Phoenix; An Introduction to Psychedelic-Folk in Ceausescuís Romania 2009, lecture (20mins)

Phoenix (formed 1962) were active throughout the mid-late communist era in Romania where, originally under the name of Sfintii (The Saints), they did covers of western pop and original beat influenced songs. When the Romanian government policy decreed that all artistic production should reflect the authentic folk culture of the Romanian people and their socialist values they began singing in archaic Romanian: Working with ethnologists and folklorists they ended up producing their own peculiar brand of psychedelic-folk rock.

In 1977 the band fled Romania for West Germany, hiding in their own speakers. They returned triumphantly to Romania in 1990 and continue to produce new music.

This talk briefly introduced the early history of the band and played a couple of extracts from their communist era videos. The contention being that through overidentification with the regime's cultural ideology they were able to produce an effective critique of the contradictions of 'Communist' Romania.