Live Wires

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Po wydanej w 2014 roku płycie "Tamburocket Hungarian Fireworks" świat oszalał. Prestiżowy magazyn Songlines przyznał płycie zaszczytny tytuł Top of the World.
O zespole pisano w samych superlatywach:
“The tambura is a mandolin-style instrument with a wide expressive range, and thanks to Söndörgö, it’s achieving a new popularity” INDEPENDENT
“Söndörgö are proving themselves to be one of Europe’s most versatile and exciting bands.” SONGLINES MAGAZINE
“Söndörgö sound like a world-class band” THE GUARDIAN
“Their music sparkles with virtuosity and foot-tapping joie de vivre” EVENING STANDARD
"Tamburocket Hungarian Fireworks" shows them at their seductive best, alternating first dance tunes with slow and melancholy accordion songs. THE SCOTSMAN

"SZYBCY I WŚCIEKLI", "NAJSZYBSZE PALCE WORLD MUSIC" - tak zespół Söndörgő określił ich wydawca Riverboat Records, który prezentuje ich nowy album "Live Wires". Minęło ponad 20 lat, kiedy to trójka braci Áron, Benjamin i Salomon Erdics, wspólnie z kuzynem Dávidem Eredics i Attila Buzásem w małym miasteczku Szentendre, pod Budapesztem, założyli zespół Söndörgő. Upłynęło wiele wody w Dunaju zanim zespół wyszedł poza węgierskie opłotki. Dzisiaj, po wydaniu kilku płyt studyjnych, kilku międzykontynentalnych trasach koncertowych i mnóstwie koncertów w całej Europie (zespół bywał w ostatnich latach kilkukrotnie także w Polsce), przyszedł czas na album koncertowy. Bowiem właśnie na koncertach muzyka Söndörgő ukazuje swe porywające, nieobliczalne oblicze.
Muzyka zespołu jest intrygująca, energetyczna, pełna pasji, bliska najstarszym węgiersko-serbsko-chorwackim tradycjom wykonawczym.

Rezultat zespołowej pracy Söndörgő – to unikalne brzmienie, tworzone zarówno przez tradycyjnie wystepujące w muzyce węgierskiej skrzypce, jak też przez tamburę, podobny do mandoliny instrument pochodzenia indyjskiego, historycznie kojarzony raczej z muzyką hinduską, jednak za pośrednictwem tureckich muzykantów dotarł na Bałkany.

Editor's info:
Back in 1995 in the riverside town of Szentendre, Hungary, the Eredics brothers met bass player Attila and together they began to make music. Some twenty-one years later the boys are still filling the world’s eardrums with their unstoppable tamburitza music. This entirely live album is a rip-roaring travelogue of audio postcards from stages across Europe: from Denmark to Paris, Germany to Italy and of course from Hungary.

The list of venues which these tracks were recorded at from 2010 to 2015 reads as a roll call of Europe’s finest gigs, Müpa Budapest, Roskilde Festival, Sziget Festival, The Liszt Academy of Music, Festival d’Art de Huy, TFF Rudolstadt, Paris quartier d’été and Ethnos Festival.

Their music takes heart from the Eastern European folk canon including work heard from Serbian, Macedonian, Turkish, Jewish and gypsy traditions. The tambura instrument too sits at the centre chakra, matched with winds and accordion to create a perky sound, curious and communicable all at once. Söndörgő’s traditional repertoire pulls from the back catalogue of the old masters, Béla Bartók and Tihamér Vujicsics included therein.

Moments captured on this album include the bands fifteenth birthday celebration with famed saxophonist Ferus Mustafov and the band Vujicsics. Vienna’s Wiener Konzerthaus is remembered for its bizarreness, the grand architecture oozing full-tilt pomp and formality, a sense that sits joyfully at odds with Söndörgő’s rootsy, folky hedonism.

The album melts open with ‘Sa’, a low drone and wandering melody call listeners and the band to arms before the drums pound and breakneck speed is taken up. ‘Drago Kolo’ spotlights the tambura here in duo with a frenetic flute, accompanied by the audience’s distant cheers. ‘Tonci’ is a Söndörgő speciality, a summery accelerating jig with gleeful almost demented melody. ‘Cele Noči’ treats us to a study in texture, rippling ever-lasting string trills that summon a slowly-yielding peaceful reverie. The album closes with full-on dance number ‘Jovano’, complete with an end-of-the-night anthem that I challenge you not to sing-a-long to.

Söndörgő hark to tradition whilst flag-bearing at the vanguard of newness. This album is their live testament captured in crystalline clarity, we recommend you turn up the dial and play it loud.

popMATTERS - rating: 8/10
More than 20 years have passed since the four-tambura-slinging Eredics boys (three brothers and a cousin) and bassist Attila Buzás first came together just north of Budapest to reinvigorate often overlooked Central and Eastern European folk music traditions as the band Söndörgő. The last half-decade has been a particularly busy one, seeing the release of two studio albums, a couple of intercontinental tours, and plenty of gigs all over Europe.

On Live Wires, the finest moments of some of these European travels have been crisply preserved, a cross-section of five years of live performances fueled with tight, hypnotic energy and ready to turn all preconceived notions of Hungarian music upside-down.

Söndörgő draws from traditions beyond those of their native land, reaching through the Balkans and eastward to Turkey and nearby Romani groups for inspiration. Unlike the well-known brass bands of that same region, though, Söndörgő‘s music centers around instruments in the mandolin-like tambura family, here supplemented primarily by flute, saxophone, accordion, and hand drum. No matter which of these instruments takes center stage on each of the tracks of Live Wires, Söndörgő plays with almost supernatural speed and agility, its members nimbly plucking away at tambura strings as a shepherd flute zips around in perfect harmony.

Bright and clear on studio albums, Söndörgő flourishes in a new way on these live tracks, with a number of guests. A lithe saxophone introduction from Ferus Mustafov on “Dada Sali” rises on the energy of the crowd, and closing track “Jovano” celebrates Söndörgő‘s 15th anniversary with a once-in-a-lifetime set of Central European superstars, including Vujicsics Ensemble, Mustafov, and guest vocalists who belt out a swaying melody with the kind of power that can’t build inside of a sterile recording room.

Every song Söndörgő plays beckons the audience to dance, clap, or otherwise keep moving, whether it’s the lusty Croatian tune “Marice”, the slow and sensual “Farandole”, or the mischievous, constantly accelerating “Voje Sasa”. At every speed, an earthy quality permeates Söndörgő‘s songs, making them irresistible. This is Söndörgő‘s signature Eastern European roots music, as carefree and natural as ever, but with stronger bass and jazzier woodwinds boosting each performance.

Perfection reigns on Live Wires beyond simply the skill of the performers. Sound quality and production values are impeccable, and the work put into boiling five years of touring down into twelve tracks shows. The entire album sounds clean, each track well-preserved, a portal to that specific time and place rather than sounding like an archive of performances past.

Twenty years have passed for Söndörgő, and 20 more may follow, it’s not just inertia holding the band together, as Live Wires demonstrates. Genuine passion, immaculate technique, and room for world-famous guest saxophonists add whole new layers and aspects to a rich history of musical traditions. Perhaps more importantly, the vibrancy and enthusiasm recorded here show that the members of Söndörgő love what they do. It’s impossible to tell from listening to each track what was recorded at the beginning of the decade and what comes from last year, Söndörgő‘s energy never wanes, and neither does that of their audience.

With another international tour already underway on the heels of Live Wires, Söndörgő simply can’t be stopped. The band is having too good of a time to slow down, and so is anyone who listens.

Financial Times - rating: * * * *
(. . .) Good live world music albums are even rarer than good live albums generally (. . .)

EVENING STANDARD - rating: * * * *
(. . .) it’s an album full of energy and good tunes.(. . .)


Riverboat Records (UK)
Live Wires
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