Exposé Online banner

László Hortobágyi — Summa Technologiae
(Tone Casualties tccd 9825, 1998, CD)

by Robert Norwood, Published 1999-01-01

Summa Technologiae Cover artWhile not well known in the States, Hungary's László Hortobágyi has for most of the 90s been making some of the most exciting ethno-electronic music available anywhere. Another disc from the "Annals of Gayan Uttejak Society," this is Hortobágyi's first American release, recorded in Budapest, 1994. This shows László continuing his experiments mixing diverse middle-eastern instruments and chanting with electronics, occasionally venturing into the fringes of 90s dance beats. As with previous releases, it's usually hard to tell where the ritual music leaves off and the sequencers take over. There is a lot going on in this music, but not all at once; it is very well put together with few seams showing. The way he mixes different strands together reminds me of John Zorn's Big Gundown, where he uses various musical styles almost as individual instrument voices. While not as groundbreaking as his earlier releases, still a challenging release and much more authentic sounding than many of the "tribal trance" bands. The sounds range from middle-eastern gothic to Transylvainian ambient, making Dead Can Dance and Loop Guru sound like tourists. Get this while it's still available domestically and then you maybe you'll be ready for his even farther out earlier releases (if you can find them), Fomal Hoot and Amygdala.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): László Hortobágyi / Gayan Uttejak Orchestra

Latest news

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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alejandro Lomelin - Luz de Intenso Azul – Luz is the instrumental solo project of keyboardist Alejandro Lomelin, of the Mexican band Caja De Pandora. For the most part this is a work of simpler repetitive piano figures and introspective...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues