Sarolta Zalatnay – “Sarolta Zalatnay” (2007)

Have I ever mentioned before that I hate business travel? Yes? Well, I still do. This evening I’m hanging out at the airport in Phoenix, waiting for my delayed return flight. Mind you, it could be worse, and since I got the notification early enough in the day, I was able to squeeze in a trip to Revolver Records on the way to the airport, where I picked up a little punk vinyl.

But alas, I have no way to play my new vinyl here at the airport, so I’m left with my iTouch. When I was scrolling through the list trying to figure out what to listen to, I ran across Hungarian temptress Sarolta Zalatnay, and she seemed like the perfect woman to sing away my boredom.

We downloaded the self-titled Sarolta Zalatnay compilation a few months back. Originally released in 2007, the comp includes 16 tracks and almost an hour of music by Hungary’s psych rock goddess. Zalatnay began releasing singles back in the mid 1960s, and she put out full length albums through about 1980. We got turned on to her via our friend Matt, who had heard some of her vinyl with a friend of his. And so it goes… the process of long-forgotten and/or unknown (at least to American music fans, in Zalatnay’s case) being re-discovered on vinyl and shared from friend to friend.

Zalatnay’s voice is beautiful, and though the singing is in Hungarian (Magyar) it doesn’t detract at all from the overall feel. The music has that 60s/70s psych-funk vibe to it, with some meandering bass lines and keyboards working outside the timing kept by the drums. A few of the songs have some very familiar sounds to them, most notably to me “Egy Szot Se Szolj”, which has a repeated section that sounds an awful lot like a part in Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You”. There are some good pop songs here, and I really, really like that funky bass. Zalatnay’s band is every bit as impressive as her singing.

Sarolta Zalatnay is perfect music for hanging around in the evening with that someone special, drinking some wine (or your beverage of choice), and just enjoying being together. It has some energy, good beats, and a lot of emotion, but does it without getting too fast or too dreary sounding. And did I mention that funky bass? Funky bass! It’s pretty good for hanging around airports, too…