Tükrös Zenekar is a Hungarian ensemble (zenekar) that I have been quietly following and assiduously savouring for a few years now. The meaning of their name hinges on tükrös, a container of a sort that might hold such shaving paraphernalia as a razor, a mirror and brush, and tükör, a mirror. The sense being communicated is of a zenekar holding a mirror up to the past, mirroring back the old sounds, the sound of the old days. A Mi Mezöségünk builds on the strong foundations of such earlier recordings as Szatmári Népzene (2000) and Tükrös Tábor (2002). The line-up remains unchanged. Éva Korpás sings on four of the eight tracks. She is yet another Hungarian female vocalist of high calibre, yet her vocal delivery is closer to many of the old folk singers than most of the better-known names. There's more dirt under her nails, so to speak, and, if you get my drift, 'Iess art' in her voice. Gergely Koncz and Attila Halmos play violin; Péter Árendás and Endre Liber play viola; and András Lelkes plays string bass. But listening to passages during the masterly Bonchidai Sűrű Csárdás, Lassú és Barbunc, a 1O-minute tour-de-force, is enough to prompt checking whether you missed the cimbalom credit. (lt's all done with strings.)
A Mi Mezőségünk is simply one of the most refreshing and dynamic reanimations of Hungarian village music ever to come my way. Tükrös Zenekar does not just hold a mirror up to the past. This is a two-way mirror and in the other direction they are pointing to the future of old Gypsy village music.
www.hangveto.hu; distributed in the UK by Proper: www.properdistribution.com