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Interview Labels
In featured image: Don’t Trump / Chillary – The Remixes EP available @ Unsigned Shop!
Unsigned is an independent music label based in Budapest. Its Bandcamp platform contains about 50 proposals, and it is still massively growing to give a comprehensive overview of music that is worth to be listened. The label’s founder, Kálmán Pongrácz, is in fact working with the best sonority in the panorama, and becoming an important junction of the experimental Hungarian music.
How did you come up with the idea of creating an experimental music label?

I have been working with experimental music since 2002, as musician and organizer, running noise gigs in Budapest under the name Havizaj. On one hand, I needed to have an archive for the recordings I made here and, on the other hand, I was looking for a platform for my own music, so I did not have to give up on the rights that come with them.

Why such confusing name as Unsigned?

The Unsigned is a DIY [do it yourself] label, unofficial. It never wanted to be anything else, that is something I’m proud of.  It reflects its name.

One of the common line in the different artists’ music of your label is the complete abandon of the classic concept of composition or song. What do you think is so fascinating about it, and why do you think it fascinates also a public that, even small, is growing…

This sentence is a compliment for me. In fact, this question is often raised, and this is the reason why the I needed this kind of independent music channel. It is true that a moderate version of experimentation is penetrating into the mainstream pop culture today, but this approaching was never interesting for me.

How do you discover new sonority and which is the decision process you use in order to choose the best artists for your roster?

Although the label is a fully open channel, our motto is: if your band sounds like a lot of other bands, then please save you and us some time and do not get in touch with us. Luckily we often have a lot of interesting requests that we can take in consideration.

Your main sharing platform are Bandcamp and Facebook. Do you translate your online activity in something more concrete, as organizing events or going in different places to sell your music?

Yes, we are organizing concerts and we would like to present our label next year at the DIY trade fair in Budapest.

Unsigned is an Hungarian label. How is the scene in East Europe? Did it grow inside other extreme genres or it was born as a separate artistic culture?

This is a good question. Today I still don’t know exactly how unique the experimental music is in a country or even in a region. It was impossible to have such knowledge 20 years ago, but today it getting easier to get in contact with other realities, as the cyberspace breaks down the walls in between individualism.  And that’s good.


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