First of all, I would like to extend my thanks to Tamas Katai who gladly accepted MetalMalta’s offer to answer my roughly scribbled questions found herein.
The last couple of years were insanely busy for Tamas; Releasing two Thy Catafalque albums: Sgúrr (2015) and Meta (2016) while also venturing into other territory with Slower Structures (2016) and Neolunar (2016). This Hungary/Scotland based project is not showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon… gaining another perspective(s) yes… but not stopping.
However, now my greatest threat is space. Space… How can I, in all possibilities, provide a substantial and fair overview of Thy Catafalque’s body of work? I ask you to be patient, these are not easily accessible tracks… you may be frustrated, to a lesser extent maybe even lost.
But no one is going to hold your hand here.
Let’s venture on, Grasshoppers!
One for the road – “Vashegyek” – (Rengeteg. 2011)
1. For being very close releases, Sgúrr and Meta feel like two albums almost written by two different artists. What were the key components or motivations that required such a different approach from these two closely released albums?
(TK) “The key component was time. I was in Sgúrr mood in 2015 and in Meta mood one year later to put it simple. It’s always how I feel at the time but I think most of the musicians do the same. During Sgúrr I was influenced by the Scottish Highlands mostly, it was dark and cold and rugged. Meta however was more mellow and soft, at least most of the time. That’s who I was then.”
“Sgùrr Eilde Mòr” – (Sgúrr. 2015)
“Urania” – (Meta. 2016)
2. Róka Hasa Rádió’s concept is fantastically original to say the least. What spurred this concept?
(TK) “Thank you. I was leaving Hungary and arrived to the UK in 2008 to a small room, started looking for jobs and finding my place here. Róka Hasa Rádió reflects this period very clearly. It feeds from my homeland I had to left behind, my youth, my childhood memories, my home and the loss of all of it. It was sinking back to an enchanted world, sad and beautiful at the same time. I’ll never be able to write another album like that.”
A clear case of when music becomes a therapy and explores “the relationship between the ever evolving, solid and massive physical matter and the fragileness of humans and all living spirits, throughout distant childhood memories and scientific explanations of nature. Revolving, rotating movements of past and future, colours, sounds, long lost scents by a strange transmission from a timeless radio” clearly.
“Molekuláris Gépezetek” – (Róka Hasa Rádió. 2009)
3. During the years, did Thy Catafalque progress as how you imagined back when it all began or it took a more open approach?
(TK) “We absolutely had no plan about our future music. Changing just happened with time, both of us found new ways to express ourselves and yes, you may call it progression but I prefer calling it changing. I would not say that new albums are better than the old ones, they are different. Okay, the first two records are not, well, I rather not listen to them, but that’s what we were at that time, it’s all right. But even on our first demo we had plenty of keyboards, a multitude of vocal styles, two songs above 10 minutes, one of them is an almost completely instrumental ambient track, so we were thinking out of the box from day one while being a black metal band.”
4. Alchemy seems to play an integral part of your music. Care to elaborate on this aspect?
(TK) “The thing is I love so many different genres and sounds that it feels natural and seamless to navigate between them or create unusual structures. I don’t think much about it though, just do whatever I feel right. I have to confess, it doesn’t work all the time, I have to go back and re-route more often than not, it’s not automatic, but experimenting comes without effort. On the other hand I do not try to be weird just for the sake of it. I need a concept, a path that leads somewhere, not just throwing together random elements.”
Desolatio – (Microcosmos. 1995/2015)
5. And lastly, the mandatory question – any new releases planned for us, greedy lot?
(TK) “Not this year. Last year was very busy regarding releases. Slower Structures, Neolunar and Meta all came out in 2016 and I needed to slow down a bit to find new inspiration and fresh perspectives. Having said that, the next Thy Catafalque is being written and I feel pretty good about what has been recorded so far. But you know, my policy is not to reveal much until it is absolutely necessary. Focusing on work, not on promotion.”
Golden last sentence right here.
Alföldi Kozmosz – (Sgúrr. 2015)
Bottom line, people, is that any music lover should know about Tamas Katai and his contributions to whatever muses decides to taunt his mind!
One for the return and also a personal favorite – Csillagkohó (Tűnő Idő Tárlat. 2010).
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/thycatafalque/
Bandcamp @ https://thycatafalqueuk.bandcamp.com/
Tamas Katai (Info on his other projects):