KÁtai TamÁs - Erika Szobája
Ars Benevola Mater
Neoclassical / World
9 songs (55:58)
Release year: 2006
Ars Benevola Mater
Reviewed by Misha

Tamás Kátai is the brilliance behind multiple original and genre-defying avant-garde extreme metal bands such as Gire and Thy Catafalque. Under his own name however, he releases music of a wholly different calibre. Erika Szobája, Erika’s room, is a conceptual work of art that took three full years to craft, and in this case, effort made way for quality, certainly. The genre seems to be original neoclassical music with traditional Hungarian influences, in quite an accessible form. The songs divide roughly in two types: semi-ambient and piano oriented songs with occasional violin, contrasting highly dynamic and catchy works of a very typical kind, obviously Hungarian folk influenced. It’s mostly the latter tracks that define the quality of this disc, so very original yet so logical in appearance. And as Kátai’s specialty, returning here even more prominently than at other involvements, his power to conjure images in the mind, an eminence rarely mastered, takes its famous role. When listening to the aforementioned reach of tracks, figures of nature, birdlike feelings and other obviously personal imaginary starts flowing.

The downside of a three year span to record Erika Szobája became evident in the rather large inconsistency in quality the album suffers. However the lack of real fillers, there are some songs that don’t live up to the quality of others, and curiosity begs to know which songs were recorded when. Vocals consist of everything from deep singing to spoken word, yet with a sense for balance weighing their presence to absence, for it is mostly the music doing the talking here. Another remarkable plus of the album is the underlying experimentation with the production values, similar instruments are given completely different dimensions in varying layers. In example, the piano rarely sounds the same on the album, giving the songs a larger sense of individuality.

Most certainly this is a successful attainment of a deep and moving record, moreover for a factual bedroom-recording. I wait in awe for Tamás Kátai to finish his next Kátai Tamás record. The underground prevails!

Kátai TamásExtract I
Kátai TamásExtract II
Kátai TamásExtract III

Note: In time these links will likely become outdated.

Killing Songs :
Misha quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by KÁtai TamÁs that we have reviewed:
KÁtai TamÁs - Slower Structures reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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There are 7 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:27 pm
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