Exposé Online banner

Dagobert Böhm / Markus Reuter / Zoltán Lantos — String Unit
(Ozella OZ 003 CD, 2000, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

String Unit Cover artHere’s an album and ensemble that is more than the sum of its parts: a startling reflection of a multi-ethnic modern world tempered by a very wooden traditionalism. Dagobert Böhm (acoustic guitar), Markus Reuter (Warr-type touch guitar), and Zoltán Lantos (five-string violin) combine to create a style of modern ethno-jazz with nods to Oregon and Shakti while never mimicking either. Each of these musicians is worth seeking out for their solo work or contributions to other ensembles, but here they combine to create a set of compositions that has been described as “ambient world jazz.” Böhm has clearly studied Robert Fripp’s work, evidenced in his melodic lines that skip bravely across notes and strings, as seen in “Half a Waltz” and “”The Lake.” Lantos’ fondness for sinewy Indian and Middle Eastern modalities and microtonal phrasing is heard in “Interlude” and the opener “Indiaespara,” where the exotic merges with Western modernism via Reuter’s playing that echoes Tony Levin’s Pieces of the Sun. Elsewhere Lantos delves into more traditional jazz violin in songs like the lazily swinging “Nightbirds.” Some of the pieces can verge on the moribund, though this is balanced out by just enough liveliness, as in tracks like “The River,” to revive listeners out of their acoustic stupor. The disk closes nicely with “Time,” a lengthy blend of ambiance and exoticism where Lantos’ free form playing conjures the emotive intensity of Peter Gabriel’s Passion album, and the trio handily encapsulates all this worthy album has to offer. Recommended.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Böhm-Reuter-Lantos, Markus Reuter

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tatsuya Yoshida & Ron Anderson - A Is for Accident – This duo of Yoshida on drums and vocals and Anderson on guitar and vocals, is rather in the style of Ruins, the group which Yoshida a led, along with various bassists, and occasional guitarists....  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues