Büdösök: The Brown Danube Waltz

For nearly two years, we here at The Little Black Egg have been searching high and low for music by the Hungarian band Büdösök. We first saw them play at the 2006 Sziget festival. They really stuck out, considering Sziget is a giant, boring rock fest stuffed to the gills with bands a good fifteen years past their sell-by date.

Büdösök were playing on a tiny stage that was about 999 miles away from where the headliners played. Their lineup consisted of a drummer, a bass player, and a singer who played the trumpet and a tiny keyboard. When he sang he sounded like . . . well, you know those olden-timey sanitariums you sometimes see in period films, where everyone is chained to the wall and drooling and soiling themselves, and there’s this one guy in restraints who thinks he’s Napoleon or St. Francis of Assisi? And this guy is haranguing everyone around him? Imagine that backed by a distorted, skeletal bass plod. It was nauseating and impressive. I loved it.

The show ended, and two years passed while I tried to find out stuff about them. As in, I looked through the “B” bin in just about every single record store in the country. The record store guys either didn’t know what I was talking about, or insisted that the band had never made a recording. For a minute I thought I had a lead when I met a young man from a Budapest-based pop punk band whilst hanging out at one of my girlfriend’s gigs. When I told him that Büdösök were my favorite Hungarian band, he said “Ah! Büdösök! That is the true Hungarian shitpunk!” And he was right.

This is a video for their song “TV-Stáb-Uzo.”

If there is more Hungarian shitpunk to be found here, well, I’d like some help finding it. Büdösök were pretty goddamn elusive. I never saw any fliers for shows they played, and no record stores had their CDs. There was no Büdösök web presence to speak of, either. Or at least not that I could find. And I was out there sniffing out clues like Sam Spade. I’d pretty much given up hope until I bumped into two of the Büdösök guys at this show I went to.

A teaser video for “Büdösök B.Á.,” the band’s theme song.

I learned that Büdösök’s studio output is isolated to a four song EP called Markomban a buvészpálca . . . muvészetem buz és álca (I don’t know what that means, nor do I know how to get my computer to make the double accent mark over some of the vowels). The drummer told me that they were recording a full-length album, and were going to be opening for NYC’s the Sightings at a venue in downtown Budapest.

So I went to the gig, which was off the hook. In front of a rabid audience, Büdösök delivered the goods. Most of the crowd seemed to know the words and sang along. People were drunk and falling down and a few were crawling around on the floor. A lot of the singer’s between-song stage patter was delivered in a weird falsetto voice, and I think most of it was fake German. The whole thing was really, really funny. The crowd was elated and yelling. It was a big, noisy mess.

It’s possible that I’d like Büdösök more, or maybe less, if I knew what they were singing about. But I don’t, so never mind. (The few lyrics I managed to translate were unprintably scatological.) Büdösök’s sound is built on similar sonic terrain to that of AmRep stalwarts like Killdozer, the Cows, etcetera. Except Büdösök are not from the US Midwest, and they’re not trying to sound like they are. Büdösök’s brand of funny-yet-unnerving inebriated skudge rock is totally home grown. You can pinpoint a couple of influences, but . . . this is the true Hungarian shitpunk. It's seasick and strident and totally fucking weird. No one sounds like this. I'm sure that, if there are C.H.U.D.s living in the sewers of Budapest, these are the songs they march to.


mr tibbles said...

Rest easy: Büdösök are/were Ápolók. Their singer is none other than Fény Fehér István, and you should move to Miskolc on the double! Bahia put out quite a lot of their stuff about a million years ago.

Rick said...

Holy shit!

Miskolc, huh? Maybe I should have moved there instead of Budapest.

Mr. Tibbles, thank you for coming through on this one. Who should I contact to get my hands on Ápolók albums? I gotta get my hands on this shit—AND any related musical projects by these folks—as soon as possible.

mr tibbles said...


Discography, etc. in Hungarian:


Plenty to be getting on with there. Have fun!

Rick said...

Tibbles, you're a prince among men. Thank you very much.

Deny said...

"Markomban a buvészpálca . . . muvészetem buz és álca"

It means: stick of magician is in my hand ... my art is stink and camouflage -- it is play with word like: buveszpalca <-> buz es alca similar write and say but different meanings.

Budosok (Büdösök) < --> Digep (Digép )
each others side project, Digep is rather industrial.


Anonymous said...

vitathatatlan történelmi tény, hogy a büdösök az az egyik, ha nem a legjobb itten magyarországon.

csak a büdös kurva isten baszná meg a falovat hogy a kurva isten szuttyogtatása miatt nem lépnek fel pesten bazmeg, hogy rohadna el a síp a szájukban

Mokus said...

C.H.U.B - right on!