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.