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Thursday, Feb 18 2010 | 17:12 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

The following Pop-revolution comes from Hungary. Who would have thought of Hungary, of all places! – a country where international careers in music are few and far between. However, vibrant signs of life were sighted about four years ago: back then an all-round musician by the name of Erik Sumo, who in real life is called Ambrus Tövisházi, successfully introduced himself with his debut album “My Rocky Mountain”. Back then pop, dub, jazz and Hungarian folk-elements were crossed with extremely catchy melodies.

By now, the Erik Sumo Band is a seven-strong project and the new album “The Trouble Soup” is a bubbling cauldron of great pop-anthems. Explosive synthesizers, Eastern Bloc-ado, indie and progressive in three-minute operas, that could have been penned by the Flaming Lips or the B 52’s. It’s crystal clear, the Hungarian pop saga has to be rewritten.

In their home country the Erik Sumo Band are considered to be national heroes: explosive live shows, ingenious songwriting. Their single release “Disco In My Head” made #1 on the Hungarian radio charts. Now the band is ready for the next big step: the world wide release of “The Trouble Soup” on Le Pop Musik.

When mastermind and band leader Ambrus Tövisházi talks about the musical spectrum of the Erik Sumo Band, he evokes a variety of different styles, like Japanese folk songs, rockabilly, socialistic cartoons, Afro-beat, chanson, reggae … all these influences are to be found on “The Trouble Soup”. It may sound crazy, but it comes together wonderfully!

Tövisházi is influenced by a specific Hungarian perspective beyond the usual Puszta-folklore: “Of course there are Hungarian elements in our music. I am referring to the 80’s, when a lot of music from TV-shows, cartoons and Hungarian movies was around and thereby created it’s very own Hungarian style. Special instruments came to the fore. A lot of Eastern Bloc countries had their own instrument culture, for example the GDR-organ-producer Vermona Orgel, who had an unmistakable sound to themselves. I love reanimating all those forgotten instruments of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, whose sound is incomparable to western instruments. I also used to listen to pop and rock music from my Dad’s old tapes, mostly American bands. Back then my Dad would record the Beach Boys or 70’s Motown-music from special Hungarian radio shows.” After the Hungarian guards tore down the borders to Austria, new influences streamed in: “External influences became a priority. A band like Stereolab or Beck and his way of handling lo-fi fascinated me. I find lo-fi really intriguing, the way noises are integrated into the music. Noise is a very important part of music.”

Since that time the solo-emporium of Erik Sumo has grown and grown: two female vocalists and a singer, taking turns with the lead-vocals and joining each other in order to form a choir; a well-rehearsed rhythm-section and recurring duos between the vintage organ and the electric guitar.

Aside form the illustrious cast – the actual recording process of “The Trouble Soup” is decisive for the band’s sound: “We recorded the drums, the bass, the organ and the guitar in an original 70’s studio with a 24-track-tape-machine. The man working there is a true legend; he has worked with a bunch of older Hungarian bands. One thing was clear from the start: we want to make the crowd dance. Bass and drums have to rock.”

And “The Trouble Soup” is a raving success: an album bubbling over with energy and ideas. The melodies engage in an endless interwoven bind. “The Trouble Soup” is a nonstop-gallop through the wondrous pop cosmos of the Erik Sumo Band, where the listener encounters hit after hit.


01. Loose Parts
02. Secon
03. Show Me The Light
04. Dream Machine
05. License Plate Rock
06. Little Worm From Hungary
07. You Never Be My Friend
08. Your Flame
09. The Trouble Soup
10. Disco In My Head
11. Good And Relieved
12. Erzsi Robs A Casino
13. Sleep Well Octopus

The album Erik Sumo BandThe Trouble Soup” (Le Pop Musik) is going to be released February 26, 2010.

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