VHK, Slogan

Hungary's legendary and probably world's best ever ethno-punk band, whose concerts are featuring shamanistic improvised powerful songs that stunned even Iggy Pop with their power and beauty.

Vágtázó Halottkémek

The music of the VHK is called to life by the attraction of the completion of life. It is a natural music, born by the creative power of Nature. In the sense as Bela Bartok wrote: "the ethnic music is a natural phenomenon, the result of the formative activity of the unconsciously active natural force". The deepest self-expression reaches back to this natural, cosmic force and has an elementary, magical power. This is why we call the music we live as magical folk-music.

The band emerged at 1975, finding instinctively its path to play instinctive primeval music liberating the elementary powers of nature creating ourselves and revolting to its high completion in a free spontaneity and overwhelming energy. The VHK discovered a new method of playing music, which is not a simple improvisation but - in its best moments - a completely free creation of music born on stage, liberating the deepest musical creative power. Besides these elements, the VHK also plays more or less pre-written songs. This music is called many times as shamanistic ethno or psychedelic hardcore, but it is in reality an unrestricted outburst of life energy. This is not only a music but rather an attitude to grasp the essence of life with our deepest nature and let it grow by its own laws. The group says it is a magical folk-music, a cosmic vision about the role of earthly life on the destination of the Universe. It develops in a sovereign way as a self-revelation with its elementary power. The VHK is a distinguished cultic band in Hungary as well as in Germany.

The authorities in an afraid from the consequences interrupted the first eight concerts. The band were banished for eleven years, nevertheless even at that time it continuously found spontaneous occasions to act by chance. Sometimes the group was pushed to the stage by the audience of an other group, other times playing by pseudonyms, at other occasions as guest musicians of friendly bands and without announcing themselves as a band at their the concert. Meantime they won the festival of the experimental film studio in 1981. The video of this event was presented many times in the West German TV. Gábor Bódy, the internationally famous and youngly died film-director made his film “Dog’s Night Song” with them, including the lead howler Attila Grandpierre in one of the featuring roles. VHK plays from 1984 regularly in the West. In 1986, when Amsterdam was the “ cultural capital of Europe” , the Dutch Queen, Beatrix personally intervened at the Hungarian authorities in order to allow the guest performance of the band. A similar event happened in 1987 when Fred Sinowatz, the Austrian chancellor had to interact with the Hungarian Ministry of Culture. They played in the “ Mythen, Monstren and Mutationen” festival in Berlin, Tempodrom, 1988, together with La Fura dels Baus, where VHK was the best surprise (Zitty Berlin, 1988). Einstürzende Neubauten, Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop regarded VHK as one of the most important bands. VHK hosted Rollins Band in Hungary where Rollins were shocked on the overwhelming effect of VHK on the audience. Rollins Band invited VHK for a tour in England in 1989. In 1992, our CD "Hammering on the Gates of Nothingness" reached the 2nd position on the Top-100 list of the year of a Belgian Radio. Many of our CDs were and are on airplay in US college radios.

Dietmar Lupfer, the first manager of the band, and later on the famous American cult label Alternative Tentacles released our records “Teach Death a Lesson” (1988), “Jump Out the World-Instinct”(1990), “Hammering on the Gates of Nothingness” (1992). The London chief of Alternative Tentacles Bill Gilliam described the music of VHK as “primal God-feeling”. Many American managers suggested VHK to play in USA, telling that "every American band wants to play such a music what you do, but they cannot." Dietmar took the band to the New Music Seminar in 1990, New York. The New York Times wrote “the Coroner’s music is basic and elemental and filled with obsessive, galvanizing passion.” Melody Maker wrote on the show of VHK as "hypnotising" at the "Pop Komm!", the large international festival of Germany, where - by the festival magazine - they get the greatest power on the audience. The VHK released the live-album “Giant Space!”(1994). VHK played in the Steirischer Herbst ’95, completed with the fellows of Les Tambours du Bronx, 27 people on the same stage. VHK attracts 40 000 people in the Diáksziget (Student’s Island) festival, one of the biggest festivals of Europe, and reaches an extraordinary effect on the crowd. Iggy Pop reported about them as the most interesting band today (1996).

Our recent CD's “ The Re-conquest of the Eden - 1st attack, and 2nd attack” (1997, 1998) is of a band radically improved, with a new guitarist and bassist, and invited musicians playing on contrabass, violin, flute, hurdy-gurdy and cymbal. We used basically two sounds: one energetic for the electric songs and one natural and vital dreamspace for the acoustic songs. Both of these CDs reached the Top-40 of the Hungarian best-selling records and stayed there for 3 months. More importantly, the real scene for VHK is to play alive. Many people are very much intensified and deeply surprised when seeing the VHK alive on stage. In their last European tour (1999 August) they were invited by the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, where the performed a special shamanistic ceremony.

The new VHK recording "Dancing with the Sun" (1999/2000) is an initiation to the world-experience and life-seeing of VHK. This recording contains six of the best songs we wrote in the last three years, and contains more than 40 minutes of the most complete, immediate music creation so much characteristic to the VHK using the creative powers of Nature in the Bartokian sense. This new recording keeps on exploring the ancient ethnic musical roots of mankind. This CD is released in May 2000 in North-America and Western Europe by Neurot Recordings (USA).

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