2014 has been a good year for Söndörg?. They released their album Tamburocket Hungarian Fireworks in July 2014 and haven't looked back since. TIme for us to make sense of all the success they've encountered, nominations they've received as well as rave reviews in radio shows, magazines and newspapers...
‘a world-class band’ The Guardian
'one of the most nimble bands on the planet... Söndörgo clearly have a respect for tradition combined with a fizzing desire to experiment. Strongly recommended.' 4****stars, The Evening Standard
'the sparkling and ebullient Serbian and Croatian songs and dances would make this a joyous addition to anyone's library'
5***** Songlines Magazine - Top Of The World
Fast and furious, fingers flying with a fiery panache, Söndörg? are one of the most exciting bands in Europe. With their signature instrument, the tambura, the band brilliantly combines respect for tradition with a desire to innovate and a fizzing virtuosity.
Tamburocket is Söndörg?’s second international release and features revived tunes drawn from the rich Hungarian archives and annals of the countries esteemed song-collectors and musicologists of yore. The band is made up of three brothers, Áron, Benjamin and Salamon Eredics, plus cousin Dávid Eredics and Attila Buzás, the only non-family member, on bass tambura. What Söndörg? combine brilliantly is a respect for the traditions, a desire to innovate and a fizzing unstoppable virtuosity.
Söndörg?'s latest release was one of the ten albums nominated for the 2014 fRoots 2014 award. After a few weeks of intense anticipation, they were granted seventh place. Congratulations to Martin & Eliza McCarthy for winning the award with their album The Moral Of The Elephant!
Tamburocket did well in the music magazine Songlines too: besides a rave review, announced as a 'Songlines Top Of The World' album, it was also one of ten albums selected as 'Songlines Best Albums 2014'.
It doesn't stop there: since the release in July 2014, the album Tamburocket appeared in the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE) between August and December 2014 and even obtained first place in October 2014! As a result, Tamburocket was announced as third album of the year! Congratulations to both Aziza Brahim, and Toumani & Sidiki who beat Söndörg? to the first and second spot!
Söndörg?'s live shows are the propulsive proof behind these rankings. Since the release of Tamburocket,they have been busy touring all around Europe and the USA. They were headliners at the WOMEX Showcase, and more recently, performed at the Barbican in London, at the Bishopsgate Institute. In case you missed it, here's what we thought:
At their recent Friday night show at the Bishopgate Institute, Söndörg? earned not one, but two standing ovations. And it was well-earned. They pulled off a ferocious set of Hungarian folk, with tambura player Áron Eredics cranking up the tempo at all opportunities, his face lighting up like a little boy discovering a new toy everytime he tested a faster tempo. Across the stage, Salamon Eredics grinned back at him, ready for any unexpected twist. It was a joy to watch. It's rare to see music so precise, yet so full of adventure.
'My brothers are crazy,' joked Benjamin Eredics in the middle of the set. His easy charm balanced well with the energy of the set.
Even when Söndörg? brought down the volume for 'Joka,' from their previous album, Tamburising, the music maintained a delicate intensity. Attila Buzás leaned his head over the body of his bass, straining to hear the quiet of his own instrument. The rest of the group plucked their strings carefully, eventually setting the song down gently like a beautiful glass ornament, fading out until only Áron Eredic's tambura remained.
Of course, this quiet was quickly shattered by another uptempo folk song, but it goes to show Söndörg?'s range. This is a band of incredibly versatile musicians. Almost every member of Sondorgo played more than one instrument throughout the night. Solomon handled a Chinese flute nimbly, then pulled an accordion widely, and then jumped back on the tambura. Did we mention that Dàvid Eredics can also play a mean alto saxophone?
Put it this way, it was one of the best shows we attended the whole year.
After their show at the Bishopsgate Institute, the group hurried over to BBC Radio 3, where they made an exclusive live appearance. You can still listen to the show until the end of December 2014, or, if you are based in the UK, download the podcast.
Fresh off the press: Söndörg? just released their first brand new, official music video 'Marice'. Enjoy!