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V/A - Well Hung: Funk Rock Eruptions From Beneath Communist Hungary, Vol. 1

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Artist: V/A

Album: Well Hung: Funk Rock Eruptions From Beneath Communist Hungary, Vol. 1

Label: B-Music

Review date: Aug. 11, 2009

The domestic craving for early 1970s Hungarian fuzz rock has escalated gradually over the last few years. In 2007, crate-digger godhead Andy Votel compiled the best of Sarolta Zalatnay, a striking mix of blues, soul and acid rock with an undeniably sexy lady at its center. In 2008, Finders Keepers released Well Hung internationally, where it seemingly fared so well that, now, it’s making its official American debut.

Apparently, when he discovered Zalatnay, Votel found a well too deep to ignore. Even by his remarkable standards, this comp encompasses some serious variety. From the galvanizing opening theme (Anna Adamis and Gabor Presser’s “Ringasd El Magad No. 2”) through the soaring vocals and intricate production of Kati Kovacs’s “Add Mar Uram Az Esot!” through the ball-swinging Iron Curtain soul of Locomotive GT’s “Megvariak ma delben” to the magnifique closing one-two (Illes’s snarling, stinging “Nekem Oly Mindegy” and Bergendy’s thrillingly ambitious Days of the Future Passed soundalike “Hetkoznapi Balladak”), Well Hung has a broader range than most radio stations, and a lot more obvious highlights. Even if you’re just looking for samples, Neoton’s “Nora” has the sort of monster breakbeat that could create a rap star.

Aside from a pervasive sense of heightened reality, a few spacey flourishes, and an openly cheesy three-fer from Omega (including, most notably, the drug-scare track “Azt Mondta Az Anyukam”), Well Hung doesn’t include much that could be classified as stereotypically “psychedelic.” The dominant aesthetic here is closer to the hornball ‘70s chug-rock of a Black Oak Arkansas than it is to any chimey, day-glo hippie shit. After listening to these 20 jams, I immediately wanted to revisit Map of Africa.

As usual, koszonom. Mr. Votel and friends. You’ve bent our ears to a lot of good shit.

By Emerson Dameron

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