A.E. Bizottság

February 6th, 2011

It’s difficult to find much out about A.E. Bizottság. They were a band, an art project, a filmmaker’s collective, a state of mind, a threat to the existing order, a total mess and a bunch of losers, depending on who you ask. There’s a bare-bones Wikipedia entry for them which doesn’t give much away: “A. E. Bizottság was a Hungarian underground band formed by a group of visual and multimedia artists and amateur musicians in the early 1980’s.”

The ‘A.E.’ in their name stands for Albert Einstein, and the full name of the band is The Albert Einstein Committee. They had an equally surrealist bent to their album and film titles, releasing the album Kalandra fel! (Adventure Now!) in 1983, and the film (and accompanying soundtrack album) Jégkrémbalett (Ice-cream Ballet) in 1984.

From Kalandra fel!, here’s ‘Baad Schandau’:

The band was formed in 1980 in order to enter a local talent contest, with the intention of making it as far as the semi-finals, which would be televised. They succeeded in getting on TV, and as a result they ended up being asked to play another concert, supporting three other popular Hungarian bands of the era (Beatrice, Hobo Blues Band and P. Mobil) to a crowd of 25,000 people. After this they released their debut album, the aforementioned Kalandra fel, and toured in Hungary and around the Eastern Bloc, dealing with the absurdity of petty officialdom (they were asked to change their name by the government) and bringing their surreal vision to the world.

They became successful enough to be able to tour in Western Europe in 1985, but broke up soon afterwards. Their dadaist, Zappa-esque avant-rock is unfortunately mostly unknown outside Hungary, though the 2007 compilation album B-Music Cross Continental Record Raid Road Trip (on Finders Keepers records) uses ‘Baad Schandau’ as a lead-off track. From the same album, here’s ‘Konyhagyelpo’:

If anyone has any more information about this wonderful band, please share in the comments!

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