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Review by Mike Adcock

Listen "Tindia"

Tindia are a five-piece all-female band based in Budapest and with their strong debut album, also called Tindia, they are following in the footsteps of others from their country. In Hungary there's a history of composers and performing musicians actively collecting folk songs and tunes by visiting rural areas, sometimes beyond the borders of Hungary itself, to capture musical treasures before they disappear. Bartók and Janáček took music they found on such trips as a starting point for many of their compositions and since then bands such as Muzsikás and Vujiicsics have collected and recorded material from different parts of Hungary and beyond. Now Tindia, who themselves have studied and collected folk music, have chosen to present traditional music of the Csángó people who live in Moldavia but originally travelled there from Hungary.

Listen "Páratlan"

The Csángó remain a minority culture with their own language, still used by some, and have maintained some of their folk traditions including dance, music and song which, as can be heard on Tindia, has much in common with Hungarian music with its driving uneven dance rhythms, distinctive modality and powerful heartfelt songs. The musicianship from Tindia is beyond question with viola and flutes taking the lead, often in unison, sometimes duplicating the vocal line, alongside guitar, koboz (a kind of lute similar to the Romanian cobza) and drum. On "Páratlan" there is also an uncredited jaw's harp.

Listen "Sóhaj"

After three mainly up-tempo tracks reflecting the band members' strong commitment to the dance tradition there is a complete change of pace on “Sóhaj,” a slower more wistful song. Singer Méry Rebeka's vocal style has a completely engaging personal quality which illuminates the whole album and here it really comes into its own, accompanied only by koboz and the viola which contributes a melancholic gravity matching the tone of the song. This is the only track which maintains a restrained slow pace, but throughout Tindia there are frequent changes of tempo and musical colour which keep you guessing and hold your interest to the end.

Listen "Egy sem igaz Sóhaj"

Unfortunately no information is given about the songs themselves. Neither is it clear exactly what the word “Tindia” refers to. We are told that many have travelled in search of the land called Tindia and that five young girls from Budapest found it far from Moldavia “somewhere deep inside their heart.” Is it perhaps a mythical place, a dance or a state of being? Or maybe it needn't concern us and we should just allow the music to sweep us off our feet.

You can find the band online for more information.

Further listening:
Janusz Prusinowski Kompania
Kapela Maliszów and WoWaKin

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