“Ocho Macho” at the “Picture-On” / Rock Festival in Bildein, Austria, 2018
At the Picture-on Festival Rock in Bilden, Austria, a few years ago I listened to a band of young Hungarians, ready to emerge and attract the interest of international critics. So it was: they were the “Ocho Macho”. They had impressed me with the enthusiasm they had managed to transmit to the public. I had witnessed an ironic and very entertaining performance that “played” on the finished-not finished: when it seemed that they had reached the final interpretation and the final salute, the show resumed with greater energy; the sketch was repeated several times to excite more and more and receive a very long closing applause.
In the edition of the 2018 Picture-On, Ocho Macho reached the optimum of their own maturation, even if no musical group – as in life – is considered completely satisfied. It is true that at Bildein 2018 the public gave Ocho Macho a great success. Not by chance, “Ocho Macho” have been on the scene for many years and enjoy a long experience because they were born back in 2003 and were formed by crossing every genre, from reggae, to Latin, to the mixed punk that they call “huppogás”.
The band was founded by the percussionist Krisztián Tompa and at the time did not have great ambitions because the goal was to play covers of popular songs in the festivals around the western region of Hungary between Koszeg and Szombathely. Even the name has no great pretensions for its simplicity but from the sound and the musicality in the pronunciation it is very original and effective. The name was chosen by the first bassist Attila Milos, who through a small grammatical license (which transformed the plural in singular) modified from a Spanish expression the number of the eight male musicians who composed the group: here then the “Ocho Macho” .
Slowly and for their great passion, Ocho Macho made themselves known and decided to write their own compositions, of particular emotional impact, that have crossed the borders of Hungary towards neighboring Austria.
In 2007, Ocho Macho had already made a first publication, but my appreciation for this group comes with the CD “El mundo fantástico”, in 2008.
Since then, Ocho Macho have become popular in major festivals between Austria and Hungary, in clubs that require only their presence and are part of radio programming. In 2011 they published “Online a Világ”; then they also played in countries across the border, in Transylvania and Romania, Spain.
In Spain, in particular, Ocho Macho performed in 2010 to honor the memory of the famous Hungarian football player, the legendary Ferenc Puskás. In his honor, Ocho Macho published a highly successful text: “Pancho (Bum-Bum)” performed in the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, the Real Madrid stadium, where Puskás played in the most important years of his career. Puskás is still remembered by fans as one of the best players in history.
The band’s 4th album, released on 7 November 2017, is “Dönts!”, Which is also the title of the first song. For criticism it is the best collection of Ocho Macho:
Award-winning album in which “Flow” is considered the most successful text. You can listen to it on youtube. As for me I have no preferences because I repeatedly listened to the entire CD and the texts convey a good overall maturity because they are all mixed with the instruments with extreme professionalism. The lyrics are in order: “Dönts!” (“Decide!”), “Gerilla” (“Guerrilla”), “Mire jó” (“What is it good for”), “Valakinek mindenki” (“Someone’s all right “),” Flow “(Flow”), “Vakond” (“Mole”), “Lehetsz Te is” (“You can”), “Nézd ott fent” (“Look up there”), “Everytime” ( “Everytime”), “Hisztem azt” (“I hope so”). From the musical point of view the lyrics of all the songs are very accurate. However, by publishing the CD, Ocho Macho suggests one in particular – “Everytime” – which could also be recited as a true romantic poem: Everytime I close my eyes / I wanna see the angels rise / Everytime I lose my mind / I wanna see them paint the sky.
Despite the poetry that suggests meditation and listening with closed eyes, the music of Ocho Macho conveys euphoria. The most striking example was seen during the concert in the “apple garden” at the Picture-on Festival Rock in Bildein 2018, where adults and children participated in an hour of great fun to the rhythm of mature rock played by young Hungarians with American contamination. The time to publish a CD with captions in English is also ripe.
The current formation of Ocho Macho is composed by Gergő Kirchknopf, Mihály “Mike” Gotthárd, Márton Szalai, Jakab Frimmel, György “Jorge” Mersics, Krisztián Keresztesi, András “Perez” Mórocz, Ákos Frolov. I hope to see them play in Italy soon.
Rocco Turi, from Bildein (Austria)