I set off to Romania on Tuesday hoping for more success in hunting down decent local music than I had when on holiday in neighbouring Bulgaria recently. Instead I had even less and have come back completely empty-handed.
I managed to track down two record shops during my morning off in Bucharest, although the first turned out to consist of a couple of racks of overpriced vinyl in the corner of a hipster coffee bar.
The other one was a proper record shop that displayed its entire stock under the category "pop/rock international". I checked through it all anyway just in case a few Romanian albums had snuck in somehow, but they hadn't.
When I asked about local music I was directed to a cupboard at the back of the store that contained their complete Romanian collection. A grand total of 11 CDs most of which, judging by the covers, contained either divas or drinking songs. Possibly both.
There was one interesting looking CD but they wanted £20 for it, and when I saw it was on the Strut label I knew it would be readily available for a much lower price on Bandcamp. And so it proved.
The album in question is "Lost Tapes", a 2013 collection of previously unreleased 1980s electronic music by one Rodion G.A. which defies my descriptive powers. You can find out more about him and pick up a copy via the Strut Bandcamp page.
Joining Rodion G.A. today are our old friends Phoenix (or Transylvanian Phoenix as they are called in some territories). I featured a track from their 1974 album "Mugur de Fluier" on the Romanian leg of our European tour a couple of years ago, and here is another one from the same LP.
"Caravane" - Rodion G.A.
"Pavel Chinezu, Leat 1479" - Phoenix