The record is a rare example of electronic music released in Romania during the Ceaușescu era
Sub-Rosa is to reissue Romanian electronic composer Octavian Nemescu’s 1984 album Gradeatia/Natural 1973–83 on 14 December.
“For the last couple of years I’ve been researching and planning to release a compilation of Romanian experimental music made prior to the fall of communism,” explains Andrei Tanasescu, who's working on the project with the Belgium based label. Although that compilation isn’t due until the autumn of 2019, he has, in the meantime, worked with Sub Rosa on “issuing a somewhat obscure but equally important album of electronic music” by Nemescu.
Gradeatia-Natural 1973–83 was originally released in 1984 by Electrecord, the one state-run label to serve in communist Romania. “Its A side Gradeatia was recorded at the IPEM institute in Ghent, Belgium, and was conceived as an ode to one of Romania’s oldest monasteries, as a subversive protest against Ceausescu’s nationwide project of demolishing (or relocating) churches,” he continues. “It has also never been released in its entirety on vinyl, as the initial Electrecord release edited the piece without Nemescu’s knowledge. The B side Natural bears a similar avant garde musicality – particularly within the Romanian context – to its flipside.”
There were few electronic composers in Romania pre-1989, adds Tanasescu, concluding that he hopes to shed some light on this period in musical history. Now aged 78, Nemescu is the father of the film director Cristian Nemescu (1979–2006).
Gradeatia/Natural 1973–83 is available for pre-order now.