Masik Janos - Trance Balance LP
Label: Foam On A Wave
Foam On A Wave is proud to present the first international issue of this chameleonic, shapeshifting record, from one of Hungary's most prolific musician and film composers, János Másik. At times it calls to mind 23 Skidoo, Talking Heads and The Pop Group, at others it sits in its own corner of the room.
1989 was a revolutionary year. For many in the West the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the Autumn of Nations; the End of History and the triumph of progress. In Hungary, the year saw the Round Table Talks establish a new multi-party democracy and the effective end of communist rule after 40 years - Rendszerváltás; 'regime change'.
It's hard to ignore these cataclysms while listening to Trance Balance. After all, its initial release was on Hungaropop, "one of the first privately owned, independent labels launched after the liberalization of the market in Warsaw Pact-era Hungary" (we highly recommend delving further into their remarkable catalogue). Is music always an expression of the shifting political landscape? Or does it exist beyond it?
These are all questions that percolate as the needle drops. Freud, a ghost from the Dual-Monarchy, runs in streams through the album sleeve. Trance Balance itself is reminiscent of a trip, transporting the individual through a semi-conscious dreamland. Synthesisers woosh and swirl overhead. The percussion is propulsive. Voices take on the guise of characters, guide-like, beckoning. There are Brechtian interludes where the musical fourth wall is punctured. At points, the listener awakes to playful refrains, bohemian folk song and calypso detours. This is a masterwork of musical surrealism - an act of pure intuition - free and honest. A manifesto in all but words. We'll let you decide how much it has to do with politics.