Ion din Dorobanti is a recently released project born out of the Romanian music collective Future Nuggets and a half member of the new duo Raze de Soare. Here's four free downloadable vocoderized interpretations of certain Romanian (proto)-manele, which where recorded between the 70s and the 90s.
Future Nuggets is a group of Romanian producers, diggers and musicians in their search for a local psychedelic scene, informed by the past but made for the times to come. The collective has released over the years two volumes of the Sounds of the Unheard from Romania VA compilation (featuring local producers under different names, projects and concepts), an LP of the band Steaua de Mare and Raze de Soare. They are also responsible for the re-discovery of the lost tapes from the new wave band Rodion GA, which led to 2 albums released on Strut Records. Here's an interview with band leader Rodion Rosca, in case you missed the story.
Romanian manele - the contemporary Rroma music that has spread around the Balkans with different flavors and modulations - is living off the wedding industry. Musicians release singles and YouTube videos just to ensure the flow of wedding gigs (similar to dabke or halay artists). Sometimes the music is hybridized with pop and dance beats in an attempt at the mainstream, but local manele stars usually earn their main money at mafia bosses’ family events. Manele music never gets aired on radio (a characteristic with clear shades of discrimination towards the Rroma people) while TV stations have embraced it periodically in a tabloid way. Although there are hundreds of manele artists, they all operate through two or three agents, and recording and production is limited to very few studios.
The overlapping of the mainstream and underground is a common contemporary Outernational paradox. The manele case is very telling, being both underground and overground, having millions of listeners but never showing up in local tops. Even if orthodox (Western) market procedures operate in some of these border societies, with states joining the European Union, others maintain an Outernational dynamic with kinship industries, mass piracy, and unfettered copyright infringement.
Read more - The Outernational Condition