In it’s simplest form, [a:rpia:r] strives to deliver the underground sounds of Bucharest to the rest of the world, and their showcase at Troxy (London) with HOME reinforced this.
Despite a lack of set times posted online or at the venue; amongst the hordes of guests on stage it appeared that Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu and Raresh were performing back to back to back all night. All being artists on [a:rpia:r], the three worked side by side playing off each other’s songs with ease in a nonchalant manner that crowds have come to expect from the upper echelon of minimalistic grooves.
Arriving at a cool 1:00am the venue was divided between dance-floor and stage, the latter packed out and the questionably carpeted dance-floor yet to be filled. Regardless of capacity, the initial buzz and first thing to most attendees’s attention was the visual effects on opposing sides of the grade II-listed Art Deco stage. Visuals were provided by previous [a:rpia:r] collaborator, Dreamrec who created those trippy visuals for the Romanian labels party at Fabric in 2014. This time around the visuals represented a colourful oil sitting on water effect that warped and marbled throughout the night.
As admirable as the visuals were however, the diverse crowd had paid for the audio performance, not the visual. For the first hour or 2 the music was raw, stripped back, minimal house. Songs played out as a welcoming soundtrack to the night, yet as the crowd grew – the music matured too.
Around 2:30am, almost without notice, the dance floor was comfortably packed and [a:rpia:r] residents upped the ante. Fashionably late guests and all others were presented with an eclectic range of tracks such as complex acidy synth-based tracks paired with naked hard kicks. As the night progressed the tunes got ‘tougher’, yet that distinctive Romanian sound remained as tunes moved between minimal house and minimal techno.
The Romanian brand of dance music is hard to pin point or give definition too, but why would one want to? It serves its purpose to entertain crowds and challenge listeners’ perception of what dance music could and should be, an ever-developing collage of sound. This was encapsulated on the night through a range of 12” white labels, unreleased, unheard of and unrecognisable floor fillers.
Best received track of the night comes from the HOSTOM label, 004, B side: it is untitled and uncredited but is available from the Yoyaku record store and has been played by the likes of tINI and Bill Patrick.