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Kampec Dolores

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Listeners who learn the name of this band will in the process learn an old Hungarian proverb, meaning "the end of pains," and normally used to describe the situation when someone dies. Neither of the words is actually Hungarian -- "kampec" is Yiddish, "dolores" is Latin -- but the band itself has been the most successful touring Hungarian rock band since the collapse of the Soviet Eastern bloc in the mid-'60s. The band first became noticed as a support act for international touring artists in Hungary, most notably the triumphant appearance of Nico in Budapest in 1985. The group went on to tour as a support act for Pere Ubu during that American underground band's 1988 12-country revival tour. The group's first album was set in motion by the Dutch avant-rock group the Ex, who invited Hungarians to perform in Amsterdam. For the following decade Kampec Dolores toured the entire European continent more than two dozen times. Musically the group started with the kind of new wave, post-punk styles that were prevalant in the '80s. The musicians worked with many different influences from ethnic music and avant-garde music including free improvisation. The vocalist Gabi Kenderesi developed her own style of scat singing, using made-up languages and extended vocal techniques. She is also a fine violinist. She is married to Gabi Kenderesi, who plays bass and guitar, and was a member of Kontroll Csoport (Control Group), one of the most influential alternative Hungarian bands of the early '80s. The couple's relationship is the obvious focal point of the group. Most of the group's albums feature singing in Hungarian, though the lyrics are usually translated into English text on enclosed inserts. The 1996 album Rapid features an extended narrative work in five parts. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s