After listening to Zebra’s Telurian compilation, the first thought that came to my mind was how much diversity these Romanian producers can inject into a genre that at first glance may seem quite restrictive. That’s definitely not the case here. The vast body of work that unfolds in three (almost) equal parts here. Each section is structured like an electronic opera in separate acts, smartly named by the curators “opuses”. It appears that the order of the tracks isn’t random, actually quite the contrary and that the songs are grouped in such a way that – while making you aware of the stylistic preferences of each producer present – still flows quite seamlessly, taking you on a trip rather than just relentlessly introducing you to a bunch of ready-for-use dancefloor weapons. A quick look at the tracklist reveals some of Romania’s biggest names alongside some promising newcomers. And it delivers on its promise, too.
One of my worries about this project before I got the chance to hear it was that it may reveal itself to be inconsistent. If not impossible, it’s pretty damn hard to put together such an immense collection of tracks without having a rotten apple or two. Well, joke’s on me, because once again it’s definitely not the case. Every tune on show strong in its own way, but it’s the variety that’s the selling point here. If you were to listen to the whole compilation front-to-back you would be taken on a rollercoaster of emotions. From dark tracks with an almost tribal quality to songs that make you nostalgic about things you haven’t even experienced, this has it all.
On a personal note, after listening to the whole compilation, the first track I wanted to hear again was Sepp & Asenn’s Vorfreude. I admit my decision may have been biased, as Sepp is my favorite Romanian producer, but that being said, this track is particularly amazing. The producer’s signature pads make you feel like you’re walking through an enchanted forest, with little forest animals watching you from afar, hiding beneath the leaves and behind trees. Another track I was curious about was Rhadoo’s Nisipari, and much as I anticipated, his explorations of dark, stripped down and somewhat funky modular sounds are welcomed here. The kind we heard on his 2019 “Semantics EP”, this one is an instant favourite.
Elsewhere, efforts by Bucurie (“Shadows”), Alex Rusu (“Butterfingers”) and Dark Syndicate (“Cybertronix)” are all highlights on a package that’s stuffed to the brim with excellent tunes. What I appreciate the most about the Telurian compilation is the care, work and thought that went into its creation. Nowadays we see more and more podcasts, compilations, labels, producers etc. that appear out of nowhere in the minimal scene. Obviously that’s a good thing, but at the same time it’s easy to notice that some of these projects’ sole purpose is to be a cash grab – they’re hastily put together and there’s no attention given to detail. For that – and many other reasons besides – Telurian debut VA stands out as a real winner.
Zebra Records ‘Telurian – The Rominimal Experience’ is out now. Buy/listen to the release here.
- Sebastian Eric – Telurian Whispers
- Cally – Bucharesting
- Dark Syndicate -Cybertronix
- Vlad Arapașu – Focus the Mind
- Sepp & Asenn – Vorfreude
- Puxumos – Hello Body
- Metafore – Here with You
- Priest – Orthophonic Victrola
- Vincentiulian – prophet
- Rhadoo (Nea Marin) – Nisipari
- Bucurie – Shadows
- Octave & Lucide – Water
- Calinie – Black Velvet
- Mihai Pol & Mera – White Rainbow
- VLF – Rough Cells
- Zamfir – Amount
- Hipp – Elsewhere
- Bryz – Symmetrical
- Hrisq – division
- Hari – te52
- Herodot – racun
- Sublee – Dontuseeme
- Alex Rusu – Butterfingers
- Kubrik – A Blessing in Disguise
- Vid – Avizv
Words by Calin Amariei