Budapest-based Yonderboi, born László Fogarasi Jr. in Kaposvár, Hungary, is an equally modest and self-assured figure in the world of downtempo electronica. Fogarasi spent much of his youth in individualistic pursuits, disregarding the symphonic training of his peers and routinely seeking out the inexplicable pleasures of Rhoda Scott and lip-syncing at choir practice. The old-school and golden age hip-hop sounds of the Beastie Boys and De La Soul eventually took hold, however, and an interest in homemade self-production blossomed.

Fogarasi submitted his first demo to Juice Records and landed a slot on the label's Future Sound of Budapest compilation at the age of 16. The first Yonderboi single was an instrumental version of the Doors' Riders on the Storm, titled Pink Solidism. A five-track EP, Cinnamon Kisses, was released in 1998. In the summer of 1999, at which point he was considered by some to be a Hungarian, disco-weaned version of µ-Ziq with the sonic abilities of an East German Goldfrapp, Yonderboi joined friend and keyboardist Balázs Zságer to complete his first full-length for the Mole Listening Pearls label, the highly acclaimed Shallow & Profound (2000). The album's mature reading of lo-fi jazz and conceptual trip-hop belied Fogarasi's young age; the producer was only 19 at the time of its recording.

Several years separated the debut from its follow-up, 2005's Splendid Isolation, on which he was joined by Legendary Pink Dots' Edward Ka-Spel, several instrumentalists, and a children's choir. Another significant gap preceded the release of Fogarasi's third album, 2011's Passive Control, featuring vocals from singer Charlotte Brandi, yet the producer considered the full-lengths to be a trilogy. By this point, several Yonderboi tracks had been licensed for use by video games, television programs, and films. Fogarasi also became an accomplished visual artist; he collaborated with and performed with director Peter Greenaway.

by Dean Carlson
All Music Guide




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