In her monthly report, Lucia Udvardyova tracks the movements in and from the best of the Central and Eastern European sonic underground, distilling the best of her Easterndaze blog.
The endless winter refuses to let go and the sun becomes a distant relative, leaving us in an alarming state of vitamin D deficiency. It’s especially merciless to the attendees of a demonstration in the centre of Budapest, who I pass with my headphones on, pausing to take in the scene. In Prague, things are a little more settled—music becomes not a soundtrack to society’s deconstruction, but a redemption from the mundanity of everyday life.
Lightning Glove is a Czech project who emerged from the vaults of the Prague underground scene revolving in and around the Klangundkrach label and collective, which champions various experimental guises of contemporary music. LG is a trio, with an “on-staff” visualist, whose music echoes rave and post-punk with an urgency that is best experienced during their live shows. At times recalling the shamanistic sonic ritualism of Excepter, with a hint of Suicide-esque desolation and a dash of techno, eager to reclaim rave from its sad, sold-out existence, Lightning Glove preach to all of us in thrall of uncanny, ghostly music. Their debut release is entitled Fantasmagorie Interiéru.
Another representative of the aforementioned Prague-based collective is No Pavarotti, who have dabbled in (psych) pop territories in the past, but came closest to that often-dreaded realm with their latest release Season of the Weak, which is out now on vinyl. The duo is in top form at the moment, as proven by their recent buoyant live show in Prague alongside Lee Noble.
Palermo, previously known under the moniker Table, are a Czech duo making synth-driven sentimental electronic pop. They launched their new guise with an EP which includes a cover version by adopted Praguer Freddy Ruppert of Former Ghosts.
Budapest has recently spawned several analogue hardware fiends (we’ve written about one such outfit, SILF, in this very column), tweaking rhythms and grooves out of the venerable machines. Route 8 is yet another case in point. His hazy, lo-fi house has materialised on his Mental Murder EP out on the Hungarian label Farbwechsel, and includes a stellar rework by Miguel Flaco.
My beloved Polish weirdo techno project RSS Boys is cloaked in a veil of mystery, and their releases appear in Mik Musik’s Secret Edition series that we’ve written about in the past. Their sophomore album is the cryptically entitled TH T00TH 0F TH FTR, and continues where their debut left off—hypnotic, psychotropic techno that is extroverted and introspective at the same time.~
Interested in more obscure and exciting music from Eastern Europe? Head to Easterndaze.
photo: Radek Brousil