Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene
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Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary | SELF

Budapest, Budapest, Hungary | SELF
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"World Music Central - Deladela"

Kiss Erzsi Music makes fresh sounds in an irresist...
Kiss Erzsi Music makes fresh sounds in an irresistable kaleidoscope of musical styles, topped sparkling vocals. Led by actor/singer Erzsi Kiss, the Hungarian group has a remarkable knack for engaging rhythms, from the Middle-Eastern flavor of the title track, to the hard-driving indie-rock sound of "Arö" to the funky syncopated vocals of "Án Ájrere."

Deladela is full of delightful surprises and genre-defying sounds. "Uuu," for example, begins with base and spare drums under a hypnotic vocal line that bears the potential of jazz, or maybe punk.. Then the full instrumentation kicks in with vocal harmonies, then some wild jazz drumming and a rap (or is it scatting?) - and you're left thinking: "How wonderful! What the heck is it?" The puzzled wonderment continues into the next track, "Okatummate" an a capella delight of multilayered female voices. And a complete change of pace comes with "Francia," a soft chanson with smooth French vocals, guitar and bass.

"The unifying force in our music," Erzsi Kiss said in a recent interview, "is language - a language which actually has no real meaning. It's difficult to explain what this is - I'd call it a sort of musical language, because it's born out of the laws that govern music, which can't be ignored."

Deladela concludes with one last flavor in the song "Reggae," featuring a Jamaican beat but the same powerful, reedy, vocal harmonies. Kiss Erzsi Music will appeal to listeners across musical boundaries - any open-minded, adventurous music lover will return to this magical CD again and again. If, indeed, it ever leaves your CD player at all.

Kiss Erzsi Music is Erzsi Kiss (vocals), Gabi Kenderesi (vocals), Anna Szandtner (vocals), Csaba Hajnóczy (guitar), Arpád Vajdovich (guitar, bass guitar) and Hunor G. Szabó (drums). Five full songs are available for download at, including two songs from the 12-track CD and three live tracks: "Uuu," "Tundirin," and "Wattama Du."
- SpinTheGlobe


Last August, when local blues master Stan "The Man" Wolarz told The Prague Post that "the language of the blues is English, and I think the rhythms and the sounds of Czech are not predisposed toward blues noises," he hit on a problem often found in rock music as well. In the non-English speaking areas of Europe, language can often pre-empt the best attempts to deliver rhythms that sit tight in the pocket of the rock or blues rhythm tradition.

It was hard not to think of Wolarz later in August, when, just a few blocks from U Malého Glena, his resident venue in Malá Strana, PopoCafePetl opened as a new music club with Budapest's Egy Erzsi Kiss Zene as a headliner. The band, often referred to simply by the name of the actress, singer and front woman Erzsi Kiss, is regionally known for having dispensed with any sort of lyrical sense at all.

From the first moment the band struck up the rhythm section, there was a singular electricity in the air. Árpád Vajdovich's jungle-bottomed bass lines swerved in succinct, jazz-tinged figures as Hunor G. Szabí³'s drums snapped tight, expressive fills. On electric guitar, Márton Süto took a post-Coltrane trek on the fret board while lying flat on a solid R&B bed of chops. With a backup band like that, it would be hard to fail. And when singers Linda Kovács and Erzsi Kiss added their vocals, unfettered by any language other than rhythm, the music took flight with songs sporting titles like "Yo-Yo-Yo," "Wazawaza" and "Hi-Hu."

"My work started with theater, when I was working in a company where we sang songs based on rhythms from Arabic and African cultures," Kiss says via e-mail in response to a question about her novel approach to songs and singing. Offering further hints about the band's style, she adds, "Pygmies are the most influential nation of my music world. ... And if we talk about folk music, I prefer the traditional (native, pure and unqualified)."

While distancing her vocal influences from anything but the most rustic, she adds, "I really love the Doors, but if I think about it, I can [also] say Steppenwolf and all the big artists of that period. Every time I listen to them, they overawe me."

Whatever other wellsprings they may have, Erzsi Kiss has a playful approach that makes for a rock 'n' roll voodoo bound to appeal to listeners of various ages and nationalities. The current Czech tour includes gigs in Ústí­ nad Labem and Karlovy Vary. In Prague, the group will return as a headliner at PopoCafePetl Dec. 12.

But the big event is the Dec. 9 International Weekend of Women at Archa, which will celebrate and showcase Czech and regional acts in which women either constitute the entire lineup or take front stage. Besides Erzsi Kiss, other highlights will include: Japan's Yumiko working with Pavel Fajt's Autopilote; New York—born jazz-funk diva Tonya Graves singing to the New Orchestra of Dreams' rockin' big-band sound; and Tara Fuki's pop-inflected cello and vocal duets.

With Jana Vébrová, the Yellow Sisters, Rada Synergica, Zuzana Lapciková, Sestry Steinovy and Yvone Sanchez also on the bill, this event provides a perfect occasion to sample a wide range of Czech musical expression that will include plenty of Latin, African, klezmer and other world music genres.

Darrell Jónsson - Darrel Jónsson, The Prague Post

"Yesterday, Nóra and I went to the Trafó"

Yesterday, Nóra and I went to the Trafó, a kind of theater in the eastside of Budapest, to see the performance of Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene, a very alternative Hungarian rock band characterized by their lovely singer, a girl who has her own language and sings with it, even when noone can understand her.

The musicians are very talented, and the girl has an incredible personality and creativity. Seeing them was really a must.

I am sure that many people went to the concert just to laught on her. I can believe it, because during the pauses, when she started talking to the public, I wasn't really sure if she was talking Hungarian or just making her strange noises. Incredibly funny.
- Claudio Saavedra


We spoke with the central member of the Kiss Erzsi Music Ensemble (and former actress) Kiss Erzsi about their recently released second album, and about the production that will soon premiere on the Artus Stage. (The members of her band are: Erzsi Kiss – vocals, Gabi Kenderesi – vocals, Anna Szantner –Vocals, Csaba Hajnóczy – guitar, Árpád Vajdovich – bass Guitar, guitar, Hunor G. Szabó – drums, darbuka, guitar.)

What style of music would you say this is?

The unifying force in our music is language – a language which actually has no real meaning. It’s difficult to explain

what this is – I’d call it a sort of musical language, because it’s born out of the laws that govern music, which can’t be ignored – so I can’t just sing anything. This holds our music together, and it’s also the things that gives us the most freedom. The music can be a little bluesy, a little jazzy, a little Serbian, a little Russian or Arabic, we can play and travel as much as we want, because we have no language restricctions. Human imagination and musicality are the only things that can limit us.

So as a matter of fact, your music can not really be categorized?

Not really, no. I like many different kinds of music, and I know my way around a lot of genres, for instrance I’ve done drum and bass even music for dance pieces, and now I’m also working on a dance production with the Artus Dance Theater. Although I often bring the themes, the band members all bring their own music to the process, and since two of them are doing a lot of jazz nowadays, that is precisely why the second album will be

a little jazzier. So this trend is in us as well, but I certainly wouldn’t call what we do „world music,” because we don’t want to enter a competition, we just want to remain independent and unique.

How was your music received by the public early on?

At the beginning we weren’t so bold and daring, and our music and its sound were more connected to the language of childhood. Now we are much braver about doing this, because we have seen the kind of response it gets both in Hungary and abroad. Not long ago we were at the Soho Association festival in Ráday Street, and people came up to us asking where they could join our fan club, and where they could hear us regularly.

I think that this music, which comes from very deep inside and which has the meaning of life for me, is not just entertainment. I believe it resonates in others as well, because it’s something that comes from deep down.

How well-known is the band?

The thing that is well known is the name, which catches the ear of people who haven’t even heard the music, so people often say that they have heard of us. And my name has figured along side other people as well,

for example I wrote two songs for one of Miklós Jancsó’s films, and had a role in too.

I used to do theater, and I’ve done music for cartoons as well. Somehow my name gets around, and since it is part of the band’s name, it comes up in more places, among different people in diverse walks of life. I think it’s important that I don’t aim at one age group or one type of people, so everybody can enjoy this kind of music, from little, children who can barely walk, to elderly people.

Are you pursuing an acting career?

In the next theater piece, which will premiere in October, I won’t just be singing. In „Cain’s Hat” I sang throughout the performance, and I also wrote the music for it, so I sang for the recordings myself. But now I’m going to act as well, speaking lines in Hungarian.

You performed at quite a few festivals this summer?

Yes, we regularly go to Kapolcs, and we also play at Trafó, and that’s where our album release will be on December 30th. Among the festivals I really like are Pepsi Island, and I like Kapolcs too. It’s a fantastic feeling when you feel that people are there who already know what it’s about, and who came just for this reason. They always do their part, they shout and dance, so we don’t have to warm up the atmosphere, because they already know what they’re going to hear before the first song, and they’re waiting for it, because thay anticipate it.

Where do you tour abroad?

This year we were in Belgrade, and it was a great experience to play there, because just like the Czechs, the people yelled and danced right through the concert. We’ve been to the Czech Republic many times, and feel that people of Slavic blood like this music, and this manifestation of I. Because I don’t just sing – I show people the music that comes out of me. Among the Western European countries we’ve been invited to Gent next year.

When is your new album coming out?

It has to be finished by November, and it will probably be available in December. There will be lots of surprises on it, because for the first time I’m going to sing French chansons with a two-guitar acconpaniment. The atmosphere will be completely different from the previous albums, but it - Look Magazin


Albums: Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene (1998), Deladela (2001), Röné álma (2004), Kinono (2006)

These songs were streamed on radios: Deladela, Uuu, Ewikenö, Arõ, Francia, Betna bérun, Ana lytindi, Tomma holahi, T.W., Ahi m põ, Heb ö lab szam, No ked, Kitáj, N.O.S., Vüdi, Bajpala vujai, Jáuvá

MR 2 - Petõfi Radio, MR 1 - Kossuth Radio, Radio Fro (Freies Radio Oberösterreich)



For almost ten years actress-singer Erzsi Kiss has worked with the outstanding Hungarian director-filmmaker András Jeles. Their collaboration generated the characteristic "kiss erzsi language", a 'meaningless' type of vocal lyrics, permeated by feelings and free associations, so unique and typical of the band. Kiss Erzsi's encounter with theatre, like her tentative cue music composed to dance, theatre and muppet performances, has turned out to be a determinative one: this was when she started to collect ideas, tunes, and composed her first polyphonic songs. The basic of her songs is the polyphony up to this day.
When the band formed in 1996 polyphonic songs became escorted by instruments.
For first hearing - in some tunes - the songs seem to cite traditional folk music, but Kiss Erzsi Music, the band, does not aim to imitate real traditional world music itself, still the influences from Africa to Alaska, from the Arab world to the blues may easily be spotted in the songs. Tha band's versatility takes up influences from folkish to drum'n'bass, through dark balladistic tales up to the world of sunny French melodies, or even to the Seventies' rock feel.
Playfulness, musical ideas and humour get higher emphasis than usual. Through "the lack of language" Kiss Erzsi Band is able to associate with the local as well as the foreign audience.
Free associations, deeply emotional dance rythms. Last years the band successfuly performed in Moscow, Paris and Brussels. Many times they had concerts in Poland. They are regular performers of festivals in Check Republic and Slovakia, also they are very welcomed as fresh participants in the club life of these countries. In 2009 Linz as Europe's Cultural Capital received the band with a great zest.

Kiss Erzsi Music has released four albums so far (Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene, 1998; Deladela, 2001; Röné álma, 2004; Kinono 2006).