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10 bands not to miss at this week’s Reflektor Festival

Writers

  • Gábor Wágner

14/07/2022 1.07pm

Starting today, Thursday, 14 July, the inaugural Reflektor Festival brings all kinds of alternative music to Budapest. Moving from its original site near Kőbánya, the event now takes place on the various stages of the Akvárium Klub in town. Here we pick out ten acts you shouldn’t miss.

Festival information

Being held for the first time, the Reflektor Festival is now taking place on the various stages of the downtown Akvárium Klub. Tickets and passes are available here.

Photo: Reflektor

Alina Pash

1/10

This Ukrainian singer-rapper took third place at the 2016 Ukrainian X-Factor and almost represented her country at this year's successful Eurovision Song Contest. The talented, charismatic. Alina mixes folk music with electronica and contemporary hip hop. Her dark, dramatic sounds have so far featured on three LPs, the latest released in 2021. 14 July, 6.45pm. Small Hall

Photo: Tomas Jakubec - Reflektor

Floex

2/10

From Prague, clarinettist, songwriter and media artist Tomáš Dvořák has been playing under the name Floex for more than 20 years. His music is both electronic and acoustic, mixing fine contemporary jazz with ambient and downtempo. He not only releases solo records and collaborates with others, but he also likes to remix himself and has written several film scores. His live performances can be an exceptional experience. 14 July 11.30pm. Main Hall 

Photo: Reflektor

Crows

3/10

Formed in 2010, this four-piece band from London should primarily appeal to those who like Idles, Viagra Boys or Fontaines D.C.. The Crows also offer raw, angry and merciless rock with an alt-punk attitude. Their second LP, Silver Tongues was released this year, recorded in darkness and toured with Idles this spring. Expect more of same here. 14 July, 11pm. Small Hall

Photo: Reflektor

Temples

4/10

Offering psychedelic rock from Kettering, four-piece Temples have released three LPs so far, but the last was three years ago. The Temples also lace a little ‘70s’ glam into their sound and have practised a bit too hard to look like rock stars. 15 July, 9.30pm. Main Hall

Photo: Super Besse - Facebook

Super Besse

5/10

That rare curio, a Belarusian band named after a French ski resort, Super Besse come to Budapest by way of doing a charity gig for Ukraine at the Haus der Statistik in Berlin and the Wrong Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. They deliver post-punk, very tight and very cathartic. They have released four LPs so far, and like to accompany their albums with remixes. If they’re anything as overwhelming as they are on record, this should be a real Reflektor highlight. 15 July, 9pm. Lokál

Photo: Reflektor

Nightmares on Wax

6/10

George Evelyn, aka DJ E.A.S.E., has brought his Brit electronica and downtempo triphop to Hungary before. He has been making music since 1988 and his first album was released in 1991, so he’s a real old trouper. He has released an almost uncountable number of self-titled albums, remixes, collaborations, DJ mixes, EPs and singles over the past 35 years. Plenty to choose from, then, for his Reflektor set. 16 July 9.30pm. Main Hall

Photo: Mother's Cake/Facebook

Mother’s Cake

7/10

Psych-rock from the Tyrol? Yup, Mother's Cake from the tiny Alpine village of Arzl im Pitztal won a talent contest in 2010 and have since gone on to conquer the German-speaking world with their wild version of space rock. Six albums and one pandemic later, and the trio are still gigging consistently, adding no little funk to their prog foundations. 15 July, 6.45pm, Small Hall

Photo: Reflektor

Porridge Radio

8/10

Indie exponents from Brighton, Porridge Radio were founded in 2015, and have so far released three crowd-pleasing LPs. The breakthrough was the second, Every Bad, two years ago, which they managed to build on this year with their third release, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, also on the wonderful Secretly Canadian label. Fronted by singer-guitarist-songwriter Dana Margolin, who is always good value. 16 July, 7.45pm. Main Hall

Photo: Dan Medhurst - Reflektor

Moses Boyd

9/10

It is rare, but not unusual, for a drummer to go solo but the UK’s Moses Boyd has done just that. Since he came here through jazz, there’s a lot of that thrown in, but more future, nu or electro rather than mainstream. He has so far created two LPs in his sorcerer’s workshop full of percussion instruments and gadgets, weaving in his experiences of electronic music, plus hip hop and soul, into his music. 16 July, 8.30pm. Small Hall 

Photo: Whispering Sons - Facebook

Whispering Sons

10/10

This Belgian post-punk band based in Brussels were formed in the first half of the last decade. Whispering Sons have so far released two LPs, each featuring the two things that make their music special. One is that they are very noisy, this is a post-punk studded with experimental elements, while the other is singer, Fenne Kuppens, whose characterful, almost unearthly deep voice and disturbing style immediately captivates the listener. These together make their show on the last day of Reflektor a must. Strangely, they have a song called Sátántangó, after the seven-hour long Hungarian cult film. 16 July, 10pm. Small Hall

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