. It’s not about big drops, but it’s more about upholding and continuing the journey.

The artists tend to blend two, three or more tracks to create a general blissful state and most of them do this without the use of software. They are some of the most technically proficient in the world.

A party in Romania is not restricted by the club schedule. They love their after-hours, so you can go to a party Friday and finish it Sunday, or why not, Monday?

Clubs play a vital role in the local music community. As mentioned before, their long hours are conducive to this particular style—but they also play an essential role in supporting lesser artists. There are only a few clubs that play this style - to mention Guesthouse, Control, Eden.

Almost 13 years after Romanian house pioneers Raresh, Petre Inspirescu and Rhadoo brought their sound to the European dance music scene, followed by Herodot, Priku, Cristi Cons, Vlad Caia, Barac, and many more.

But paradoxically, for a distinguished scene with such credibility, it must be noted that its size is remarkably small in Romania- it is more appreciated by the tourists and the small underground community. The accessibility, it seems, will always be a stumbling block. Romanian music doesn’t find you; you have to find it. Also this style is not for everyone because it’s not a mainstream type of music.

Who really wants it, finds it.

We love it and we are looking forward to see where it will take us next.

Our next articles will take us back to the first chapters of the Romanian sound. Who were these accomplished artists that followed the illustrious trio Inspirescu, Raresh and Rhadoo?

photo by: Par Anormala


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