Gábor Lázár - EP16 (The Death of Rave, 2014)
2 weeks ago, 3 October 2014  ·   4 notes

Gábor Lázár is back. Not much time has passed since we - positively - reviewed his previous album and now his reach bounds to get even wider, as Boomkat’s label The Death of Rave has decided to support this young Hungarian experimental artist coinciding with the rising interest in the Budapest music scene which slowly, but surely infiltrates international music magazines. While the output of his fellow Budapestians aims towards more accessible sounds and grooves, Gábor’s music is uncompromising, bare to the bone experimentation with sound dynamics and structures, mostly relying on single sounds processed through a strict, minimalistic approach relying on the skill of careful gradating composition.

EP16 is similar to his previous ILS effort and develops the sound and Gábor’s approach in a more precise and detailed manner. Again, despite the creative limitations that this process offers. Slight filter processing and sudden dynamic changes in rhythm are certainly pleasant. Adventurously chopped up sonic collages prove that Lázár did his homework well, when studying at Faculty of Music and Arts in Pécs. My favourite activity on one afternoon was to run his tracks through a spectrogram, the visual side of the tracks reminding me somewhat of the old Prince of Persia level designs.

Nevertheless, it is just an upgrade to his ILS album proving that Gábor was capable of a more refined sound in the original release. It makes me wonder why this wasn’t perfected on ILS already? I really hope that his upcoming collaboration with Mark Fell will be more daring and Gábor will take us somewhere else, as a third release of this kind would be a bit boring. On the other hand, a lot of people possibly didn’t catch his previous releases and through this opportunity a bigger audience will be able get to know the unique and intriguing Lázar’s take on modern music.

by b.arctor

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Wedding Acid Group - Newpestian Adventures Remixes
2 months ago, 31 July 2014  ·   1 note


There is a thing with remixes, an almost philosophical question. Shall they eclipse the originals, shall they pay homage to them, or rather totally arbitrarily, like the ol’ Aphex Twin used to do, throw in a random track.

Wedding Acid Group is a trio from Budapest, headed by the underrated, under-the-radar Lóri Keresztes, whose looks and production skills have earned him the moniker “The Hungarian Richard D. James”. The other two members are András Leidal and Zoli Balla, the tireless vintage synth collector whose studio - affectionately dubbed the Ballacid studio - has become the haven for local analogue fiends tweaking their 303s and 909s. As its name suggests, Wedding Acid Group (or WAG - no wives and girlfriends here though), worships the acid mantra, the characteristic sound of the 303 its mind-bending, brain tweaking and twisting properties.

The earnest positivity of the nineties IDM scene is mirrored in the band’s output. No darkness, so de rigueur in the last couple of years in electronic productions, here. Melancholy yes, but no gloom. The remixes, are a different matter. There is the ominous Drone Travolta - very aptly entitled Death Sun 666 rework, the quirky Morkebla edit, or reliably offbeat S Olbricht recontextualisation. The authors themselves have contributed also: J Mono's sun-kissed acid-drenched number is none other but Lóri from WAG, there's also a sample-laden beat-driven remix by Saint Leidal the 2nd.

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The Good x The Evil, Fresh Now x Fresh Forever
3 months ago, 25 June 2014  ·   1 note

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A never-ending bipolar fight between the Good and the Evil, on a personal level, on a historical and society level, on all levels. There are days, which are dark, clouds hovering low, it’s hard to breathe. It’s June, and you’re not sure, if it’s because you’re depressed or allergic. A rapid storm followed by a cleansing heavy rain, Hungary would need such a purification, but not only Hungary.

Unaussprechlichen kulten - Az üreglakók

Ultra-primitive evil, minimalistic lo-fi black metal from the darkest vaults of the South Zala hill, Beherit Way, Von and Havohej. Biblical apocalyptic hallucinatory scenes, so dark, were they any darker, only a hole would remain, depicting the journey of the inhabitants of hell, without a chance of redemption, without a happy ending, nobody remembers the beginning anymore.

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Then, there are days which are full of sun, pop-driven, June, when you sit at work and can’t wait for your holiday and keep reminding yourself how it was then. A tip for a summer hit:

Damiano CZ built their foundation on an ever-persistent phenomenon of the Disco Polo music style (Italo Disco Polish style, also described as so-called pavement music – a massive escalation and culmination of Disco Polo happened in the second half of the 1990s, especially in the Polish countryside and small towns, and to certain extent, it still survives there) with an added element of synth pop and chillwave. On the EP 1996, the duo offers five pieces “in the tone of the feverish-sensuous evenings/cold-lonely wounds drowned in pseudogangstarap – hetero4homo – psychopolo village dance parties vs post-holiday nostalgia, until the end of summer somewhere around your hypophysis, the rainbowy eo-eo will vibrate! Damiano ce-zet uo-o.”
Check it out here.

A track from the EP 1996, which came out in 2009 on the Polish net label By?em Kobieta (the predecessor of Grzelak’ s label Sangoplasmo). 1996 is composed of love songs, full of highs and lows of a duo one of whose – Szymek - is a member of the perhaps still hybernating, perhaps dead hypnagogic electro oldschool rap duo Chłopomania (together with Lubomir Grzelak aka Lutto Lento) and the artist Cocker Cock (the only artist whose solo album was too strange even for By?em Kobieta Records). They got together on the track Lodowisko.

By Jakub Adamec, I Love 69 Popgeju

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Budapest on tape
5 months ago, 4 May 2014  ·   6 notes

"Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together and they add up to a story of a life."

I got a cassette recorder from my good old friend, Joseph Foss aka ‘The Roving Musicologist' who defines himself as a sound photographer, a field recording explorer, says Marci Kristof of the Budapest improv collective 12z. He wanted to create music (sound structures) with me for a long time but since he moved from Budapest to Berlin we lost each other. He visited me in Budapest for one week and also suggested that we should use this recorder to make a special mixtape. In the first few minutes we just started to record noises then continued by capturing audio phenomena using other sound equipments, then we were brainstorming about the possible follow-ups and an overall conception, also we got stuck in conversations about the past and future of music, then we went out to different places in Budapest and met a lot of people.

"But the tape has not only travelled many multiples of miles further than humanity, it will persist cryogenically. Ideally, an error might restart it at some point, as it records and sends data, futilely, as far as we are concerned, through increasingly emptier space."

After a few days we reached the end of the tape then we started to overdub the parts sometimes randomly, sometimes on purpose, with new materials from the beginning of side A. Slowly we concluded many things which will surely help to develop new ways for our upcoming projects, but basically it’s about friendship just like the personal mixtapes.

"The cutting-up of tape is not just the written cut-up by other means - it is a deeper operation, not because it operates with voice instead of writing, but precisely because it operates through a prosthetic living, a prosthetic speaking, both of which emphasize that there is only ever prosthesis when it comes to the ideas or conditions of living. The cut-up intervenes directly in the symbiotic evolution of recording and the human." (all quotes taken from Paul Hegarty’s essay The Hallucinatory Life of Tape)

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Lanuk: I don’t believe in perfect music
5 months ago, 30 April 2014  ·   10 notes

Last week, we brought out our fifth release on the Baba Vanga imprint. And similarly to the previous releases on the label, the decision to release it came very quickly. Following in its own idiosyncratic path, Arpád Gulyás’ music, similarly to Somnoroase Pasarele or Střed Světa, exists in its own sonic universe without necessarily rushing to please anyone. Music that emanates from a need to express a certain personality, an artistic catharsis.

How did you start making music?

From my very early childhood, music would be played in my house, first from vinyl later from tapes. My dad listened to Hungarian beat bands, singer songwriters. My brother would listen to rock music: Jimmy Hendrix, Doors, Metallica. I liked these records a lot. I was 14 when a guy visited me, whom I knew from school. He told me about his rock band and that they didn’t have a bass player so he asked me to play. I agreed, and started to make music. My brother bought me an old bass guitar, and I strummed it day and night. I started to become interested in the various music genres. There were times when I only listened to jazz (John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jiri Stivin, Charles Mingus..). Then later at the end of 90ties, I got into Fugazi, Jesus Lizard, Goz of kermeur, Blurt, Skeleton Crew…

I played in more bands, punk noisy stuff on a guitar, bass guitar, harmonica, harp, I also sang. In the beginning of 2000s, I started to experiment with computer sounds. I recorded stuff from TV, radio, etc. I created compositions, but just for myself, I didn’t want to show it to anyone at that time. I would listen to these before going to sleep on headphones.

Once, something terrible happened. I was half asleep, and was listening to one such composition. Suddenly, my eyes opened but I couldn’t move, my arm, my leg just couldn’t move. I felt pressure on my chest, a panic fell upon me. I was scared, I felt something dark around me. I’m not sure how long I was lying in that state. At some point, it was over. I sat up on my bed and decided, that I’m not going to do such thing again. Few days later, I showed the recording to a friend of mine. He said such music has an audience. He took me to the Xperipheria festival in 2002, which impressed me. I started to collect my first synths.

What is the most important thing for you in music?

I think that music exists on its own. I don’t believe that you could transform the sounds of nature or industry into the language of music. I don’t believe in Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons either. There are factors which can encourage the music-
making process, but I think music doesn’t need anything but itself. I just let it come to me.

Could you say something about yourself?

I am from Érsekvadkert, a small settlement in the north of the country. I am married and have a daughter. I like to live in the calmness of the countryside. I don’t have a TV or internet. I like to run and ski in winter.

How did you make your new record vV?

Most of the time is taken by patches and setting up the instruments. Then I programme my controller. I start to play around with a certain theme, get to know its specifics, how it reacts to changes of settings. Then I press record and record everything live. There is no pre-recorded sound, everything is created live on spot. I have 4 synths and a sampler at the end of the chain, I also sample live while playing. It is all very playful and introspective.

You improvise a lot, which is a one off experience. Why do you like this way of working?

I feel it’s authentic this way. There is this magic of the “one-off” experience in it. There are fixed things, which I can play more often, but my music is created within a framework. I do not dwell about how to develop a certain topic. I do not believe in perfect music, I know that every music has mistakes.

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