When in civvies, the Hungarian artist goes by the name of Laszlo Fogarasi. He grew up 250 kilometres from Budapest, Hungary in the tiny village of Mernye. Yonderboi showed small interest in music in his early years, the young Laszlo was not allowed to sing in the school choir. His music teacher called him 'cloth-eared' and only let him pretend to sing while mouthing the words. But she encouraged his parents to pursue some sort of music experience noting the little boy's good sense of rhythm. At this early age Yonderboi's primary interest was in visual art. Drawing, painting, even sewing, it did not matter, he was amazed by the creation of things. He wanted to be a painter till the age of thirteen. Until at secondary school, he took classical guitar lessons for half a year, and shortly later received his first computer with a mono soundboard. Disappointed by the traditional musical education, Yonderboi started to make music his own way for fun. He handled music as material, as play-dough and was enchanted by the fact that he could create it himself, less by the style of music he created. He never worried what note or chord he was playing and always concentrated on the emotional character of the songs.
The enchantment hasn't passed since and his quest continued. He was always mesmerized by Eastern European cartoons, they glued him to the black and white TV at home. Besides the great animations young Laszlo was caught by the music accompanying these cartoons. It is these sounds that form his oldest musical roots. After discovering his musical talent, the next influences were discovered in his father's record collection: Osibisa, John Lennon, Rhoda Scott, T-Rex and a lot of symphonic music. Later he also listened to the Hungarian and Polish jazz greatest of the sixties and seventies such as Studio 11, Rudolf Tomsits, Gyorgy Vukan, Syrius, Zbigniew Namislowski and Niemen, but also had big interest for cinema noir of the fifties and sixties. Later he satisfied his hunger for musical information with music from abroad by tuning to the short- and medium- wave radio stations and exchanging pirate tapes with friends.
Here his musical taste was collared with hip hop, such as De La Soul, GangStarr, and the Beastie Boys, as well as early electronic stuff like M.A.R.R.S. and Herbie Hancock. Pre-school ended and Yonderboi continued to High School at which age he travelled to Budapest a few times. He was hooked to music and spends most of his time in the capital looking for new records. He was moved by vinyl from Ninja Tune label, the first Earth compilation and releases from DJ Shadow and DJ Cam. Back at home in Mernye he continued to develop his own music and fell in digital love, through satellite TV with the first wave of French electronic music like The Super Discount Project, Air, and Dimitri from Paris. A few weeks after his sixteenth birthday he sends his first demo tape to "Juice Records"in Budapest.
demo contained a track called Pink Solidism, which gained international
recognition. It was quickly followed by an ep called the "Cinnamon Kisses EP". Yonderboi
graduated High School in the summer of 1999, packed his bags straight
after the ceremony's and moved to Budapest. Eager to have his
music heard he recorded his first album before even finding a
flat. An empty room in the building of his Hungarian record label
UCMG served as recording studio and bedroom, while the vocals
and acoustic instrument layers were recorded in a professional
studio within two days as that was all he could afford. The whole
album was made on a cheap pc with free software, postproduction
was not available.
The result was astounding. "Shallow and Profound" is
a beautiful album which features an emotional and melodic, but
also saucy mixture of down tempo, Trip-Hop, Lounge and 60ties
Bar-Jazz. Finally it was released on Mole Listening Pearls in January 2000 and sould more than 50.000 copy's so far. It was praised all over the world and the young eighteen year olds music career had taken off. In his homeland Hungary people lay at his feet. He was awarded the Golden Giraffe for best newcomer, which is the official award from the Hungarian music industry. The album was voted Number 1 in the Top 50 of best Hungarian albums ever (WAN2 magazine) and he was the youngest ever to receive the Silver Cross of The Hungarian Republic.
The Silver Cross is one of the highest decorations in Hungary for exceptional contribution to the Hungarian culture.
"The world was calling for him to come play" and so he packed up his MPC2000 XL and formed The Yonderboi Quintet. He asked his friends, who also featured on the album: Balázs Zságer (Zagar) on keys, turntablist DJ Bootsie, Andor Kovács on guitar, and vocalist Edine Kutzora to form the Quintet. They started playing the clubs and festivals all over Europe. As the the live performance had a cool jazz sound and improvisation was a big part of the show Yonderboi was also asked to play many jazz festivals. During this period he also expanded his horizons working closely with Florian Boesch of the Munich Theatre for theatre productions. He produced music for the Swiss expression artist Urs Luthi which was used for the Art Biennale of Venice and explored writing music to picture in several Hungarian movies.
"Jaj, mily sekély a mélység
és mily mély a sekélység és mily tömör a hígság és mily komor a vígság" (Kosztolányi)
And after long years of work the author of unique and successful albums “Shallow and Profound” and “Splendid Isolation” Yonderboi finally comes back in 2011 with his newest long-player, “Passive Control”, which is considered to be the third, closing part of the trilogy.
The name is another typical contra-dictory, multilayered Yonderboi title that can be explained in different ways. One of them refers to the constantly changing and unpredictable economical/social situation of today.
It's like the situation which is witnessed by most of us inertly, hoping that this recession-thing “gets sorted out” soon. The album’s opening song “Sustainable Development” is an equally beautiful and sarcastic interpretation of this phenomenon, featuring the suggestive voice of Edward Ka-Spel - who can be familiar already from the previous album’s closing song “Even if you are victorious”.
“Passive Control” could also describe the typical mindset that social networking sites create. You sign up, put yourself in the little showroom, and then you WAIT. Like fishing. Sometimes you throw in some bait, but secretly you hope that one day something unexpected will pull the other end of the line.”
And the above-mentioned method is not just a plain theoretic observation, as it was also used in practice. Actually, Yonder found the album’s female voice via myspace: the previously unreleased young German singer Charlotte Brandi. The goal was to create the sister-sequel of “Splendid Isolation”, so having female voice on the new album was of key importance. Like every Yonderboi record “Passive Control” is as well a diverse, story-like collection of songs, with a strong personal background. Even though the eleven songs are spread on a large-scale of styles, compared to the earlier works it is a bit less eclectic. Yonder produced and mixed the entire record alone in his Budapest home studio, the aim was to develop a more electronic and skeletonized version of his sound. He used to play a decisive role on the visual side too, but this time he took everything into his own hands, he shot all the photos and designed the cover himself.
The whole album has an elusive feel of utopia, which can be explained easily by Yonder’s love for science fiction ever since he was a kid. Jean Gireaud Moebius the legendary French comics artist, Russian sci-fi movie “Kin-Dza-Dza”, or Hungarian cult-film “Meteo” are just a few examples that inspired him during the making of “Passive Control”.
"One of my very favorite subjects is how they imagined today’s world in the past, which was the future for them. It is funny to live in the “future” and to compare how much it didn’t end up as they imagined…"