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Timpuri Noi was formed in 1983 in Bucharest, Romania, and remained an underground act up to 1991. This was mainly due to what was perceived as "subversive lyrical content" in the Ceauşescu era. Incidentally, the name derives from a cliché of the period: its literal meaning is "New Age", used to signify Marxist Socialism. The tongue-in-cheek reference is somehow associated with the Bucharest district of the same name. The name is also the Romanian translation of Modern Times, the title for Charles Chaplin's classic 1936 film.Read More...
The earliest well-known track by Timpuri Noi was Perfect (composed 1984). However, the band was first featured on disc in 1988. Thus, the 11th volume of the Formatii rock ("Rock bands") various-artists series includes four tracks by Timpuri Noi (and another four by an obscure band from Suceava - Contrast ).
In the early nineties, up to around 1995, the band was arguably the top Romanian act. Around the time, they had the opportunity to be the opening act for rather prestigious (albeit musically different) foreign acts during concerts in Bucharest: Ian Gillan and Uriah Heep in 1992, Scorpions in 1993, Saxon, Paradise Lost and Jethro Tull in 1994, Iron Maiden and Kreator in 1995, Eros Ramazzotti, Joe Cocker and Rod Stewart later in the same year.
1994 also signifies an important event in both Timpuri Noi's career and Romanian music in general: Timpuri Noi gives the very first unplugged performance in this country, recorded as an album in the same year (see below).
1997 - The band is presented with one of the MCM French music television and Radio France Internationale "Decouvertes de Rock a l'Est" (Eastern European New Acts) Awards, performing in a special gala concert. (The previous year, Timpuri Noi had been interviewed for MTV Europe during the Golden Stag Festival in the Romanian city of Braşov.)
Timpuri Noi has a claim to being the Romanian band to have performed most live concerts (over 150). This is considered a particular achievement in a country in which most singers choose to lip sync.
The band split in 2001, with members becoming involved in personal projects - Partizan for Artan, ZIDD for Dan Iliescu. A reunion for certain appearances (concerts, guaranteed to be "100% Unplugged") was staged in 2005.
Timpuri Noi's early music reflects New Wave influences. Later, the band incorporated a sound that was a mixture of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitars, Led Zeppelin intermezzos, clear vocals (Artan is a classically-trained vocalist, and a member of the Romanian Radio House Choir; he also cites Simple Minds as a personal favorite) and grunge-influenced additional sounds. They are noted for highly original, usually melancholic lyrics - all in Romanian. The songs had anthem-like qualities - most notably the likes of Luca, Perfect, Stan, Emigrant USA, Nămol, Stere, Mistreţul, Malu' Valu' (Lume care m-a lucrat), Fumatul (all performed on their Unplugged album) or Albele furtuni. Most take the form of social commentary and revolve around past and present cultural stereotypes, authentically depicting the world as seen from inside large peripheral quarters of the capital city.
Adrian Pleşca, nicknamed "Artan" (a name usually turned into "Artanu") - vocals
Dan Iliescu - guitar (vocals on some songs)
Cătălin Neagu - drums
Adrian Bortun - bass guitar
Additional or early members
Cătălin Răsvan - bass guitar
Marian Moldoveanu - guitar
In some concerts, the band would add two backing female singers to its line-up (whether vocalists or violinists): the official site mentions Denis Iliescu, Crina Godescu and Maria Radu as its main collaborators.
Timpuri noi (1992)
De regiune superior (1996)
Basca Abundenţei (2000)