Secret Thirteen Guide 007 - Andrei Tanasescu


The second winner of “The Guide 2” competition is Andrei Tanasescu, a Romanian curator and die-hard record collector based in Toronto, Canada. Tanasescu migrated to Canada in 1994 after having spent his early childhood collecting cassette tapes in Bucharest and rifling through his father's vinyl collection. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Specialist degree in Film Studies he co-founded the Toronto-Romanian Film Festival - now at its fifth edition. He joined the programming team at the Toronto International Film Festival after completing an MLitt at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. His passion for music and cinema have led to a number of projects that concern the peculiarities of each form and their potential for historical reevaluation.

Tanasescu has explored the 3rd given topic “Urban ghosts” – the interpretation of forgotten urban landscapes and memories lying beneath the cultural surfaces of the city, city as a hauntological and psychogeographical entity full of ghosts, memories, subconscious impulses, dreams.

Andrei Tanasescu’s words about his mix:

My choice of the Urban Ghosts theme is closely connected to my fascination for Gilles Deleuze’s writings, specifically for his concept of the "nomad". What resonated intimately with me is the idea of the "nomad" as a seeker in a constant (re)negotiation of its identity, permanently searching for new methods of expanding its potentiality, always in a process of ‘becoming.’

A bit of personal background will hopefully elucidate further. Although born in Bucharest, Romania, I moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 11 - a difficult age to make such a drastic shift in one’s ‘formative’ years. Forcefully becoming a "nomad" from a geographical point of view, brought with it an emotional and psychological sense of disconnectedness. It was through music and cinema that, in my uprootedness, I could explore that isolation and nostalgia.

Further on this personal journey, Deleuze’s nomad became a marking point for me: conceptually, it glued a lot of scattered thoughts and impulses. Practically, it came at a time when I started my career in film festivals and found myself traveling more to my native country, Romania.

These recent visits to my place of birth brought to the surface a schism in my personal identity. At home neither in Canada nor Romania, and motivated also by the specter of Alzheimer’s in my family, my fading childhood recollections of Bucharest as urban space pushed me to produce field recordings, in order to sonically capture and preserve my own 'ghosts.' (reason why The Caretaker’s music is integral to the mix).

In my process of reconciling a forgotten childhood, split homelands and identities, I explored this schism through a ghostly narrative for the mix, considering music’s ability of transporting the listener into a soul-searching, ‘nomadic state.’

Beyond the mix’s cathartic quality, I tried to select songs that fit musically and lyrically to convey the story of a sonic narrator that takes off on a plane to Bucharest (tracks 4-5), Romania, slips into a dream (tracks 6-29), wakes up to its own death (tracks 30-31) and wanders through a state of limbo (tracks 32-39), before being liberated (tracks 40-43).

Maintaining a through-line with the theme of urban ghosts and identity, it made conceptual and emotional sense to include a number of relevant Romanian experimental pieces, old and new, as a way to reclaim a forgotten history, which mirrors my own process of recollection.

Discovering, years back, while being in Canada, the Romanian Spectral movement (fitting pun) that developed under the Communist regime (i.e. Costin Miereanu, Corneliu Cezar, Octavian Nemescu) pushed me to incorporate contemporary artists (Maria + Mihai Balabas, Norzeatic, Avant’n’Gard, Yvat), so as to create a continuity between these vestiges of ‘Romanian’ sounds. The creative freedom, originality and rebelliousness found in these artists were concrete realizations of nomadic potential, especially considering their isolated, cultural positioning. I hope to share the feeling of discovery with the listener.

Complementary, binaural field recordings (city streets, subways, trains, cemeteries) bring the added layer of placing the listener within the sonic space (what I heard then is what you hear now). To that effect, Billie Holiday's ‘Gloomy Sunday,’ is a binaural recording of a 78rpm record, played on a 1930‘s Columbia gramophone within the halls of an old, gothic house in Toronto, Canada.

Fittingly, it is within the ambient sounds of Bucharest that Maria Balabas opens the mix, inviting the listener to pay close attention to the role sound plays in their consciousness.

In the end, music “speaks” for itself, so with all the humble preamble, I hope the mix will resonate on its own, sonic merits, and invite the listener (in Maria Balabas’ words) to “open your hearing.”

Show Playlist
- Natacha Atlas & Marc Eagleton Project - Etheric Messages [Mantra Recordings, 2002]
- Maria Balabas / Nicolas Tiboi / Mihai Balabas - Madlena Sonora [Asociatia Noi Facem Bine, 2013]
- CTI - Elemental 7 [Doublevision, 1984]
- The Black Dog - M1 [Soma Quality Recordings, 2010]
- BJ Nilsen - Black Light [Touch, 2007]
+ field recordings (Athens, Greece; Bucharest, Romania)
- Bérangère Maximin - Adrift [Sub Rosa, 2013]
+ Scanner - Airborne [Ash International, 1993]
- Pinkcourtesyphone - Wistful Wishful Wanton [LINE [SEGMENTS], 2012]
+ Antti Rannisto - Untitled Space [Sleeparchive, 2007]
- L. Pierre - KAB 1340 [Melodic, 2013]
- Gianluca Becuzzi & Fabio Orsi - North of Me (At Midday) [A Silent Place, 2006]
- Terre Thaemlitz - Canto I Rosary Novena for Gender Transitioning [Comatonse Recordings, 2012]
- Julia Holter - City Appearing [Domino, 2013]
- Gennett Sound Effects - Walking in Snow and Thin Underbush [Dust-to-Digital, 2011]
- Kate Bush - Snowflake [Fish People, 2011]
- Avant'n'Gard - Deschidere (feat. Norzeatic) [self-released, 2012]
- Chris Watson - El Divisadero [Touch, 2011]
+ Maja S. K. Ratkje - Vacuum [Rune Grammofon, 2002]
+ field recordings (Athens, Greece; Bucharest, Romania)
- The Alps - Marzipan [Type, 2010]
- Eduard Artemiev - Stalker [Toei Music Publishing Co., 1995]
- Biosphere & Deathprod - Journey to the Centre of the First 1-1 [Rune Grammofon, 1998]
- Bohren & der Club of Gore - On Demon Wings [Wonder, 2000]
- Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones - Lampyre Bonne Chère [Denovali, 2013]
- John Zorn - Koryojang [Tzadik, 1999]
- Stefan Niculescu - Aforisme [Electrecord, 1970]
- Valentina Ponomaryova - Temptation [МЕЛОДИЯ, 1989]
+ Yvat - Secor [La Strada Music, 2005]
+ Maja S. K. Ratkje - Intro [Rune Grammofon, 2002]
+ Maja S. K. Ratkje - Trio [Rune Grammofon, 2002]
- Ghédalia Tazartès - Un Amour Si Grand Qu'il Nie Son Objet [Cobalt, 1979]
- John Zorn - Bateau Ivre [Tzadik, 2012]
- Octavian Nemescu - Combinatii în Cercuri [Electrecord, 1980]
- Corneliu Cezar - Rota [Electrecord, 1980]
- Costin Miereanu - Finis-Terre [Poly-Art Records, 1984]
+ Asva & Philippe Petit - Sweet Dreams Asshole [Basses Frequences, Small Doses, 2012]
- Cities Last Broadcast - Cornerstone [Cyclic Law, 2009]
+ Michael Esposito & Carl Michael Von Hausswolff - The Ghosts Of Effingham [Parapsychic Acoustic Research Cooperative, Ash International, 2010]
+ Graham Lambkin - Intro [Kye, 2007]
+ Igor Len - Sentence [МЕЛОДИЯ, 1990]
+ field recordings (Bucharest, Romania)
- Jacaszek - II [Gusstaff Records, 2009]
+ Okkulte Stimmen - Mediale Musik: Jack Sutton Contacts Dead Airmen [Supposé, 2007]
- John Zorn - Office Nr. 9 The Passion II. Prayer [Tzadik, 2014]
- Pali Meursault - Cycle 1 [Doubtful Sounds, Universinternational, 2013]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- The Stranger - We Are Enemies But Not Here [Modern Love, 2013]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- Cyclobe - The Woods Are Alive With the Smell of His Coming [Phantom Code, 2010]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- Murcof & Philippe Petit - The Call of Circé [Aagoo Records, 2013]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- Igor Len - Here [МЕЛОДИЯ, 1990]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- The Caretaker - We Cannot Escape the Past [V/VM Test Records, 2001]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- Paul Jebanasam - Rites: III [Subtext, 2013]
+ field recordings (Toronto, Canada)
- A Hawk and a Hacksaw - Bury Me in the Clothes I Was Married In… [LM Dupli-cation, 2013]
- Halim El-Dabh - Venice [Without Fear, 2000]
+ field recordings (Bucharest, Romania)
- Billie Holiday - Gloomy Sunday [Columbia, 1941]
+ field recordings (Bucharest, Romania)
- Unkown Artist - Bats In The Cavernous And Ancient Sri Meenakshi Temple, Madurai [Fire Breathing Turtle, 2009)
+ Field Recording (traditional Romanian Goat dance)
- A Hawk and a Hacksaw - On the River Cheremosh (Ukraine) [LM Dupli-cation, 2013]


Maria Balabas / Nicolas Tiboi / Mihai Balabas - Madlena Sonora [Asociatia Noi Facem Bine, 2013]:

"You enter the space

and you guess
the sonorous presence. 

You approach.

The song becomes more and more clear.

It is part of the darkness,
of the light,

of everything that surrounds you.

Close your eyes,

open your eyes.

Do you know where you are?

Do you know what you listen to?
Do you know what time

the sounds that arouse your perception

come from?

It is nothing heroic,
it’s just a quotidian mythology

that each of us is living
step by step,
sound after sound.

The beginning or the end

depend only on yourself.

Close your eyes,
open your hearing."

Avant'n'Gard - Deschidere (feat. Norzeatic) [self-released, 2012]:

Time stitched
from east to west
dressing the new world
floating swiftly on dew
travellers over seas and lands
bring forth in gift
cloths made of silk
gliding words
from times past
shake their voices
it's the last hour
no time left
for they encounter
the new guest
in whose house they're hosts

More about Andrei Tanasescu: Mixcloud

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An interdisciplinary journal, offering eclectic mixes and smart interviews with original artists and label owners as well as contemporary art reviews.

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