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Golan: The harmonic triad

This Romanian three-person band has been around since 2013, and has made two albums so far. The first one came out in 2017, with the sequel arriving last year. The electronic pop music of the Bucharest-based Golan is catchy, silky smooth, danceable, melancholic and light-hearted, all at once. It is definitely worth a try.

Although Golan is a band, you don’t just give concerts: you also perform as DJs. We all know what you play in your concerts, but what does your musical landscape look like when you’re DJing? How far is it from Golan’s own universe?

Golan’s DJ-version is in fact a hybrid variant of the band, where we mix everything we have into it: we play dance music using an electric bass, synthesizers and singing. The set features remixes of our own songs, a couple of songs in their original version, and even some other performers’ tracks as well, provided they fit in the specific mix.

All three of you came from entirely different backgrounds and musical genres. How did these different worlds come together to shape Golan? Who brought what to the table? 

We learned from and influenced each other a great deal during the creative process, so it’s not easy to untangle exactly who brought what to the table. But if we look at the timeline of a track in progress, we can say that it’s generally Mihai who brings us an idea, which he pursues and develops until he feels it can be presented to the rest of the band. Then comes Florian, who beefs up the song with various harmonies. The song then normally goes to Alex, who is in charge of polishing the final version.

photo: Bodnár Márton – Golan

Your name means hooligan, while your music is full of subtle elegance. Why the name? Was it a conscious decision, did you feel there should be “tension” between the atmosphere of the music and the name of the band?

It was about our attitude, back when we named the band. We were in a state of rebellion. We did whatever we wanted to do, and didn’t really care what others might think of us.

Although Golan has not turned 10 yet, you are already well-known, and you have shared the stage with such performers as Morcheeba, Parov Stelar or Roísin Murphy. Have you thought about the key to your success, or do you just play your music and stay in the moment? 

Although we do sometimes reflect on what makes everything work so well, we tend to come up with a different answer to the question every time. So the only right answer is that we always do what we like, and this pushes us in the right direction. That is what makes us successful.

photo: Bodnár Márton – Golan

Not much is known about the Romanian electronic music scene. Who would you recommend to those interested in it? Apart from yourself, of course. 

The list is quite long, and we’d prefer not to single anyone out, for fear of unfairly leaving others out. Instead, we would suggest that people come to Romania, and check out some of the local electronic parties.

Whether it be a slower or a faster-paced track, your music is always dreamy and melancholic, like watching the sun set over the sea. Where does this melancholy come from? 

It’s a genuine emotion, which has been part of our music since the beginning. There’s no specific reason for why it’s like that. It just comes and goes, and sometimes we are lucky enough to be able to express it perfectly through our music.

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