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VA – Cheap Music (Hungarian Lo-Fi Vol.2)

Published June, 2011
by Easterndaze

When we first heard Piresian Beach in the autumn of 2010, we were amazed by her fuzzed-out lo-fi sound incorporating elements of surf-rock, punk and rock’n’roll into her trademark seductive compositions. What began as a surprising discovery has also stricken a chord with the sensitivities of Hungarian youngsters using the microblogging platform tumblr. Less than a year has passed and the community of Hungary’s tumblrcore producers has grown considerably – not only in number, but also in quality, as manifested by the remarkable Cheap Music compilation released by the Hungarian Bedroom Noise blog.

Genre-wise the compilation spans from surf/fuzz/noise/rock through punk/thrash to intimate psych/pop or dragy electronica. The unifying elements: the ethos of a lo-fi bedroom producer generating music almost on-the-fly (“Record your music tonight and send it to us next morning!”) and the blog Hungarian Bedroom Noise with which the lo-fi scene could have found something like an umbrella that links together various emerging projects, provides for the scene/identity-defining discourse and serves as a platform for exposing new music and a catalyst between the producers and public.

13 – Zombie Girlfriend – Jesus Stole My Zombie Girlfriend by parentsout

As with all things social/2.0: the hypewave comes fast, but is also quickly forgotten as the crowds surf away on yet another wave of fun or novelty. The case with cheap music (kudos to the self-ironical title!) is, that it is abundant, and doesn’t last for long. However, several projects and the many wonderful tracks on the compilation indicate that the “Hungarian lo-fi” has tapped into an exciting creative energy that, if developed, could cause a long-term movement on the Hungarian scene. We spoke about it with Ádám Lang from the Hungarian Bedroom Noise blog:

What were the beginnings of Hungarian Bedroom Noise ?

After the first lo-fi attempts of the project called Evil Men Have No Songs the story basically began in August 2010 when Piresian Beach started to record her first songs. Next year in January it became obvious that there had been interest in these projects and the issue spread all over the ‘Hungarian internet’. I hoped that there were more bedroom projects in Hungary, so I made this tumblelog to find and gather them together. If somebody says: ‘yes, I’m making music in this style’, I say okay, thanks and I post it and the followers will judge it. For me the bedroom is a metaphor that changed the idea of the underground after the spreading of the web 2.0.

15 – Piresian Beach – Fuck Your Mind! by parentsout

The are lots of new lo-fi/surf/fuzz bands in Hungary. Do the people also meet or collaborate together ?

Yeah this is a very strong side of this scene, I don’t know why, maybe because of the regular RNR666 concerts (a Hungarian booking label and zine for trashier rock and roll and experimental music). And also, yes, there are collaborations, for example Nohopekids and Route 8 put together the project Broken CupsMorningdeer collaborated with Éjféli szobadiszkó and you can also find remixes and one cover on this compilation as well. Before this I had only known Piresian Beach, but now I know a lot of these people, because outside of the realm internet realm there are concerts, where we can meet and so on. But we can’t say that it is only us making the Hungarian lo-fi scene, there are some projects out there who we don’t yet know – like one of my favourite called Pristina.

26 – Fatime – Fatime by parentsout

Is there something specifically ‘Hungarian’ about the sound these bands are producing ?

I think that the scene is largely based on the internet generation. National borders don’t really matter anymore, so we’re listening to more or less the same music as the guys in Los Angeles or Prague. Unfortunately, Hungarian music in the ’00s was so fucking boring, almost the same as the ’90s.. hardly any influence. There were three or four very popular rock groups, and the others just wanted to copy them. Okay, there were some fucking good bands like Pozvakowski, Ninpulators, etc, but there weren’t any new or exciting trends in Hungarian music. As most music fans from Eastern Europe who experienced some of the Soviet years, many people here have inexplicably tender feelings towards the shitty sound quality of underground music as well… Still, our influences are not specifically Hungarian and we cannot really judge, whether our music has any Hungarian quality in it.

10 – morningdeer – Floor by parentsout

Why do you think there is so much of this sound right now in your country?

You know, if something is going well, everybody wants to be a part of it, and I think it’s okay. The DIY attitude gives freedom to everyone and this way it gives more pleasure. It’s not a race anymore to get that fucking record contract. It’s just pure, happy rock and roll.

VA: Cheap Music (Hungarian Lo-Fi Vol. 2) by parentsout