Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes

Fuck me this record is unbelievably good. The mad, green-sapped beauty of this Cosmicke rumble can drive a man to drink or at least, a couple more biscuits with his brew.

(Strut Records)

 

Necessity is the mother of invention...

The more I soak up about this fellow’s work the more I am in awe.  The thought of living under a crazed madman like Ceausescu should make any sane person’s skin creep, but what we can take from this record more than anything I feel, is that you can’t knock the human spirit. Especially when it comes down to making thumping, inspiring prog rock. Fuck me this record is unbelievably good. The mad, green-sapped beauty of this Cosmicke rumble can drive a man to drink or at least, a couple more biscuits with his brew.

Rodion G.A. is a band formed in 1975 by “enigma” and “King of Records”+, Rodion Ladislau Rosca*. The ‘G.A.’ refers to band members Gicu Fărcaș and Adrian Căpraru. What makes this lot even more out there is that they built their sound literally from scratch, looking to appropriate only when necessary, relying on what must have been vats of personal creative space, and only picking elements from their own culture to suit their needs. Everything, literally everything was built from nothing, the recording techniques based on what punishment the Tesla tape machines, East German drum machines, toy Casio and reel to reels could handle. From all of this sonic juggling, a strange, thick, powerful sound emerged, something that sounds at once fabulously important and completely off its bloody head.

Musically it all sounds a bit like Tomorrow Never Knows as done by a bunch of freaks at Studio G, or an overloaded electronic take on early Floyd keyboard runs. But at the same time it’s like very little you will have ever heard, mainly because of the way the music just darts off in another direction at a moments’ notice. The keys and time signatures (check out Diagonala) jump about like fleas, it’s giddy stuff. We know that Rosca was a clued up on Western rock, and opener Alpha Centauri may refer to the T-Dream goliath of the same name… but there are elements that sound incredibly classical, lyrically classical like Mozart or Bach, or, for that matter like some acid-soaked TV theme. It can be anything you please, the key to great music, really.

Cântec Fulger is a giddy hop round the estate and Disco Mania is an unearthly, Sabs-style rumble, albeit the Sabs performing at a Stone Age wedding ceremony: you can almost see people donning some atavistic costumes to perform this music. Caravane comes on like Numan doing a cover of the odd Sound Gallery track: the music is incredibly glutinous, and crushing. Citadela is like some devilish rhumba, or the sound of the Knights of the Round Table about to attack an all-night garage, whereas Salt 83 and Zephyr sound, (when the weirdness allows), like a Michael Rother solo track played on some medieval instruments. It’s bizarre.     

The record ends on two corkers, a thumping, rattling wig-out extraordinaire in Imagini Din Vis and the soft, druggy soundscape of In Linistea Nopti. It really is all too much by this point and the last track’s softness comes as a godsend.  

OK I give up. There is no other record that I can play. 2013 has seen some corking releases but this one is special. A sacred document. For those who like Prog this will rip your head open and scatter the contents all your carefully filed notes to the four corners of the earth. You need to hear this, Motherfuckers.

+ refers to Rosca’s ability to get hold of banned western music (likes of Hendrix etc.) over the border.

*EVERY Prog dude given the mantle genius has to be an enigma. It’s the unwritten rule. Look at Edgar Froese for example.