BRUSSELS De Brouckère • 29.04.2023

Subcarpați is a very special mixture of Romanian traditional music, hip-hop and electro. The idea came to MC Bean, the vocalist of another Romanian band, Șuie Paparude, in 2010. He wanted to create a contemporary cultural manifesto by bringing Romanian folklore into the present, as the genre was dying because very few young people were interested in it, considering it obsolete and uncool.

Together with other musicians, Bean seeks to reinterpret popular motifs in Romanian folklore and give them a modern twist. The result is surprisingly familiar yet strange music, mixing samples of the best-known voices of Romanian folklore with hip hop, dub and trip-hop beats. Top that with a touch of dubstep, and you have Romanian youths talking to their grandmas about the music they were listening to when they were 20.

Subcarpați speak with great pride about Romania’s values and traditions. The ancestral rural life is greatly missed with every melancholic cry of the oboe. It’s patriotic, but not pathetic, and aimed at the modern man, trapped in the big city, forced to cut all ties with nature and traditions. The music serves to remind us of where Romanians came from as a people.

Their main principle is that “music should not be confused with showbiz”. Therefore, they pay very close attention to the artists they collaborate with and always try to stick to their “underground folklore” aesthetic. Subcarpați are first a cultural manifesto, then a music project. This is the reason why all their albums are free to download.