It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. This old saying fits like a glove for a Romanian flavoured party, usually a neverending story with no fat lady singing behind the decks. 24 hours, 48 hours, 4 days. Until the electrical fuses melt, until the sun rises the 5th time, until there are no percussions left into the players. You know the drill better than me.
Right in the middle of these feelings we found Raul Moldovan aka RQZ, a constant presence at Mioritmic, the intimate electronic festival that takes place every year since 2013 at the very heart of Transylvania, in October. Every time we had the chance of listening to RQZ, we were embraced with this delightful tension, built with care beat by beat. Softly obsessive loops to keep your feet busy, broken here and there with steam releasing sonic experiments: this pattern applies to his sets as well as his productions. “Mysticism is what compels the mind, of which, I am very fond of exploring.“ An explorer per se, but more from that Buddhist perspective of inner journeys, RQZ has decided to take the production path as a means to bring order to a sonic chaos dwelving in his mind from an early age. The urge to get into the creative process came at a somewhat earlier age. Drum patterns and quirky melodies were ever present in my mind, only they were in a chaotic manner. Thus, the curiosity for arranging sounds grew even bigger.
Xanadu, his release for Unic, the Australian imprint, stands as a proof for his skills as well as the attention for details. Creating music is not a daily job, more like a state of mind: Capturing ideas is a tricky process. There’s good ones and lesser, good ones. With that in mind, I often watch a film or listen to what’s around me in order to have a better understanding of the mood that I want to approach. David Lynch and David Foster Wallace have been of great inspiration in the more recent years.
After stilling the mind, after capturing brain stimulating sounds around him, then and only then starts the creative flow: The first part of the process is collecting sounds – mostly field recordings which consist of fairly new sounds for my brain. I then manipulate these sounds via a sampler and from there I create a rhythm, using it as the foundation of the track. Longer, modulated clips, is the intended end result. Drums, FX and synths join in the party later, after the rhythm has been recorded.
In only 3 years, from his first vinyl appearance on Algorhythmic, a record that received extended plays and support from Raresh, RQZ has managed to dress his electronic ideas into unexpected colors and shapes, yet sharing the same DNA. It’s a daily challenge. I approach new techniques every time I go to my studio and in between… looking for more ways to manipulate sound. The vastness of sound processing, recording and mixing is beyond limitation. We owe it to ourselves to dig deeper. Dig deeper, but aiming for those of us who enjoy this kind of music in small underground locations. The darker, the better, Raul told us :)
For the moment, his studio satisfies all his production needs: 2 x drum machines (Elektron Machinedrum and Electribe ESX-1), 2 x synths (Virus B, Minitaur), mixer (Boss KM-60), Fx unit (Lexicon MX 200), RME Fireface UFX sound card, couple of midi controllers (Behringer BCR 2000, Arturia Beatstep), undisclosed monitors and a fat cat!
As any old old soul who praises the here and now, RQZ chooses to flow in sync with the universal lifestream, not forgetting his roots and at the same time aware of any changes encountered in his journey.
There’s no treasure map so the plan is to continue and invest the time that’s given to us. I think the core sound will remain but I expect to revisit other styles / genres. Also, there’s a valuable aspect to studio collaborations, the brain opens up to more ideas and thus learning new methods.
His next release, Sublevels, will meet the vinyl format later this year, at the Afterhours UK imprint. Petre Inspirescu has already played it at Sunwaves #26 this year, you can hear a piece of it by clicking here.