From Budapest in Hungary, Anez make electronic music with a twist. They make their own clothes too. Out of tin foil and sackcloth, mainly
Anez are an electronic music duo from Budapest in Hungary. Anesz Szalai sings and Zoltan Demeter does everything else. They both like tin foil and sackcloth.
Anez’s exotic sound is part high art-pop and part European conservatoire, which is perhaps as you might expect from a couple of classically trained clever clogs gone feral who cite Bowie, Bjork and Bartok as their influences. They first met while studying music in 2001 and moved to Budapest soon afterwards, finding themselves in the middle of a vibrant local scene. They formed Anez after Zoltan finished his course at the Budapest School of Music Technology, where he studied electronic music production.
“We were always missing the chance to be the founding members of our own band,” explains Zoltan, who is first and foremost a bassist and has previously played in punk and funk bands. “We really wanted to start something that represents our own mutual interest of experimenting in sound design and composition.”
The result of the duo’s magpie use of techniques and technology, which mashes together traditional instruments, software instruments, field recordings and samplers, is innovative and visceral. They set about constructing their striking debut album ‘Dust’, in a cottage in the middle of the Hungarian countryside. The opening track, the chiming and charming ‘Ting-Kang’, featured on our final Electronic Sound Wall in the last issue of Electronic Sound.
“We work from a home studio in our apartment,” says Zoltan. “This is our base to polish our sound and finish our songs. But for the songwriting and pre-production sessions, we usually spend a few weeks in a remote country house. This is where we can really focus on the project, including planning, collecting ideas, getting sounds from that environment, designating a direction of our work and making the initial recordings.”
Anez have a strong interest in how they look as well as sound. Hence the tin foil suits and sackcloth clobber and heavy eye make-up they’ve worn on stage, in videos and on record sleeves. Their striking visual identity is a mixture of Dadaism, Bob Fosse and European futurism, mixing cabaret and theatre with rock and pop aesthetics.
“Visual and theatrical sceneries have always been important parts of our live shows and videos,” says Zoltan. “They are great tools for us to represent our artistic identity and we love collaborating with visual artists like Edina Palkovits for our live concerts. Luckily, Anesz has a very creative mind and a real DIY spirit for our clothing and stage designs, using every available material – from fabrics to paper boxes to drinking straws – in order to build unique visual environments.”
“We love to plan and build ourselves our own environments on stage and we wear self-made costumes in order to help make all the senses happy,” says Anesz. “It is easier to involve and catch the attention of an audience this way, to let them travel to different worlds for an hour with our music. We also like to change things from gig to gig, whether that’s building things or visual projections or making clothes from tin foil, paper rolls, cellophane, shower curtains, or something else. All these things are part of what we are about.”
“But at the moment, our main goal is to use our own imaginations in music, applying new techniques and songwriting concepts,” adds Zoltan. “This way is far more interesting and entertaining for us than anything. It takes longer to produce handmade grooves and sounds than something from the computer, but for us this is the way to fill our music with our own memories.”
“We are really curious what how this will be on stage and what people will think,“ interjects Anesz. “We will get the answer soon because we are now planning our first European tour. Looking forward to meeting you there!”
The feeling, as they say, is mutual.
‘Dust’ is released on Chi Recordings