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Rodion Ladislau Roşca is largely unknown in the U.S. Hopefully that will change as Strut Records has done the world a favor by releasing Rodion G.A.’s The Lost Tapes in North America and worldwide in partnership with Future Nuggets and Ambassador’s Reception. Rodion G.A. was the musical vehicle for Romanian producer and multi-instrumentalist Roşca, who composed some of the most innovative and original music of the 1970s & 1980s. However, most of this music was never heard as Rodion G.A. only had a couple of tracks released on a compilation by Electrecord, the sole record label operating at the time in Communist Romania.
Hidden away on dusty tapes, the musical output of Roșca between 1978 to 1983 has been restored on The Lost Tapes. With band members Gicu Fărcaș and Adrian Căpraru, Roșca assembled Rodion G.A. in 1975-76. With a knack for DIY musical manipulation, Roșca improvised composition techniques by recording on reel-to-reels. WIth three or four Tesla tape machines, he could arrange an entire song with a raw version of multi-tracking. Armed with an East German Vermona drum machine, a toy Casio VL Tone and a Soviet-made Faemi organ, Roșca created a sound unlike anything at the time, drenched in phaser, flanger, delay and fuzz effects.
This sensational mix of progressive rock and electronic music sounds completely original today, let alone when it was originally released under the repressive regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu and his Securitate, where Western music was forbidden barring an “open” period between 1965 to 1972. During that window American and English rock, jazz and pop music was accessible on the radio. The half-Hungarian, half-Romanian Roșca resided in Cluj where a musical hub was developing. Roșca constantly collected records and was dubbed “the King of the Records” in the 1970s. With all these musical influences swirling around his head, it’s no wonder his music with Rodion G.A. is out of this world.
The musical ingenuity of Roșca and Rodion G.A. must be heard to be believed. With dense, synth arrangements laid against programmed drum machines and raw guitars, you’d be forgiven for thinking this music may sound a bit mechanical. But The Lost Tapes is just the opposite as Roșca pays close attention to every detail in his compositions. He even learned how to fix the equipment in order to keep things operating. The intricacies of his arrangements are astounding, drawing on prog rock and classical music. If people had heard this music when it was originally released, it would have blown their minds. Thankfully folks are discovering Roșca while he is still alive, although he believes it is too late. However, Rodion G.A. is touring across Europe with Steaua de Mare this summer, so the music lives on today. Finally a new audience will be able to appreciate one of the most important pioneers of electronica.
Listen to “Cântec Fulger” above and check out a fascinating video interview conducted by Ion Dumitrescu of Bucharest’s Future Nuggets crew with Rodion Roşca below.
[…] Rodion G.A. – The Lost Tapes […]