SUNWAVES in Mamaia, Romania is a must go!
Over the years Romania has gained itself quite a reputation for being a country with a very vibrant underground electronic music scene. In fact, it is one of the few countries besides the US (Detroit), Germany, the UK and France to coin its own sound and style, a genre which has been solidly named “Rominimal” and has been exported all over the world as part of the country’s music culture.
I went to Sunwaves for the first time in 2018 and it blew my mind. It was for sure one of the best music events I had ever attended and I had to come back for more. This year was no different. The sheer quality of the tunes you hear there is second to none and as a resident of Barcelona, a city that is well known for its banging music scene, I can fairly say that what is happening in Bucarest, Brasov, Cluj and at Sunwaves on the coast of Mamaia, is something that would make many electronic music lovers weak at the knees.
Sunwaves nowadays takes place twice a year and this was the 25th edition of the festival. Starting back in 2007 the crew that began this whole movement have become somewhat superstars not only in their country of origin (Romania) but also internationally. Staple Romanian DJ’s such as Raresh, Rhadoo, Priku and Petre Inspirescu are now household names in the international underground scene, but there are so many more names to mention these days, some of my favourites include, Alexandra, Dan Andrei, Cap, Lizz, DeWalta, Mihai Pol, Gescu, Sit, Cezar, Suciu and Arapu to name a few. They and many more, all play tunes with the Rominimal vibe in their performances and keep crowds all over the world addicted to their sound making them groove relentlessly and throw shapes on dance floors.
Sunwaves is split up into 4 stages and is the only festival I have been to in my life that has no feeling of ending. Situated on the beautiful and picturesque coast of the black sea, the festival started on Thursday 25th of April and when I left on Wednesday the 1st of May the tunes were still thumping and the place was still ransacked with people. Stages 1 to 3 showcase a mixture of international names, big ones such as Magda, Joseph Capriati, Marco Carola, Seth Troxler and Ricardo Villalobos for example. However, at this festival stage 4 is really where it’s at! Discreetly named stage 4, does not mean it is the most minor stage in any way. Quite the contrary in fact! Stage 4 is a stage at the festival that continues non stop for 24 hours and solely features DJ’s who play that Rominimal sound, both local ones and international ones such as Margaret Dygas, Ion Ludwig and Sonja Moonear who also all bring a very similar vibe when they spin and each played absolutely amazing sets.
Rominimal is quite diverse and is a hard one to describe. Some refer to it as “micro-house” others call it a type of “minimal techno”. I like to describe it as a mixture of groovy melodies and filthy beats that are not too aggressive and are kind on your ears, your mind and your feet. I find dancing to it actually very therapeutic and spiritual and I think many would agree with that statement. The sheer positivity that the music provides makes those, especially on stage 4, rave for days with big smiles on their faces exerting limitless joy and love to everyone around them. I think as a clubber once you discover Rominimal there is no going back and for sure once you attend Sunwaves you will be coming back to Romania again and again.
Electronic music around the world has certainly evolved since I started DJing and clubbing. What I used to like back in the day is not necessarily the case any-more, but I have found that Rominimal doesn’t seem to get old for me. Also, the crowd that this particular genre of music attracts is one of the friendliest you will ever experience. I have been to so many festivals over the years and I genuinely think that the mixture of local Romanian ravers alongside dedicated Rominimal loving tourists is one of the best combinations of crowd atmospheres you can get at a festival.
I want to finish this piece off by saying BIG RESPECT to Romania and to the organisers of Sunwaves. Clubbers all over the world are watching you and I am sure that your sound has undoubtedly inspired so many DJ’s and producers to push boundaries and get even more creative. I will be back for more! Mulțumesc!
Stay tuned for more articles reporting on events in Barcelona and elsewhere. There is plenty more to come and I can’t wait to tell you clubbers all about it.
Read more of my articles here.