2011 in Hungarian music and culture

2011 in Hungarian music and culture

This year in Budapest was a quite strange one. It started with a horrible disco accident in January that shocked the country and had long lasting consequences for the city’s party culture. During the year the political and economic crises caused a lot of negative vibes. The closure of cult clubs like the Merlin Theatre and the open air Zöld Pardon also sent out shockwaves. But apart from the bad news, there were still many positive moments to be happy about instead. We’re going to take a look at some of the more exciting moments from throughout the year in our Hungary section.

This year was the 200th anniversary for classic composer Ferenc Liszt (Franz Liszt) but there were also some big anniversaries in electronic music too. Budapest’s underground electronic music community celebrated pioneer DJ and godfather of the scene Palotai‘s 50th birthday through the year on several occasions and Chi Recordings also had reason for celebration as they released a compilation for their 10th anniversary. We interviewed a lot of musicians this year, you liked the most Yonderboi on his return, 9b0 on his work processes, Jaffa Surfa on organic house music, ICR on his milestone double album, Sena on her solo project and emerging talent Mongoose on his career story.

It’s interesting in Budapest that there are only a few good club spaces but several cool nights. Decknology by TEST completed their mission of pioneering the local electronic music scene with the project surviving for only one year. Not like the other future music-oriented night Space Is Called which was started by DJ Cadik and A38 Ship or the new hipster-magnet Selected Sounds by NVC with live acts such as Caribou, Gold Panda, Nosaj Thing. Electronic Beats had also three very successful sold-out gigs, a Live Special Launch Party and a Festival, followed by an EB Presents party. There were so many other highlights that made this year, gigs to remember by Lamb, Jamie Woon, Darkstar and Shigeto on A38 Ship, Kink in Merlin, Eskmo at Balaton Sound, Crystal Castles at Sziget, Xeno & Oaklander in Roham Bar and so on.

And so many other things like the new Blind Musician EP by the continuously changing abstract hip hop formation Realistic Crew, or My Rorschach by Occam, the electronic solo project of drummer of Zagar. There was another great solo debut of eclectic singer Judie Jay with her Harmony LP. Our new discovery is Berlin based Hungarian producer Dnte with his beautiful wonky debut EP Wake Me Up (listen here).

Glory Girl – Judie Jay/Harmony by judiejay

Two more scenes were growing up and started to establish in Budapest’s underground, the lo-fi bedroom producers might have got more attention but there is a ghetto-tech community going strong, too. We’re looking forward to seeing 2012, it will be great!

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La Petite Mort with Fine Cut Bodies

La Petite Mort with Fine Cut Bodies Attila Fodor, aka Fine Cut Bodies is one of the renowned veterans of the Budapest electronic music scene. With his label Chi Recordings he’s done much to shape audience taste into a deep and abstract form. He’s always everywhere, from tiny gigs to big festivals, in Hungary and beyond. You can also find him on his taste-making radio show on the Hungarian national MR2. On December 17th he presented his visual eargasm live show at an amazing party which also featured Dave Tipper. We had a little Q&A with Fine Cut Bodies about the debut of his live show.

This is your first A/V show presenting your new music. How did the new tracks come together with the special mood of the visual show elements?

Actually the two parts integrally formed together. The melancholic mood in my music originates from harmonies burned into me in the ‘80s when I was sitting in front of my computer at night, programming C64 demos and listening early Vangelis, Jarre, Kraftwerk or Oldfield. Sometimes I keep trying to overshadow this melancholy, but it always floats back on to my music through interesting sound design solutions, and organic noises as a kind of musical base. That’s how the idea came to my mind to create and A/V support to my music which could make full use of this atmosphere.

How is your live show compared with other known A/V shows?
There are fascinating technical solutions on stage. I had some shows in Australia and I’ve met some very promising endeavors. For example the Mindbuffer guys developed intelligent agents, creating a generative musical base and connecting visual worlds. We don’t compete with them forcing all of the already existing stuff into one production; we had a given mood and we wanted this vision to transfer to the audience in a visually enjoyable way. With relatively simple tools but lots of background work, my team created this abstract world. The team included 3D guru Dániel Mécs, system developers Dávid Mórász and Márton Boros, and illustrator András Czakó.

How can you describe the style of András Czakó?
I was so amazed by getting a team together who are totally keen on the early 8bit world. We had fun with everything from ASCII to SID. András and the rest of us also draw much from the aesthetics of that geek scene, reflecting on it.

How exactly does the music and animation come together on the technical side?
In the sequencers there are a lot of programmed things which trigger the VJ station. The visual crew were working as if we would be a band. They know the tracks well, all the stories happening within the songs. So it’s not an improvisation.

Is it easy to go on tour with this show?
This is exactly our goal, and yes it is possible because we don’t need much technical equipment.

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