The Ultimate Guide to the Hungarian Music Scene – 48 Bands and Musicians You Need to Hear


Hungarian Music around the Turn of the Millenium – The 00s


Péterfy Bori



Our pick: Téged Nem (released 2009)


Because: Her voice is so damn sexy, the video is great (miniature trains!) and the song is about growing stronger after a relationship.


Genre:  rock / pop


Years active: 1993 – present


Summary: Although she’s almost 50 already, Bori rocks every show and every stage. A super badass woman with a great style – both in music and appearance.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Animal Cannibals



Our pick: Budapest Nyáron (released 2009)


Because: It’s a real feel-good Budapest summer anthem. And the video won the Hip Hop Hungary Music Awards of 2009.


Genre:  hip-hop/rap


Years active: 1989 – present


Summary: One of the most influential Hungarian rap-band with a positive old school attitude and a music style which has elements of funk and jazz.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Ocho Macho



Our pick: Jó nekem (released 2008)


Because: It’s a beautifully sad song about total hopelessness.


Genre: reggae, ska, latin, punk


Years active: 2003 – present


Summary: Ocho Macho invented their own “huppogás”-style by mixing elements of reggae, ska, latin and punk. On top of that they are mixing Hungarian, Spanish and English in their lyrics and spread positives vibes with often melancholic lyrics.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Tartós Béke (released 2008)


Because: We love cycling and it’s a great song about the dangers of climate change.


Genre: alternative rock


Years active: 2002 – 2010, 2013 – present


Summary: With their music Kaukázus want to make the world a better place and encourage people to think about changing the world around them. Their latest album can be downloaded for free from their homepage.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Budapest Bár



Our pick: Szívemben bomba van (released 2007)


Because: It’s so iconic that whenever you will name the title, everyone will have the melody in their heads.


Genre: gypsy pop


Years active: 2007 – present


Summary:  Hungarian all star band (featuring musical icon Kiss Tibi from Quimby) mixing elements of pop, jazz, bossa nova, chanson, tango and folk creating a unique and very interesting kind of gypsy world music.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Kistehén (or Kistehén Tánczenekar)



Our pick: Virágok A Réten (released 2006)


Because: It’s a great sample of the alternative folk-style of this band and will put you in a bucolic mood instantly.


Genre: alternative worldmusic, underground folk


Years active: 2002 – present


Summary: Kind of modern world music by mixing folk, gypsy, balkan, rock, ska, dance music in their best proportions.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Bogózd ki (released 2006)


Because: It’s about love, one night stands and not knowing what you want.


Genre: alternative rock


Years active: 2000 – present


Summary: Just imagine Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing songs of Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Muse, Radiohead and Blur on instruments and sound settings of Queens of the Stone Age, U2, Depeche Mode and The Cardigans.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Heaven Street Seven (sometimes HS7)



Our pick: Tudom, hogy szeretsz titokban (released 2006)


Because: It will drag you down for days and will make your blood and heart freeze.


Genre:  alternative rock, indie rock


Years active: 1995-2015


Summary: HS7’s music style was initially influenced by the brit-pop boom, but gained a dynamic, complex, and subversive beauty over the years.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Vad Fruttik



Our pick: Lehetek én is (released 2006)


Because: Slow setup with a great catharsis. Plus we like the colour-palette of the video.


Genre:  alternative rock


Years active: 1996 – present


Summary: Alternative mainstream with an interesting style somewhere in between jazz, rock, blues, dance song, easy listening, and electro.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Magam adom (released 2005)


Because: If you think this is a love song, think twice. This song is about fighting addiction (and losing) and about the darkest and weakest sides of the human nature.


Genre:  rock, alternative rock


Years active: 1991 – present


Summary: With over 25 years of band history and 15 albums released, Quimby are one of the most popular alternative rock bands from Hungary. Profound lyrics meet diverse and rich sound with blues, jazz, pop, funk and strong rock elements.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage




Alvin és a Mókusok



Our pick: Mikor a földön véget ér az élet  (released 2005)


Because: It depicts the fucked-upness of the world in a really witty way.


Genre: punk-rock


Years active: 1993 – present


Summary: After 25 years and 17 released albums the popularity of Alvin és a Mókusok (Alvin and the Chipmunks) is unbroken. In the ranks of their audience, besides today’s teenagers, many teenagers of ten and twenty years ago can be found. Us included!


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Before You Snap  (released 2005)


Because: It’s as dark, gloomy and intense as it gets.


Genre: electronic, trip-hop, chillout


Years active: 1998 – present


Summary:  Yonderboi is a true artist (besides music he also does visuals) and his three albums are actually a trilogy of beautiful melodies, various styles and a great and often very gloomy atmosphere.


See more: facebook, homepage







Our pick: Az a baj (released 2004)


Because: You’ll learn that you’ll never satisfy everyone. Or even anyone.


Genre: hip-hop/rap, rap-rock


Years active: 1998 – present


Summary: Parody, ironic lyrics and hilarious wordplays are some of the trademarks of Bëlga. The topics range from social criticism to simple, everyday problems.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Adjon az Ég (released 2003)


Because: It’s an awesome criticism of society.


Genre:  hard rock, punk rock, heavy metal


Years active: 1989 – present


Summary: To the early punk rock style, more and more hard rock and heavy metal sound was gradually added over the years. One of the most important features and reasons for their popularity are the unique lyrics. Tankcsapda are an iconic band and definitely made some heads bang in the early 00s.


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage







Our pick: Akarsz-e Játszani? (released 2003)


Because: It’s a beautiful musical version of a great poem written by a remarkable poet. Akarsz-e Játszani? (Do you want to play with me?) is originally a poem from Dezső Kosztolányi written in 1916.


Genre:  folk


Years active: 1969 – today


Summary: Kaláka is a band for everyone – adults and children alike and this for generations. What we love about them most is how they set amazing classical poems to music and thus approach them in a new, refreshing way.


See more: wikipedia







Our pick: Zöldpardon (released 2000)


Because: It was the anthem of a whole generation. Beautiful lyrics about youth, sex, drugs and amusement.


Genre: alternative rock/pop


Years active: 2000–2007; 2011; 2014 – present


Summary: Alternative rock with often profound and poetical lyrics


See more: youtube, facebook, homepage


Next Page – Hungarian Music after the Transition – The 90s



4 replies
  1. Joyce says:

    Could you post the names of the songs in the Muzsikás video? I know the first one is “Nem úgy van most mint volt régen.” And I know the last song, “Betyárnóta.” I would love to know what the 2nd, 3rd and 4th songs are. Thank you!

    • catchbudapest says:

      Hi Joyce,

      the songs in the Muzsikás video are:

      00:00 Nem úgy van most mint volt régen
      04:37 Adjon Isten minden jót
      07:51 Tudod-e édesem
      11:59 Vonat
      15:33 Hulljatok levelek

      Enjoy 🙂

      • Joyce says:

        Thank you! I realized after I posted that the last one wasn’t Betyárnótá. That was another Muzsikás song that I learned at the same time.

  2. Mick O’Donnell says:

    Hello there, I remember the guys from a band called Garazs in 1984. They were very welcoming and friendly but sadly I can’t remember their names. I was visiting as a young music and political radio journalist from Australia.


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