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2011 – Hungarian music according to András Rónai

Published December, 2011
by Easterndaze

The end of the year is nigh, and thus we have decided to – surprise, surprise – compile a list of Best of from the countries we have been exploring over the last two years. And since our knowledge is limited, we have asked those living, working and creating in those particular countries to tell us about the music happenings in their country.

As first, we are glad to present the answers of András Rónai, editor of the respected Hungarian music magazine and one of the organizers of the acclaimed Ultrahang festival in Budapest.

What’s the highlight for you in Hungary’s music scene?
2011 was an outstanding good year in Hungarian music (one of the very few things that were good here this year). In fact we at made a list of 25 of our favourite songs here (the write-ups are in Hungarian, but you can listen to all the songs and download a few of them). 

The "Hungarian bedroom scene" was thriving, producing not just some good or great albums (Morningdeer being my favourite), but also the promise that the unhindered creativity can yield even more great results in the future.

<a href=“” _mce_href=“”>days by morningdeer</a>

The Hungarian “global bass” scene isn’t really a scene in the strict sense, only a few DJs and producers, but nonetheless two great albums were also produced in this genre: the Ghana meets Hungary afro-techno-dancehall-hiphop-cumbia hybrid of FOKN Bois meet Irie Maffia Production and the moombahton-balkan-dubstep-trance-etc and also shamelessly funny dance-pop of DJ SuperStereo.

<a href=“” _mce_href=“”>The FOKN DunaQuest in Budapest by FOKN Bois meet irie Maffia Production</a>

<a href=“” _mce_href=“”>Valodja – (SuperStereo rmx) Steve Angello and AN21 by Valodja – (SuperStereo rmx) Steve Angello and AN21</a>

Also some of the established artists made great albums like Csík Zenekar,
Erik Sumo Band, Yonderboi. But the highlight for me was the discovery
of Bajdázó – more on that later.

What is the low point for you in Hungary’s music scene?
I could complain a lot about the TV talent shows and commercial radio stations, but I can turn these off in my life (except that I have to listen to the same 20 songs on radio when I go shopping). So maybe the low point for me was to see on the internet how people who are supposed to care about music are as close-minded as ever, repeating the same lame arguments (you can still read comments about how electronic music is not really music as they don’t play real instruments) and adding some new ones (like how shitty a year 2011 was because Pitchfork’s favourites all suck, while not seeking out new, exciting music that may not got the Best New Music approval). 

But if you think not just music but also music related events, then the low point was without question the stampede on a party in West-Balkán that killed 3
young girls in January. As you can expect, the government responded not by addressing the real problems in the Hungarian night life, but by making stupid harsh rules.

Discovery-new artist of the year /in Hungary/?
One of the most exciting discoveries (not just in Hungary but music in general) was Bajdázó, who make a captivating, hypnotic, heart-warming and original mix of American psych-folk and Hungarian folk music. Their album Lekapcsolom a villanyt a fejemben (I Turn Off the Lights in My Head) can be downloaded here.

One of my greatest pleasures as a music journalist was to see that their music reached hundreds, maybe a few thousands of people because of my enthusiastic write-ups.

Personal tips and wishes and plans for 2012?
In music my plan is to listen a bit less to new music and revisit older favourites more often – but at the same time listening to a lot of new music is how you can make the exciting discoveries, so I really don’t know. I also hope I can attend a bit more live shows as my kids grow older. Outside of music, the most that I can hope for is that Hungary avoids economic collapse, and maybe that there is a bit less insanity in politics.