Rodion G.A., The Lost Tapes

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 05.28.13 in Reviews
Vintage Romanian sounds that are out there and then some

During their heyday, Rodion G.A. conjured the vintage sounds of Romania in the 1980s, using reel-to-reel tape machines and gear that included guitar and a slew of synthesizers and sound-processors. The results, most of which haven’t been released before now, are out there and then some, as you might guess from an opening track that boasts the portentous title “Alpha Centauri.” That star, among the brightest in the universe and certainly the most mythologized, is rarely paid tribute in understated fashion and, indeed, there’s a lot of spaciness in Rodion G.A.’s ode: robotic rhythms, strange phasing, imitations of lasers, lots of eerie-toned synths. (There’s also an insane break around 2:05 just waiting to be sampled by the likes of Death Grips.) After that rousing instrumental intro, The Lost Tapes runs off in wildly different directions. “Cantec Fulger” introduces vocals with a cadence and a sense of melody suggestive of their Eastern European roots. Tracks like “Disco Mania” drum up a sense of propulsion and weight directed toward the dance floor — though a comparatively rinky-dink ’80s version, to be sure. “Imagini Din Vis” leans hard on guitars in a way that lands closer to garage rock than anything expressly electronic. At the center of every digression is an endearing rawness and an entrancing sense of sound that makes for music more alive than mere history.