Eastern Haze: June 2013

Words by Lucia Udvardyova

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.

Another month has flown by, with yet more Central European happenings to report. As I write this, we’ve been hit by floods in Prague, but despite the rather cataclysmic images and media scaremongering, it hasn’t actually reached the momentum of 2002 when half of the city was swimming in water. Still, the hundred-tower town had frantically prepared itself for the potential apocalypse, which has best been experienced through nocturnal trips to streets hidden under water and cloaked in an omnipresent fog, police sirens providing the soundtrack—as well some other sounds, of course. Speaking of which…

Alley Catss is a precocious Hungarian producer whose countless activities makes me feel uncomfortably lazy—particularly as I’m twice his age. His portfolio includes running a label, graphic design work, various musical projects and school, of course. His latest endeavour, Withdwr, sees him embrace a more experimental guise and also proves that these days music production has truly become an ageless experience, a thing-in-itself, which can be made from anywhere, by (almost) anyone.

Another Hungarian producer, the Budapest-based S Olbricht has a new tape on Opal Tapes. A soon-to-be graduate of the Faculty of Music and Arts in Pécs in southern Hungary, he has a diverse musical stamp, which ranges from the experimental to straight 4/4. One of the most active personalities on the Budapest underground scene, he also co-runs the Farbwechsel imprint. Check out the video for his track off the Opal Tapes release and his label’s latest venture, the new album by the improv project 12z.

Střed Světa is a mysterious Czech producer, the archetypal genius who prefers to create his extraterrestrial compositions away from the spotlight and in his own mind and way. His eponymous debut release appeared earlier this year on Baba Vanga (full disclosure: I’m affiliated but the music is simply too good to omit); a psychedelic journey through recontextualisations of his last decade’s ouvre. The upcoming reinterpretations of the tape’s material retained the original material’s potency, with the likes of Basic House or the aforementioned S Olbricht.

Sangoplasmo has become one of the most important Central and Eastern European imprints, releasing predominantly Polish experimental electronic artists, as well as a few foreign ones such as Felicia Atkinson or Ensemble Economique. Their next release is a lush droney number by a mysterious project called DWUTYSIĘCZNY. Keep your ear to the ground. ~