Transsylvanians - Igen!
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Transsylvanians
Igen!

They call it 'Hungarian speedfolk' and it does have velocity. This mostly-acoustic ensemble's high-octane brand of folk encompasses the eastern and western with ease and attitude.

Listen:
Igen!
Mini Suite No.5

CD also includes a 5 minute MPEG video of a song in concert.

The Band:
Isabel Nagy: vocals
András Tiborcz: violin, bass, vocals
Hendrik Maaß: guitar, vocals
Thomas Leisner: drums, vocals
Szilvana: double bass
Special guests:
Stoppek: electric mandolin, vocals Christian Gerber: accordion
Andreas Hirche: organ
Rack & Sonic: rap voc
Dennis Jabusch: doublebass
Dénes Tiborcz: sax (track 3)

Overall, Igen! is good fun and often funny, and although it never shies away from its traditional musical sources, it never holds to those sources at the expense of the music itself. If you liked the music of Kapela Ze Wsi Warszawa, Korai Öröm, Os Diplomaticos and Manu Chao, then this record is for you. - Nondas Kitsos, RootsWorld

Press from the band:
Starting with the rocking "Debrecen" (featuring as special guest, the legendary German songsmith Stoppok on e-mandolin and vocals), through the Mini Suite's a la Bela Bartok crossing guitar folk-pop, pure vocal tracks, punky trash and chill-out sounds, the multi-national quartet delivers a deliciously abundant platter of new model Hungarian speedfolk.

Most of the songs are composed by violinist and bandleader Tiborc Andras and get their own special sound from Nagy Isabel, the new singer and double bass player, Hendrik Maass (guitar) and Thomas Leisner (drums) as well as from special guests Stoppok, Tiborc Denes (sax), Rack & Sonic (rap voc) and others.

Based in Berlin, the four musicians create with their Hungarian Speed-Folk a mixture of rap, rock, Bartok, ska, punk and gypsy-techno. Their live appearances invariably turn into ecstatic dance orgies but The Trannsylvanians can also seduce the audience with the ballads and love songs in their repertoire. The songs tell of their homeland : the earth and the stars ; war and peace ; love and jealousy ; and, above all, the lust for life that characterizes their live shows. Through their constant touring they have become one of Germany's favourite live acts on the world-music scene.

The new front- woman is Nagy Isabel. Her double-bass playing and voice meltdown into a deceptively gentle mood only to suddenly erupt with breath-taking energy. Violinist András Tiborcz sweeps the audience away with his energy-loaded, ferocious playing. Add ambidextrous guitarist Hendrik Maass and powerhouse drummer Thornas Leisner and you've got one hot goulash heavy on the paprika. This line-up, often augmented by guests on accordion / piano and saxophone, evokes the stories of generations of Hungarian life as told in the traditional songs.

The combination of their different musical backgrounds provides the creative tension of the band and produces exciting and vivid new music. The name "Transsylvanians" is often with the Dracula myth and when that conjures up visions of a mysterious underworld where, in the night, bats go hunting and dark forces awake uncontrollable passions which drive people to madness, then this is not in the least inappropriate.

Transsylvania, the musical source of the band, is a strip of land that belonged to Hungary until the First World War and is now part of Romania. Many people from different cultures live there : Hungarians, Romanians, Siebenbürgersachsens and Gypsies. With many concerts in England, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, these musicians - from Hungary, Greece and Germany - show how music can connect people of different countries and generations.

What we are about:

All of the band have grown up and come from different parts of the world, but we met up in Berlin. Our music is based on traditional songs from Transsylvania combined with " modern and classical inluences from Bartók to techno and punk rock. The songs are about some of the crazy, mad, sad, and passionate things that happen to you in life. Things like the mega confusion you feel when you fall in love like the song Magic mushroom. Or about making mistakes with your life and trying to get back on the right road like in Kerek utca (me crooked road). Or they are just about having a great party time like in Opadi. They're a mixture of wild enthusiasm for life like Eljen! or melancholic reflection like Kis kece lanyom (The young bride in white). Or they're about funny things like how a wife tries to hide the signs of her lover from her drunken, confused old husband in Mi baj angyatom?

We chose the name ,The Transsylvanians' not only because that is the source of where our songs come from, but also because it reflects the wandering homelessness that is part of modern life. Transsylvania doesn't really exist as a fixed state, it's made up of people from a lot of different countries. That seemed to fit really well with the lives of the members of the band, and the different musical influences they bring to it. Maybe if we all came from Budapest we wouldn't be able to play this type of music in the way we do. The creative tension in the band comes out of combining different musical influences and bringing them together to make a new wild and temperamental sound.

A lot of people when they hear the name ,The Transsylvanians' associate it with Count Dracula, and we think that's funny. It conjures up this dark, sexy, underground world, where things change at night, where bats come flying out to hunt and uncontrollable passions get released and drive people into a frenzy. That's the kind of things we like to do with our music.

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