This site might use cookies. Check our privacy policy. OK

Alpár / S Olbricht + Carla Under Water (SicSic, 2014)

Published February, 2014
by Easterndaze

The Budapest scene of the last few years has garnered attention, because of its cross-pollinatory nature, specific sound revolving around the Farbwechsel label. Lo-fi house, analogue electronics, vintage techno have become staples of sonic map of the Hungarian capital. A healthy scene emerged, free of competitiveness and back-biting. The collaborative nature of it has even spawned self-proclaimed tongue-in-cheek descriptions such as “The Budapest Zodiak Club” alluding to the legendary arts and music space Zodiak Free Arts Lab established by Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius.

Aside from issuing releases on the aforementioned Farbwechsel, the guys also put out their output via internationally renowned labels such as Opal Tapes, where S Olbricht’s Deutsch Amerikanische Tragodie tape was released last year. The latest “Western sonic import” comes courtesy of the agile German label SicSic tapes, who commissioned S Olbricht and his label-mate Bálint Zalkai performing under his nom de plume Alpár for a split release. Mikolai – S Olbricht – invited his friend and also one of the staples of the Budapest scene of late, the wonderfully named Tulipán Máté who is featured here under his name Carla Under Water.

Alpár’s part sees him showcase his tradmark synthwave, kraut and kosmische inspired analogue-driven ambient-like compositions. It is definitely the “lighter” side of the album, the more hopeful and calming. The angel to the devil that arises on the other half – S Olbricht with vocals of Carla Under Water are plaintive and melancholic, embracing genres like cold-wave, EBM or even shoegaze, the vocals sometimes reminding of those of a sombre Freddy Ruppert, cloaked in a fog of lofi post-punkish doom and gloom. Nevertheless, this is probably their most accessible and versatile release, promising to further cement the status of the Budapest Zodiak Club.