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

2020-05-15
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

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Olov Johansson - Storsvarten – Olov Johansson plays an ancient instrument called a nyckelharpa, which is related to the violin and hurdy-gurdy, and is traditional is Sweden, though not much played in the current day. It looks...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues