Platon Karataev is a Hungarian musical outfit that has been causing a stir both in their home country and on the international stage. This talented band is known for their eclectic and genre-defying sound that blends elements of indie, post- rock and world music into a unique and compelling musical experience. The name “Platon Karataev” is inspired by the character Platon Karataev from the classic Russian novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. He was a simple peasant imprisoned during the Napoleonic Wars and became a spiritual mentor to Pierre Bezukhov, one of the main characters in the book. In War and Peace, Platon Karataev represents the idea of simple wisdom and a connection to the natural world. He serves as a symbol of hope and inspiration in the midst of war and chaos.
The band has embraced the character of Karataev, drawing inspiration from his wisdom and the spiritual values that he represents and, is therefore a nod to the character’s enduring legacy and the themes of hope, wisdom, and connection that are central to his story. In this way, their name serves as a symbol of the band’s commitment to creating music that is not only beautiful and relaxing but also spiritually uplifting and inspiring. Whether you are a fan of War and Peace or simply appreciate meditative and calming music, the band’s name is sure to evoke feelings of peace, wisdom, and hope.
The music group is comprised of four individuals of whom 2 have known each other since childhood and were reunited through their shared passion for music. Its formation dates back to the year 2016, when Sebő and Gergő, who previously played football together, decided to join forces and embark upon a musical endeavor. Adding to the roster was Soma, who brought with him a wealth of experience garnered from his time playing in the renowned underground band, Galaxisok, in Hungary. The final piece to the puzzle was filled by Laci, who joined the band as the bass player in early 2019, following the departure of the former bassist, András, due to familial obligations. All members of the band reside in Budapest and hold occupations outside of music, with Sebő and Gergő working as psychologists, Soma serving as a curator in an art gallery, and Laci employed as an educator. They have quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting and innovative musical acts in Hungary and have earned a reputation for their spiritually fulfilling and flowing live performances. One of the things that sets Platon apart from other musical acts is their willingness to experiment and push the boundaries of what’s possible in music and evoking emotions. Their eclectic sound is the result of their love for different musical genres and their desire to create something that is truly their own. Whether it’s postrock-inspired guitar or clean metallic riffs, experimental electronic beats, or traditional world music instruments, Platon Karataev’s music is a melting pot of sounds and styles. They have the ability to connect with audiences and take them on a musical journey that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
As for one of my personal favourites, the debut song, “Elevator,” was accompanied by a music video, directed by the well-regarded Rusek in the indie circles. This was followed by the release of the EP “Orange Nights,” which was recorded primarily in Sebő’s room (the songs were later re-recorded to make use of better equipment for inclusion on the full-length album). The creators of Platon Karataev are closely bound by their relationship with melancholy.
Atoms, the second album, has emerged as one of the most impactful musical productions of 2020. The artists behind this opus delve into intricately woven themes that traverse the realm of the intimate and the universal, examining them with uncommon intellect and insight. Through their fusion of metallic folk sounds, where the grandiose and the poetic engage in harmonious duels, they pose introspective questions about the essence of self and others, and the role of music in our continual and challenging pursuit of self-discovery. As listeners, we are left to ponder yet another question: how did these compositions, as beauteous as the night and as powerful as our musings, come to be? To shed light on their creative process, we sought the perspective of Gergő, one of the band’s two vocalists and guitarists.
In recent years, Platon Karataev’s decision to write songs in Hungarian has been a powerful and impactful move, one that has helped to elevate their music and connect them even more deeply with their heritage and identity. Whether they are performing in front of a Hungarian or international audience, the band’s Hungarian-language songs are a testament to the power of language and the ability of music to transcend boundaries and bring people together. They have been making waves on the international music scene, performing at festivals and venues across Europe. They started out as an artist with a delicate foundation in indie folk and has since expanded their musical repertoire to encompass atmospheric rock with tinges of existential contemplation, psychedelic influences, and Gregorian chant, has culminated their creative journey with their watershed third album, “Partért kiáltó”. With this new release, they have not only made a remarkable transition from English to Hungarian, but have also delivered a diversified and profound album that represents a career-defining moment, transcending the boundaries of their musical universe. The language change for Platon Karataev has brought about a new level of distinction in their musical expression. While their international career was progressing nicely with European tours and successful Spotify plays, the incorporation of Hungarian language has further elevated the band’s musical appeal. The audience feedback during their German tour, where half of the setlist was performed in Hungarian, was overwhelmingly positive, showcasing the growing openness towards exotic languages in the Western musical tastes. The unique inflection and rhythm of the Hungarian language provides an atmospheric quality to the music, which resonates with audiences. Despite the potential of narrowing international reach, the band views the use of Hungarian language as a crucial aspect of their artistic expression and is committed to it as their main language moving forward.
To describe Platon’s music in a single word is a tall order. They are a musical chameleon that refuses to be defined by any one genre or style. Whether you’re a fan of punk, indie rock, world music, or something completely different, they are a band that is guaranteed to take you on a unique and unpredictable musical journey. They are making nice noise in the Hungarian and international music scenes.
For many of us, music is an integral part of meditation practice. It can provide a calming background for the mind to focus on, helping to quiet the noise and distractions of everyday life. This is where the music of Platon Karataev, especially their latest release, comes in. The spiritual and meditative elements of their music make it an ideal soundtrack for even a meditation practice. Platon’s music is deeply rooted in the idea of self-discovery and inner peace. The band’s eclectic sound is infused with a spiritual quality that can help to connect listeners to a deeper sense of self. Their music can be seen as a kind of modern-day mantra, designed to help listeners find inner peace and calm. One of the key aspects of their music that makes it so well-suited to meditation is its repetitive, almost hypnotic quality represented on the latest album “Partért kiáltó”. The songs often feature repeating patterns and themes, which can help to anchor the mind and focus the thoughts. This repetitive quality can help to bring the listener into a state of deep concentration, which is an essential part of a successful meditation practice. Another aspect of “Partért kiáltó” that makes it an ideal meditation soundtrack is its ethereal quality. The band’s songs often feature dreamy, atmospheric elements, such as ambient soundscapes, atmospheric textures, and haunting vocals. These elements create a peaceful and calming atmosphere, helping to transport listeners to a more relaxed state of mind.
~ by Nóra Fehér ~