The following article was published in N-SPHERE February 2011 issue.


For a post–communist country, Romania has not seen too many experimental/unconventional events after 1989. One of the causes for this could be that we were suddenly exposed to so many things that were happening in the Western World, that we could only grasp its hollow foil. Musically speaking, experimental acts started to appear only by the end of the 90s, but events promoting this kind of art were very few. Another decade had to pass in order for the cultural life to start taking shape and, focusing on our subject,for bands from outside the border to start playing here on a regular basis.

Recalling only the last year, I would mention some great concerts with pioneers of unconventional sonic experimentation like Lydia Lunch with her latest project Big Sexy Noise and The Legendary Pink Dots. Along these names, that have reached worldwide recognition while still remaining underground, other lesser known acts brought avant–garde sounds to the ears eager for more, like Xiu Xiu, L’homme puma, Radare, Desiderii Marginis, Khuda, Cecilia::Eyes and so many more. Romanian experimental acts were also seen on stage, altough the local scene is not yet very well developed. One city with quite a few interesting names is Timisoara, The Bad Days Will End having at the end of November one of the greatest shows I’ve seen lately, even if it was in front of approximately 15-20 people, showing that art can still be made out of passion.

Finishing with this very brief “review” of experimental events, the actual subject of this article is the Nadja concerts that will be taking place in the first half of March in Timişoara and Bucharest. They will play alongside The :Egocentrics and Hipdiebattery respectively, and you can read more about them in the next paragraphs.

Having developed a solid band chemistry throughout the years playing together, The :Egocentrics deliver a fresh take on psychedelic hard rock with a jazz–like state of mind, relying on flow, dynamics and improvisation. With its four epic parts ranging from moody and ambient spacerock passages to uplifting choruses and heavy riffing, “Love Fear Choices and Astronauts” marks an impressive debut receiving an overwhelmingly positive feedback from specialized press all over Europe and US. :: egocentrics.net

Hipdiebattery is the audio recycling product of Anca Ştirbacu, visual artist based in Bucharest, Romania. She finished University of Fine Arts Bucharest, her background is video and photography, being involved in projects with HBK Saar, RoArchive, AltArt, Spazi Aperti, Time’s Up, Interface Culture Linz. Hipdiebattery is the audio support for her visual projects and interactive installations mixing lo fi, electronic, noise, trance, witch house, synth pop, balearic, tropicalia, psychedelic, and possibly a hint of manelo–ghetto hiphop. :: soundcloud.com/hipdiebattery

Nadja is a Canadian duo made up of Aidan Baker (guitar, vocals, drum machines) and Leah Buckareff (bass, accordion, vocals) alternately based in Toronto and Berlin. Originally began as a solo project by Baker in 2003, Buckareff joined Nadja in 2005 to bring the project out of the studio and into live settings. Together, the duo creates music which has variously been described as “ambient doom”, “dreamsludge”, and “metal-gaze”, combining the atmospheric textures and elements of shoegaze and experimental/ambient music with the heaviness and volume of metal and noise music.

Nadja has released numerous recordings on such labels as Alien8 Recordings, Hydrahead Records, Beta–Lactam Ring Records, Robotic Empire, and their own fledgling label, Broken Spine Productions. Nadja has toured and performed extensively around the world, appearing at such festivals as SXSW, FIMAV, Roadburn, and Unsound. They have shared the stage with such as artists as Tim Hecker, James Plotkin, Khanate, Grouper, Earth, Francisco Lopez, Isis, Om, The Grails, KTL, Z’ev, and many others.

In addition to Nadja, Baker is also active as a solo musician and a writer. He has released many solo albums and is the author of four collections of poetry. Buckareff is also the owner-operator of Coldsnap Bindery, a production house of handmade books, and curator of The Wunderkabinet, a wandering exhibition of art, craft, and curious. :: nadjaluv.ca

by George Tanasie

Full article here.