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April 27, 2010



no doubt, the music travels and this is a good thing. but there is a certain difference between the value of these songs.
i know florin salam because i am romanian and he is poluting our music for more than a decade. he sings in a style called 'manele' which is a mixture of arabic/balcanic grooves, romanian popular music and very cheap pop music. i think the song you posted has more arabic/balcanic/greek influence (rhythm, structure) than latin (rumba). he named that song reggaeton because all manele singers are trying to seem more 'fancy' (but end up as douchebags) - besides reggaeton, you can also find manele as euro-dance, house and almost all styles. these guys are no doubt talented but the way they deploy their talent is horrible.


Oh Boima - who directed me to this thread - this is exactly on par for all Romanian middle-class commenters of the genre. They can't see the fact that what they've got underneath their noses is the most interesting creol genre in Europe, and even the purportedly cosmopolitan think it's too much mixture as evident here.

Clue, dude: "besides reggaeton, you can also find manele as euro-dance, house and almost all styles" is a music lover's wet rhizomic dream, the ultimate rootless mixture... I'll add to that list hip-hop manele, bollywood manele, all sorts of world pop manele, it all travels, and everything seems to end up cannibalised by Romania's poor and ethnically shunned. Awesome.


is it interesting? yes..culturally interesting. aesthetically? i don't think so. i can listen about anything but i must have some set of values in my mind. you must make the difference between something that is just interesting by its exotism and novelty and something that is new by its form of expression and value.
all i am saying is: there are good manele and bad manele done just for the market, for the money (if you would read more you would find out that money is a theme for these singers). if stop just at exotism, after listening that kind of music a few times, it becomes boring, annoying, empty.

manele wasn't invented by them. it existed in the 1930! and the mixing of different styles is not something new. it happens all over the world today!

and one more thing: there is no such thing as romanian middle class. we are not sweeden, dear birdseed. blame it on the 50 years of comunism.


Of course there's mixed music all over the world, that's the point - Manele is part of a global network of music, but almost heightenedly so... I'm not sure I've ever heard music that has quite as many influences and iterative combinations, at least outside the Caribbean.

The rest is just subjective judgement, right? For me Manele has a lot of musical quality - it's quirkier and more open than the Bulgarian, Greek or Turkish equivalents, and the vocal talent on show is amazing.

(BTW, I'm half Hungarian, and that country - which I acknowledge had a less harsh communist rule - at least has a middle class and an elite, in terms of education and social position. Is Romania really as egalitarian as you make out? Kudos, in that case. :/)

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