Crate Diggin’
Our favourite tracks from Barac’s back catalogue

Barac Nicolae hails from Miercurea Ciuc in the centre of Romania, but it wasn’t until moving to Bacau in the east (via a meeting with Raresh) that he was known outside of his homeland. Now based in Bucharest, he’s part of the second wave of Romanian DJs and producers that have helped bring the country’s so-called “sound” to electronic music’s forefront.

There's much contention around what this sound entails; fans and journalists alike have long used the term to describe the output of an ever-growing list of producers and DJs, but speak to any of them, and they will profess that such a thing doesn't exist. When listening to Barac's productions, there's certainly a particular groove and rhythm that connects them, and this no doubt stems from his personality itself, but each track brings with it a distinct feeling or mood.

Perhaps the greatest factor in the man's music is that this mood is not always necessarily a happy one. Listeners can feel any range of emotions from ecstasy to melancholy, sometimes in the same track. His own label is called Moment, which relates to the moments that happen on the dancefloor and the way his long winding loops often build to specific moments.

Though Barac is widely regarded as one of Eastern Europe’s best DJs, it was as a producer that he caught most people’s attention. If you’ve been to see any of [a:rpia:r] play in recent years it’s likely you’ll have heard some of Barac’s tunes – some of these instantly recognisable, but many more that may never see a release. Before he joins Digby and Craig Richards in Room One next weekend, we rounded out some of his best productions to date.

Voyetra – Barac [Naural]

Voyetra is one of Barac’s shining jewels, and it’s also been described as one of the best minimal tracks out there. Using a perfectly syncopated irregular loop and a peppering of a short vocal, it bursts into a colourful melody, lifting the listener into something like a dream. It’s gone at once, only to burst through again. Released in 2013 via Naural, its simplicity is its charm.

490 – Barac [Midi Records Romania]

Out on Midi Records Romania, a small label born out of Cluj’s Club Midi, 490 is a lesson in restraint. Simple looping rhythms wind round drifting hooks and melodies, while that haunting Casablanca sample peeps through intermittently. Perfect for the after party, or the night’s calmer moments.

Cuvantul Lui Iancu – Barac [Unreleased]

Officially unreleased as it stands, Cuvantul Lui Iancu showcases Barac’s ability at crafting unbelievably intricate constructions. There’s not much information around the track, but it has a distinctive rolling pattern that’s unmistakably his.

Marea Neagră – Barac [Metereze]

Barac has previously described how his debut record was produced during a difficult time in his life, and the LP’s title helps paint this emotive context. But there's also something less oblique to parts of the record: Marea Neagră is Romanian for Black Sea, instantly evoking memories of every minimal fan’s mecca party, Sunwaves.

Frou Frou – Barac [fabric]

One of the pivotal moments of Rhadoo’s fabric 72 album for us, Frou Frou has never been released as a standalone, but features the same kind of crescendos and diminuendos that formulate some of the style’s best tool tracks. Its percussive elements and vocal stabs make for compelling listening, the type of thing you can imagine Rhadoo subtly layering underneath several other hidden melodies.

Maloma (Barac Remix) – David Nicolas [Kusi]

Barac is a master at reshaping records, and his Maloma remix shows how he uses this skill to manipulate tracks into his own. Barac uses David Nicolas’ groove on his rework, but this is the only reference point he draws from the original. Both versions came out via new German imprint Kusi, and they’re amazing bedfellows. Thanks to its infectious groove and dance-oriented rhythm, it’s Barac’s interpretation that shines brightest for us.

Saturday 13th April

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