The band Ahmed má hlad was established in 1997 by students of Slavic studies from the Charles University in Prague, who one way or another found themselves in a very complicated relationship of love and hatred with everything, that you can describe with the adjectives Eastern, Balkan, Post-Soviet or Post-communistic. Forming a band was the most natural way of releasing this pressure. Direct inspiration for them was Balkan and East European folk tunes, as well as East European rock bands especially the czech punk rock legend Hrdinové Nové Fronty (The Heroes of New Frontier) and the cult russian group Kino.
Ahmed má hlad
And that strange name? Well, there is a lot of confusion, but the truth is, that there really was a czech leftist writer named J.R.Vávra, who lived in the thirties in Algeria and expressed his admiration for the Algerian revolt against the French colonialists in a novel called… Ahmed má hlad (Ahmed Is Hungry). It´s also true that nobody in the band has ever read this book, though there were a few failed attempts, allegedly, the novel is actually unreadable.
Their music is a mixture of traditional folk tunes from all around South-Eastern Europe (Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia,Serbia, Bosnia, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) with fresh punk attitude and an infectious energy. Nowadays the main source of the band´s inspiration is the unbelievably extensive collection of South East European folk tunes, collected by the Czech scholar Ludvík Kuba in the 19th century. They have resuscitated this lovely stuff and put it into completely new arrangements. Moreover you can also hear recent Ukrainian TV advertisiment as well as pure Belarussian heavy metal on their concerts.
The colourful line-up of the band (male and female voices, clarinet, saxophone, acordeon, guitar, bass, drums) enables the gentlemen (and the lady) to hush you with soft and gentle lullabies and then kick your ass with a raw and savage polka, that swiftly transforms itself into a crooked and broken turkish-like rhytm.
Their audience is as motley as the music. Hot teenage chicks in the front lines are backed by bearded post-hippies, trendy clubbers and leather-wrapped rockers. It´s not an exception to meet there dancing Japanese tourists (snapping pictures of course) or homesick weeping Ukrainian workers, who transmit Ahmed´s songs through mobiles straight to Užhorod to their lonely wives.
Here we present three Ahmed má hlad songs to download, listen to and enjoy from their albums “Salám a Lajka” (2002) and “Magadan” (2004):
Andrej Novik – vocals
Laura Kopecká – vocals
Štepán Cernoušek – bass
Jan Žemlicka – guitar
Daniel Hule – accordion
Mikuláš Kroupa – clarinet, soprano saxophone, backing vocals
Michal Hroza – alto saxophon, clarinet, backing vocals
Filip Hrubý – drums
For more information: www.ahmedmahlad.cz