Ion Petre Stoican – Sounds from a Bygone Age Volume 1 (Asphalt Tango)
Romica Puceanu – Sounds from a Bygone Age Volume 2 (Asphalt Tango)
Dona Dumitru Siminica – Sounds from a Bygone Age Volume 3 (Asphalt Tango)
Toni Iordache – Sounds from a Bygone Age Volume 4 (Asphalt Tango)
Gabi Luncă – Sounds from a Bygone Age Volume 5 (Asphalt Tango)
Having read the essays accompanying all these communist-era treasures from Romania, I confess to not being much wiser than when I started about what exactly I’m listening to here – how much is pop, how much is folk, how much is traditional?
Does it matter?
A purchasing whim, a punt, has enriched my musical life considerably.
There’s violins, accordians, cimbaloms, trumpets.
Most emphatically, there are off-kilter rhythms – many of the tunes seem to stop and start, lurch and stagger.
If this was a western pop-folk sound, I might be tempted to think the players were drunk.
The music is frequently rousing, as often melancholy.
They’re all good.
But I like the singing of the famous Puceanu and Luncă the best.
The latter, in particular, throws in a poppy vibe that recalls – for me anyway – some of frothy twang and effervescence associated with the Eurovision vibe of many decades ago.