Collage by Cristiana Bucureci
My first proper music mentor/ father/ „mother” was Rodion Ladislau Roșca from Cluj, Transylvania. He was the one pushing me to start my solo career after his huge experience being a solo artist, but also working with many talented musicians of different generations and performing live as a band. In his late career he performed through „old school workshops” by Djing off his old Tesla tapes.
Paradox originally on the Behind the Curtain (The Lost Album) album from Rodion G.A and then from the Loud Blood Youth by Crowd Control mixtape stands out through the balanced groove and brave guitar riff, but also through the hard rock melodic line of the voice translated by Intimidatah/ Obeah into an psychedelic shout and wail. Rodion was clearly listening to bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Butterfly in the seventies and built his tune with the same aggressive-melodic attitude. The song has also something of the Balkan nationalist pride that was shared and continues to be shared with euphoria. The dub version made by Obeah & Petru Birladeanu channels the influence of Bristol legends Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty and of course Rodion collaborator, Mark Stewart of The Pop Group.
To talk about the influence of Rodion Roșca aka Rodion G.A. on Romanian electronic music is a paradox. Because Rodion was a pioneer and pioneered many sound experiments and at the same time gave up making music, he was forgotten and rediscovered – as The Guardian called him a few years ago: Ceaușescu’s Lost Superstar.
Also for the first time in Romania and Transylvania, Rodion changed over 30 drummers and even if live Rodion G.A. was an electronic rock band, the recordings that can be heard on the Rodion GA albums are worked by the artist/producer alone in his home studio with his Tesla tapes. He overdubbed all the instruments and added effects until he was satisfied. Well versed in physics, chemistry and biology, an engineer by trade, Rodion also believed in magic and the supernatural. This helped him to think about his compositions on a macro level, with a surgical attention to detail, but also with a lot of instinct and passion. He released four albums and was preparing the fifth when he lost his battle with cancer. His daughter Isabella is trying to make the Rodion Museum in his house in Așchileu.
I dedicate this Obeah & Petru Birladeanu Remix collaboration between master Rodion G.A. & Crowd Control aka Razvan Gabar & Coshmelin Gabar + Intimidatah to my mentor’s versatility and juxtaposition of electronic, rock, ballads and compositions for film soundtracks.
I feel he left me a legacy as he blessed and wanted to remix two of my songs released with the late Nick Page aka Dub Colossus.
Rodion said since 2017: Don’t Cry If I Die! Obeah Bucureci
Without Rodion G.A. we would not have understood and accepted, even idolized, bands such as New Order, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem or M83, although it is very likely that none of them have listened to or even heard of him.
Apparently Rodion and his band Rodion G.A. are in favor of the technique. Only apparently, because in fact they are in favor of the new, the original, the psychedelic, the progressive, the organic and the technologic, in fact, through the futuristic, visionary music they recorded. This despite the fact that, as with Kraftwerk or Giorgio Moroder, there is always, but always, a metronome that obsessively dictates order and rigor within composition.
But the music and what comes out of the loudspeakers transcends this plane, this strict dimension and content towards the future: ether and eternity. With eyes closed and with a guitar and synthesizer riff in the background, with layers of reverberation and delays where instinct dictates, the music on Rodion’s albums seems to paint ancestral Romanian landscapes, they belong neither to the past nor to the present.
Despite its belonging to an era where science fiction soundtracks such as Blade Runner by Vangelis, Dune by Toto and Brian Eno, Tron by Wendy Carlos, Videodrome by Howard Shore, Rodion G.A. makes this musical style exceed and transcend the limits imposed even by futuristic music towards ancestral organic textures. He is like a Hieronymus Bosch or Max Ernst, a painter of post-planetary, post-temporal landscapes where imagination creates mutations of reality in self-sufficient hybrids.
Paradoxically as a fan of complete artworks and concept albums from The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks, Rodion chose mystery and lost control over his albums. Releases like The Lost Tapes, Rozalia and Behind The Curtain (The Lost Album) are actually compilations, not albums conceived by the musician. The only mini-album that was a full on concept was Space Mission Delta, a rejected 1983 soundtrack for a popular communist animation series. The different labels Rodion worked with, Strut, Barely Breaking Even/ BBE Music, Inversions and Future Nuggets were interested in showcasing his talent and vision more than putting out an artistic statement like the ones from his peers, Adrian Enescu and Mircea Florian with his band Florian din Transilvania.
And Rodion just let that happen, as a song master crafter he chose to claim each song was a world within itself, even though he was also proud of having four or five versions of the same song, with different instruments and even lyrics. Curator Bucureci Andrei
Remix & master by Obeah & Petru Birladeanu
Razvan Gabar – synth
Coshmelin – drums
Obeah – vocals
Fierbinteanu – production
Artwork by Cristiana Bucureci