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Eastern Daze #16 with PARADAIZ Tape Mașina

16 September 2019

PARADAIZ Tape Mașina emerged with the interest for an unexplored cultural area in the social context of the 90s Romanian transition. Having roots in the sub-cultural phenomena of the 80s – operating at an illicit level, outside the landscape produced and controlled by the official culture – the party and proto-manele music was broadcast through a bootleg system: recorded ad hoc, during the events that these bands performed at – the important names of the incipient period are Azur, Odeon, Miracol C or Generic, in terms of the minimalistic synth party music, or Dan Armeanca, on the proto-manele side, “upgrading” the lăutari tradition – on magnetic tape and then copied on audio cassettes and tape recorders, distributed through an underground system. Accessible at the level of language, speaking directly about the immediate reality, in response to the narrative stylizations of “popular music”, connecting at the time of the proliferation to a pan-Balkan style – turbo folk in Yugoslavia, arabesk in Turkey, skiladiko in Greece, chalga in Bulgaria, Tallava in Albania – but also, interestingly, representing a cultural exchange whose agents were regime workers working in the Middle East, who, upon their return, brought in audio recordings from those places. To be adapted and sung by the local bands, the party music is urban and peri-urban, apart from a rural “idyll”, an apparent source of social morality, performed by the folklore of the time. From a functionalist perspective, party music appeared in the 1980s to counter-balance the system, to introduce a new code / virus into it: the entertainment, but also the political filters of the new generation working class – massively transplanted from the rural areas. The instrumentation of the musicians gets an upgrade: the first electronic instruments appear.

In the early ’90s, immediately after the Revolution, this culture exploded. Hundreds of bands are born (among those important names of the period were Albatros, Real B, Parshi Vee, Frații Pește, Tomis Junior, Zorile etc.), hundreds of recording and duplication studios appear, as well as thousands of points of sale (the market stall) at the center of this fascinating world). Paradoxically, but not coincidentally, this culture produces for the first time in Romania a reaction similar to the cassette culture phenomena in the West: Do-It-Yourself aesthetics, eclecticism, ad hoc distribution, outsider media performance, a disconcerting aesthetic freedom, a market alternative, etc. At the same time, the aesthetics of the bands involved in this culture of party music indirectly alludes to the new wave music of the late ’70s, early’ 80s: a typical band of the era has a minimalist formula – guitar, electronic keyboard, voice and possibly bass. The music itself reminds of minimalist pop. If the new wave in global music was marked by the cheapness, the accessibility of electronic instruments, the Romanian party music of the 1990s was situated in an almost similar context: the opening of the borders after the Revolution gave the musicians in Romania access to contemporary instruments and instrumentals. The “Turkish Bazaar” became the outlet of the proto-capitalist dreams. In the overloaded coaches coming from Istanbul, were not only the hopes for a better life, clad in leather clothes and gold jewelry, but also the signs of a very important cultural transformation of the party music of the first years after the transition: the sound, the image, language, tools. Naturally, this culture began to be colonized as the media interest arose, articulated in the mid-1990s.

http://paradaiz.org/

Playlist

Formația Total din Oradea - Prezentare
Nelu Petrache - Nu pot să cred că ai plecat
Formația Total din Oradea - Sînt băiat de mahala
Doru și Robert Calotă - Miliardarii
Carmen Șerban - Mult aș vrea și mult mi-ar place
Frații Pește - Prezentare + Patronul
Mariana Radu - Fata din discotecă
Generic - Spune
Star ’89 - Instrumentală
Marius Vișinescu - Cînd ne întîlnim
Sultanii - Orientală
Marius de la Focșani - Nu pot trăi fără iubirea ta
Nicolae Guță feat. Traian - Ai plecat
Parshi-Vee - Copilașii mei
Albatros - Ți-aduci aminte?

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