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Neo-Prog • Hungary

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Android biography
Hungarian outfit ANDROID was originally formed back in 1980 by students and teachers from the Lajos Kossuth Univeristy of Arts and Sciences (today known as The University of Debrecen). Dudas Janos (guitars), Szekelyhidi Laszlo (bass), Tozser Jozsef (keyboards), Milesz Sandor (keyboards) and Mezo Orban (drums) made up the initial line-up, and the band specialized in long, symphonic works - often inspired by literary works by writers such as Mikhail Bulgakov and Robert Graves. The band disbanded without ever releasing any music though, but it's members carried on playing music in other outfits, some of which turned out to be rather succesfull.

Android reunited on a select few occasions over the years with various line-ups, most notably on the band's 15th "birthday" in 1995 for a live concert. In 1995 keyboardist Tozser Jozsef also composed 50 minutes of new music, and combined with some of Android's older numbers released this as the cassette only production East of Eden.

Come 2008 and most of the original members hooked up again, and decided that it was time to reunite the band. Soon after all forming members sans bassist Laszlo had agreed to start off this musical adventure anew, and with Pocsai Sandor (bass) in as the new man, Android was ready for the second chapter of it's history. In September 2008 they made their live debut at Budapest Papp Laszlo Sports Arena in front of an audience of 6000, and in May 2009 - some 29 years after the original foundation of the band, Android issued their official debut CD, a rerecorded and reorchestrated version of Jozsef's 1996 album East of Eden.

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ANDROID discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

ANDROID top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 13 ratings
Édentől keletre / East of Eden
3.96 | 17 ratings
Éjféli bál / Midnight Ball
3.81 | 14 ratings
Embergép / Man Maschine

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Embergép / Man Maschine by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.81 | 14 ratings

Embergép / Man Maschine
Android Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Hungarian progressive rock group Android is back with its third release, the aptly titled "Man Maschine" which finally consecrates them with both respect and admiration for how they have progressed through the years. Led by keyboardist Jozsef Tozser and guitarist Janos Dudas , the band has finally lived up to its rather scientific-leaning name by producing a work that is decidedly futuristic , an ode to the android man machine that undoubtedly one day rule over our lives. With a double keyboard attack featuring both Tozser and Sandor Milesz, a tight rhythm section in bassist Zoltan Nikolin and drummer Orban Mezo as well as supremely talented electric guitarist in Dudas , the musicality of the ensemble is a non-issue as these guys can play with the best of them. The big improvement I hear from their previous works (2011's "Midnight Ball" and "East of Eden" -2009) which were most pleasing, is the mature song writing and attention to pace and detail and I even recall stating that ' their next one should consolidate them further within the prog community'. Of course, understanding Hungarian is no problem for me, which adds to my enjoyment.

The tempestuous "Dialectics" is a sprawling nearly 9 minute affair that sets the tone for the album, a delightful plunge into modern electric prog with sweeping electronics, sizzling synthesizer runs, serpentine bass and thoughtful drumming. The electric guitar bites and snarls like some unhinged bitch while the voice sweeps along in Hungarian, a fluid and unique language well suited to prog. The soloists trade blasts that utterly convince, bold, brash and confident. The crisp keys provide symphonic bombast while the flaming axe grinds like a well-oiled machine. A thrilling opener that grabs the attention and excites to no end.

The heavy and rock n' roll influenced "Who Am I?" is super greasy, so as to avoid an overtly robotic set list of songs, hearkens back to something Blue Oyster Cult would create in its most progressive profile, with loads of bluesy guitar scratches and sweltering leads , the blase vocals suitably buzzed and detached. Heavy, nasty and oily. Dudas rips off a series of pyrotechnical leads that benefit from some stellar rhythmic activity as in a driving bass and drum attack, his brief solo is a classic piece of showmanship, stating 'this is who I am!'. "Staying Empty" continues in a rockier pub-rock style, with a chorus of "Hey!" to underscore the need for drinking one more round, another liter of wine to keep up the spirits and shove the engine into overdrive with a frenetic solo and a frantic pulse. A trembling e-piano introduces "I Am the One", laying down a somber foundation for a different guitar solo, closer to a bluesy David Gilmour and then veering into Gary Moore, in its more expressive delivery. The melody is expertly sung, with powerful passion.

Definitely one of the highlights, "Recruitment Song" is a return to bombastic symphonics which is something this band does very well, there is almost a Manfred Mann's Earth Band-like feel especially with both the electric guitar and the synthesizer interplay, which should not come as a surprise as Mann was very popular in Hungary back in the day. It also has a quasi-military march mood, marshaling drums leading the parade and the keyboard work gives the arrangement a lot of depth. A killer track that should attract quite an audience. "I Will Stay Anyway" is the obligatory ballad but features a unique whistling synth solo that is quite stunning, as well as great guitar splashes and truly fabulous singing. In a more dramatic setting, "Bluebeard" is a French classic tale of an evil serial wife murderer, fuel for Bela Bartok to compose an opera, hence the Hungarian connection. Slightly Gothic in feel, the piano leads a rather dark theme, blending theatrics and dynamic flashes, until the crunching guitar takes it by the scruff of the neck and saunters onward. A slithering synth volley leads "Holes in the Skep" (skep is a kind of beehive, an open-end-down basket) into a luminous keyboard exercise that relays over to a slide guitar squawk that wins at Steve Howe. The pace slows as the growling rhythm guitar chops through, unmolested.

Back to the longer epic tracks that really give the group room to maneuver and frankly, where they excel, first with the intriguing "Casemates" loaded to the gills with marimba-sounding keys, grouchy guitar bursts and swift keep things fresh and exciting. Lots of complex passages, turn-on-a-dime pirouettes and a river of constant change that is compelling. Once again, the Manfred Mann Earth Band parallels become obvious as Dudas has a lot of Mick Rogers in him, carving shrill solos and brandishing his axe proudly, while keysmen Tozser and Milesz combine to worship the famed South African legend. A thoroughly interesting and intense piece.

And finally, the massive title track finishes off in grand style this fine release. Molten guitar blasts give way to ambient, almost Floyd-like electronic atmospherics , slowly building up steam until the rock elements kick in, bombast and symphonics paving the way and then veering back to softer climes. The initial vocals are mostly spoken, robotic and doom-laden as the power surge widens its thrust forward. Churning organ is a most welcome addition, as the voice now starts singing the sad plight of men machines, torn between technological perfection and human deficiency. Dudas kills it with a deadly display, the man can play with the best, fast, hard, subtle and hard. The finale is way more urgent , the vocals insistent and exalted, a true classic of Hungarian prog.

Not yet the perfect album but getting there. The epic, more sci-fi pieces are stunning, while the shorter, rockier tracks are enjoyable but certainly not as rapturous. As a bass fanatic, I always would prefer a more upfront bass guitar but that's just me. Recommended.

4 Hun Automatons

 Embergép / Man Maschine by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.81 | 14 ratings

Embergép / Man Maschine
Android Neo-Prog

Review by Davidf60

4 stars Time at last to start writing reviews. This Hungarian band of five musicians certainly offer a varied selection of music on this 10 track album. There are some excellent keyboard and guitar solos. The different moods and tempo of each track certainly found favour with me.

Although I do not understand the Hungarian lyrics, they are very well sung and certainly did not detract from the listening experience. There are three tracks over eight long and in these the band really show off their musical talents and the keyboard musician, Zoltan Nikolin really shines through with some glorious sounds and is complemented by Janos Dudas, the guitarist. The other seven shorter tracks provide a different style of music, but still very pleasing to me.

I found this album to be very enjoyable listening experience and would certainly recommend it.

 Édentől keletre / East of Eden by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.18 | 13 ratings

Édentől keletre / East of Eden
Android Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In Debrecen, Hungary, at the local university, was born this group by students Dudas Janos (guitar), Tozser Jozsef (keyboards), Mezo Orban (drums), Milesz Sando (keyboards) and Szekelyhidi Laszlo (bass) in 1980, originally playing Symphonic Rock but without releasing anything until their demise in mid-80's.A brief reunion took place in 1995, without though Milesz Sandor, that led to the release of the cassette ''Edentol keletre'' in 1996 and several concerts.More than ten years later, around 2008, Android would reform with Dudas, Tozser and Mezo rejoined by Milesz Sandor and new bassist Sandor Pocsai in the place of Szekelyhidi Laszlo.The following year their 96' cassette would be re-orchestrated and re-released on CD under the title ''East of Eden'', offered privately by the group in a self-production.

Most of the material of this album was composed by Tozser back in mid-90's in a form entirely built on synthesizers, so reasonably enough ''East of Eden'' is heavily driven by the work of the two Android keyboardists, but do not expect an Electronic album actually.''East of Eden'' comes like an all instrumental mix of melodic Symphonic Rock, Space Rock and Electronic Music with PINK FLOYD and CAMEL as the major influences.Certainly the music is deeply keyboard-oriented with strong soaring synths, ethereal soundscapes and atmospheric background drops of Electronic Music, but there is a strong amount of interesting guitar parts included, delivering either some great melodic lines or more cosmic textures with a very dreamy touch.There are even some Classical hints coming from the band's early days back in the 80's, carefully hidden under a synth-drenched sound, but the majority of this release is dedicated to balanced Neo/Symph/Space Rock with a rich and nervous style overall.The only complaint comes from the album's limited variety, all tracks have a similar sound as a whole, although most of them are well-played and executed.

An album from the 90's vaults, that definitely should have been reissued as it happened.Spacey Neo/Symphonic Rock with nice and angular synths blended with notable guitar texts.Recommended.

 Éjféli bál / Midnight Ball by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 17 ratings

Éjféli bál / Midnight Ball
Android Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The Android lads hail from the lovely town of Debrecen in Hungary , keyboardist Jozsef Tozser especially were kind to send me a copy of their new album as well as a DVD. Obviously, being a Hungarian from the diaspora certainly helps in understanding the lyrics as well as the peculiar artistic temperament that has always had a certainly rebellious strain (Liszt, Bartok, Kodaly) , very much in tune with the needs of music in general and prog in particular (just ask Mr.Hackett if he likes Budapest!) . I reviewed Android's instrumental debut "East of Eden" which I critiqued honestly and as a progfan. I deeply enjoyed the proceedings, just had a problem with the choice of keyboard and drum tones (I mean they are called Android after all!) used on that first foray. The guitar work of Janos Dudas was incredibly uplifting and the future looked rosy. The band has now opted for the inclusion of vocals into their craft and it's an encouraging decision.

"Midnight Ball" starts off with some orchestral pieces, sweeping dual keys introducing some brief female narration before plunging into the sumptuous title track. The massed (three female voices) vocal onslaught combines vividly with the symphonic tornadoes unleashed by the tumultuous whirlwind synthesizers, as the drums thrash wildly in the background. This is pretty inventive and shows this group's ability to wander beyond pure instrumental play. The advantage of such an organic inclusion of human voices is that it breeds a more symphonic palette of sound that dismisses that at times tinny sound on their debut.

"Matthew 26.47" is a musical prayer prologue that introduces the well-developed "Judas Iscariot", a 9 minute plus epic that showcases some effervescent synth soloing that is very much in the Eddie Jobson style in parallel with Dudas' sizzling fretwork, pummeled along by the bass and drum combo. Raspy male and lush female vocals duel for the spotlight, recounting the final supper in the Hungarian language. Excellent track!

The effervescent "Pharaoh" is another lengthy piece that recounts biblical precedent through the strands of time, featuring heady orchestrations and that 3 lady vocalist attack which is highly unusual and hence, utterly original. A serene synth and bass mid-section is a most welcome addition that includes some playfulness and humor. The dual keyboardists (Sandor Milesz and Jozsef Tozser) weave some dense tapestries allowing Dudas to let a couple of scorching solos rip. His harsh tempo is most pleasurable and contrasts nicely with the celestial vocals. Another excellent composition .

The mind-numbing "Waves of Desire" is where Dudas gets to show off his considerable talents once more, a brash fretboard shredder that enjoys toying with his 2 electronic pals , dueling back and forth like some crazed madmen. The bass pummels along nastily with its drumming consort to great effect. When Dudas starts singing, the mood gets hot and heavy, creating the ideal platform for a change of pace soaring solo and then harkens back to the bulldozer axe/synth onslaught. Highlight piece no doubt.

The finale "Let's Play Together" is an upbeat revisit of the mostly religious themes evoked throughout the album, giving Dudas another opportunity to shred a blazing solo

The 5 longer tracks are very enjoyable but the 4 shorter ones really feel like filler, at least to these ears. (Better this way than vice-versa!) Android's next one should consolidate them further within the prog community. There is some serious talent here that needs a little bit of earthier direction, perhaps incorporating more organic sounds : violin, mellotron, Hammond, flute or even that magical Hungarian instrument , the cimbalom.

4 Magyar robots

 Éjféli bál / Midnight Ball by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.96 | 17 ratings

Éjféli bál / Midnight Ball
Android Neo-Prog

Review by annabella

4 stars Compared to their first, instrumental album entitled "East of Eden" the midnight ball follows a fairly different concept, as it contains only songs with spoken texts or with vocals. The CD contains a couple of complex songs, each having a short intro song. A characteristic feature of the album is that many of the songs have a connection with literature. Midnight Ball is based on the novel Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Judas Iscariot is based on the novel King Jesus (written by Robert Graves) while Pharaoh was inspired by a book having the same title from Boleslaw Prus. Matthew 26:47 contains an excerpt from the Gospel of Matthew, while I'll Be One with God was apparently inspired by the Book of the Dead. The complexity of the album is quite intriguing. In addition, the HD videoclip of the title song Midnight Ball can be seen on Youtube. Especially the guitar solos are great!
 Édentől keletre / East of Eden by ANDROID album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.18 | 13 ratings

Édentől keletre / East of Eden
Android Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars I picked this one up in Budapest recently (a huge trawl that was) and have been pushing Android for inclusion (a second attempt allegedly!) , not because they are necessary to a collection but because there is a lot of potential here and are hence deserving. Prog from Hungary needs no introduction, the country has yielded so much quality music over the decades (no need to mention names, they are obvious- if not, PM me!). Here is a release that raises many complex issues about timing and style, a strangely original instrumental debut that doesn't really stretch the envelope and thus scratches the head. Don't get me wrong, this is interesting material with worthy playing that is occasionally ruined by sub-par sounds and textures. Close to recent Tangerine Dream in so many ways (a mixed bag I assure you!), displaying those hyper sanitized sounds that hurt at times. Sadly, I am a huge atmosphere freak, with a galactic palette of open-minded explorations that shows its head here often enough, such as on the dreamy opener daftly named "Prelude" but on the next piece "Flying a Kite" , an extended 8 minute + monolith , the primitive sounding drums and the cheesy (Brie, I believe) keyboards start their campaign of sabotage, ridiculing the masterful axe work from leader János Dudás, who twirls and whirls with the best slingers anywhere. He can emote, playfully cajole and later rage and rant ferociously but the Appenzeller synths (again the sound, not the technique) and that Rin Tin Tin (tinny) drumming really turn me sideways, lessening the amazing melodic quality of the arrangement. I guess they are aptly named Android then! There is no doubt in my mind that with a better choice of producer (a thumpier coloration to the rhythm section), this could be way up there in Prog Heaven. Alas, this same robotic folly is repeated on all tracks to follow. The title track "East of Eden" is perhaps the album's highlight , a moody slice of aromatic prog led by some insistent piano (a real warm tone would have been so much nicer), sibilant electronics and a wobbling synth bass, the whole verging on Yanni territory (do you get my drift, now?), saved by some spectacular guitar scales (at times hovering near Planet Hillage), a central theme of massive magnificence that winks at a guitarish version of JM Jarre and some more soaring fretboard picking. János Dudás, remember that name! The 4th track is an epic "XVIth Century of Hungary" and convinces from the get- go, burping bass and wonky tonk guitar slashes parading ahead of the show; Dudás unleashes finally a whopping foray, blister, bluster and some mustard (that little ditty was an exit for you, Lemming!). Giggling aside, this is tremendous music that is plastified into a downgrade by the prenamed suspects; why not use real trumpet instead of the [&*!#]ty patch, for example! As for the percussives, Tin Drum is a Japan album, for crying out loud! The roaring guitar in the back is a joyride though and the bass is as resolute as it gets. The exit guitar barrage is pure splendor. The fact that the guitarist is all over the place, as befits a band leader the outcome swims in unabashed hope that the criticism will sink in and alter their next release. Or better yet rerecord this one, as its chock full of superb licks. The majestic "Mirror Image of a Dream" has a swirling opening fanfare (Camembert this time) and the "here comes the cavalry" axe drippings turn this into another amazing performance that again skirts the outer orbits of genius but never "beam us down Scotty". A frankly masterful melody pushes this one along convincingly. "Lost Love" is dreamily poignant, in fact almost spacey in movement, but never really takes off thus remaining a so-so track. The keyboards are savvy but the Gouda coating is not quite to my liking. Thankfully, the closer "Apocrif" really seals the deal here, a final epic that does justice to their rather noticeable talent. Liquid keys seem to float on a rustling percussion pond, a rueful organ searching its way amid the lotus leaves, with Dudás doing a fine Gilmour/ Knopfler/Trower rendering at first and later an extended guitar explosion that sears like a flaming Wal-Mart (get it?) to settle the matters with hardly a hint of uncertainty. In closing, this is great recording, with the appropriate players but definitely the wrong producer and tonal choice. Guys, go get some real analog keyboards and a smarter drum package and wow us somewhere down the line with a kick ass album that will prove me right. It was worth pestering a few admins to get these lads in. 3.5 cyborgs
Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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