Eastern Haze: January

Words by Lucia Udvardyova

 

The third Monday in January is “officially” the bleakest day of the year, the day New Order sang about in the month that is so easy to hate. As always, music is the fastest remedy to dispel the seasonal gloom—if it’s sepulchral sounds that you’re into—and there’s plenty to choose from in our geographical area of interest, ranging from a 14-year-old Hungarian producer through Serbian rave and Polish hypnotic minimalism.

Máte Janky is a precocious producer from Hungary whose first encounter with music-making involved a Casio synth and happened at the decidedly tender age of five. Driven by a seemingly paradoxical nihilist predilection, he divides his time between his three music projects and a label. Alley Catss (read our interview with him here) is his most prominent nom de plume, which stands for an amalgam of distorted synths, beat-driven compositions and backyard atmospherics. His latest—sophomore—album was released a few weeks ago on Sewage Tapes.

Bocian means stork in Polish. The Polish imprint bearing the same name, Bocian Records, has made a stark statement with the music they’ve so far released, delivering an idiosyncratic sonic manifesto with a catalogue that encompasses the likes of Kevin Drumm. Their latest release is by two acclaimed sonic artists, Polish avant garde musician Anna Zaradny and Austrian composer Burkhard Stangl, a hypnotic excursion that grows with every listen and view, as can be witnessed below.

Anna Zaradny „Octopus”, 2012, teaser pracy from Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej on Vimeo.

“Imagine a world where your grandparents’ old records meet electronic music. Imagine a sonic tour that reflects the moves and dynamics of a city.” Imagine Stratasoul.

We put up Zmikeo!’s first live show in Belgrade in 2011. The affable chap charmed our pants off with his lofi electronics, dirty sonics, which he could luckily showcase before the overtly officious Serbian police put an end to the nocturnal hobnobbery. Here, he brings his rough’n’tumble aesthetics to full effect on his new album out on Nauk records.

It’s time to bid farewell to this wonderfully depressing month and another installment of Eastern Haze with two audiovisual treats: a scarlet-tinted odyssey by Mangrove Mangrave and a retrofuturist synth-driven offering courtesy of the Bulgarian electro producer Manasyt—seen in his more mellow guise here.