Almost 10 years after Romanian house pioneers Raresh, Petre Inspirescu and Rhadoo brought their sound to the European dance music scene, a myriad of local DJs and producers have conquered the hearts of the genre’s devotees.
After now famous acts like RPR Soundsystem, Cezar, Praslea, Mihai Popoviciu paved the way for the country’s talent to break through, a second wave of DJs have begun to follow suit — most notably with Herodot, Priku, Cristi Cons, Vlad Caia, Piticu, Alexandra, Gescu and Kozo.
But the eastern European country of just 20 million has much more hidden talent, as a new wave of prominent DJs and producers make their first steps into the industry.
We take a look at five of the country’s rising you’ve probably never heard of, some who are destined to rule Romanian house soon.
Bucharest native Capatina Mircea’s passion for dance music and vinyl pushed him to step behind the decks for the first time in 2010. Although he’s clearly a representative of the Romanian sound, he can’t be pigeonholed to playing just minimal house. His sets often morph through old school house and techno, earning Cap the reputation of a versatile selector capable of adapting to the crowd and the vibe. With no releases behind his back, the Bucharest native is completely devoted to music curation, which has landed him gigs at the Zoo Project Ibiza, Underground Ibiza and Sunwaves.
Born and raised in a small town in Transylvania, Alin Crihan has been channelling all his creative energy into mastering music production and DJing since 2004. After relocating to Bucharest in 2009, Crihan started exploring the deeper and more experimental side of the music spectrum. Following his debut releases on imprints like Naural and Ultrastretch last year, the talented Romanian played festivals like Sunwaves and Waha Festival in his country, along with clubs in Moscow, London and Zurich.
Having grown up listening to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Depeche Mode, Prince, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker, Suciu developed a wide knowledge of music, which helped him craft a rich sound of his own. In 2006, the talented Romanian started throwing parties and DJing in his home town of Râmnicu Vâlcea, which subsequently led to a residency at a local club, along with a series of gigs in Bucharest. His groove-infused sets, blending techno with tech and deep house, have landed him gigs at festivals like Sunwaves, and venues like Club der Visionaere in Berlin and The Pickle Factory in London.
Drawing inspiration from film directors like Lars von Trier, Andrei Tarkovsky and Stanley Kubrick, and techno pioneers like Thomas Brinkmann and Moritz von Oswald, Matei Tulbure has forged a sound of his own. Whether it’s his DJ sets, his solo productions or his tracks produced in collaboration with local producer Traian Cherches as part of their TC Studio project, Tulbure’s the living proof there’s room for more avant-garde sounds on the dancefloor.
Having grown up in an artistic family, Ioana, aka Miss I, learned how to play the piano from her mother and how to DJ from her dad. Ever since first stepping behind the decks in 2006, Ioana has played a vital part in Bucharest’s vibrant clubbing scene, not just as a DJ, but also as the owner of the city’s finest record store, Misbits, launched in 2013. This summer she played the first ever Boiler Room in Romania, spreading her mesmerizing dub sounds across the globe.
Main photo by Ogarev.