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Técső Banda tear it up.
October 10, 2009 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.
posted by flapjax at midnite (23 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

Video courtesy of Mefi's own zaelic.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:15 AM on October 10, 2009

Totally kickass indeed. I keep meaning to try to meet Zaelic during my many brief stops in Budapest, but meeting friends and strange activities never seem to leave enough time. I'd have made a special trip to see this, though! I feel lucky to, by have accident, have run into the amazing Kalyi Jag playing for free in front of the Blaha Lujza tér metroállomás a couple of weeks ago, and to have seen the equally fine Kanizsa Csillagai play for free at Színház tér in Pécs. This would have really made the triumvirate. It's a shame that there's no central location that allows a person to check out when these sort of events take place ahead of time. I'm grateful for the video, and for the new knowledge that the same "user" has many other great videos. Cool!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 9:51 AM on October 10, 2009

Completely awesome. Thanks, flapjax and zaelic!

Singer Yura Chernovetz is possibly the best drummer in the carpathians.

It is one of the great tragedies of my life that I will never merit a description this cool. Also, how the hell does he do that trilling/chirping thing?
posted by DaDaDaDave at 9:54 AM on October 10, 2009

Also, how the hell does he do that trilling/chirping thing?

I know! Was that cool or what?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:55 AM on October 10, 2009

Man, I really tried to watch it, but the audio quality is so horrific that everything sounds either way too loud or way too quiet, and all mid-rangey with no thump. Wishing I could hear the accordion and the violin as distinct elements, because they are obviously shreddding, but the handheld camera mic makes everything muddle together. If anyone can find some higher quality recordings, I would love to check em out.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:09 AM on October 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

I will say that I enjoyed very much the similarities (to my ears) between the drum equipment and sounds he is making and that of second-line New Orleans drummers.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:10 AM on October 10, 2009

If anyone can find some higher quality recordings, I would love to check em out.

Zaelic mentions a CD release of theirs in his notes to the video, you might look into that. Indeed the audio isn't great on the vid, but I guess I've gotten used to filling in the blanks: below-hifi-audio is so par for the course on the net, and indeed, in many of the vintage recordings that make up a good share of my own listening (20s/30s blues from scratchy old 78s, for example) that, well, I guess it just doesn't bother me that much.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:14 AM on October 10, 2009

And ....awesome.
posted by The Whelk at 10:27 AM on October 10, 2009

Very nice flapjax.
posted by bardic at 10:28 AM on October 10, 2009

Ethnophone is a great label, I'll be picking some of their CDs up before I return to America next week.

It might be helpful, if you're searching, to realize that their English name is:

Técső Band

and their Hungarian name is:

Técsői Banda

I found a lot better results searching for it one of those two ways rather than the hybridized:

Técső Banda . . . which brought up almost no CD information.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:51 AM on October 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I enjoy these Romani strategies.
posted by orthogonality at 11:14 AM on October 10, 2009

Dumeauzu's blog,, is well worth following for those interested in this music.
posted by vac2003 at 11:14 AM on October 10, 2009

below-hifi-audio. . . doesn't bother me that much.

That's because you're a musician. Content over production values every time.

Like to hear a mash-up between these guys and Hound Dog Taylor. He usually played Técső Del Rey guitars, as I recall.
posted by Herodios at 12:30 PM on October 10, 2009

posted by Abiezer at 2:31 PM on October 10, 2009

...possibly best drummer in the Carpathians... yeah, I'll never garner so cool an honorific in this life.

Thanks for the big slab of fucking awesome.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:35 PM on October 10, 2009

Is he hitting that cymbal with a screwdriver?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:02 PM on October 10, 2009

Awwww Flapjax... I've been working with the Técső band for a couple of years - they come to Budapest regularly because their local manager gets them a lot of low paying bar gigs which make living in the western Ukraine a lot easier. My band and Técső played a concert at the posh Budapest Palace of Artists last week, so hopefully we should be able to get them out to a wider audience soon. The screaming reed effect that drummer Yura does is made by a thing called "plonka": a circle of stiff plastic about the size of a half dollar that he holds in his mouth between his teeth and gum. When he isn't singing it sits in his cheek, and then he brings it up front with his tongue and uses it as a free reed. Originally they were made with birch bark or leaves.

Tjaciv - the Ukrainian name for Técső - is right on the border between Romania, Hungary, and the Ukraine, and has several nationalities living in it, so the band plays about six different repetoires as well as the local Ruthenian/Hutsul wedding band stuff. They are one of the last bands that preserve local Jewish music learned from their father, Manyo, who used to play for the Jewish communities (most of whom now live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.) Thing is - not so many regions still preserve a context for trad acoustic folk musics - the Hutsul region does, and ther Técső band is one of the most sought after for weddings. For me it's it's like having access to the living Dellta blues in the 1930s.

Sorry for the sound quality - that's what you get using the video function on a coolpix camera.
posted by zaelic at 5:08 PM on October 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

Not a screwdriver. An ice pick.
posted by zaelic at 5:09 PM on October 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

Even awesomester.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:10 AM on October 11, 2009

Somedays I just love Metafilter.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on October 11, 2009

More videos, thanks to Dee Xtrovert's clarification of the band name:
- Trailer for Az utolsó Kolomejka (The Last Kolomeyka); commentary on the film by Dumneazu (
- orosz dal (russian song), Tolka mama, kazacsok & hopak (studio session) and more from YouTube user suranyi
- Cigánycsárdás (hand-cam clip of a live show)
- pro-shot festival footage (solid sound quality though some of the shots are pretty shaky)

This is the band's website, which includes some videos with English subtitles, including some guy named Bob Cohen talking about the band =)

The band's label is Etnofon, and they have two albums (though one is sold out on Etnofon's site). The CDs are also sold by Passion Music out of the UK.

Commentary on Técsői Band at the Budapest Palace of Artists, from Dumneazu
posted by filthy light thief at 12:06 PM on October 12, 2009

I watched the first one, in the FPP with my 6 year old and he totally dug it. It's crazy music! I can't wait to listen to these others with him.

Someone should get Dumneazu, Bob Cohen and zaelic all together, they've clearly got a lot in common... harhar har ahem har... Seriously, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:32 PM on October 12, 2009

And for the real hardcore Hutsulmaniacs out there, here is a (clicking on fobit of film of the band from 1992 to leads to a zip archive file with some amazing fottage.) This from an old site set up by the Etnofon label from a field trip collecting music in Western Ukraine. (the laft hand column is a list of villages - clon them to find info and downloads in Hungarian on 'Táncélet' (dance) 'zene' (music), film and photos. This is good Romanian Maramures fiddle music, and yes, they actually do wear hats like that up there, and this is even more rough-hewn Hutsul music played by a peasant band.
posted by zaelic at 12:33 PM on October 12, 2009

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