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Laszlo Hortobagyi

The Amygdala Expedition

Label: áMARXE

Format: CD

Genre: Electronic

Out of stock

A truly stunning masterstroke with almost no equivalent, "The Amygdala Expedition", by the Hungarian musician and musicologist, László Hortobágyi, weaves a singular world of myth and imagination at the boundaries of New Age, Ambient, experimental, and ethnographic music. Drawn from a body of work that first began to emerge during the late '80s and early '90s

CD edition. Having only launched last year, the Spanish imprint, áMARXE, has gotten off to a seriously impressive start, and their latest, The Amygdala Expedition, by the Hungarian musician and musicologist, László Hortobágyi, is arguably their best to date. An astounding conceptual hybrid of experimental music and imagined culture, it’s among the most singular creative accomplishments that we’ve heard in recent memory.

The life and career of László Hortobágyi is a strange and mysterious realm. Born in 1950 in Budapest, where he still resides today, the roots of his striking creative vision trace to the late 1960s, when, while still in his teens, he first visited Northern India to study the rudra-vina, sitar, surbahar and the tabla. During the same period Hortobágyi immersed himself in philosophy, and began a life that has remained deeply dedicated to ethnomusicological recording and study. All of these elements, in addition to further studies in composition, computer music, and synthesis, form the foundation for the remarkably singular body of work that would begin to emerge over the coming decades; a highly conceptual musical hybrid woven into myth and illusion that combined avant-gardism and experimentalism, elements of ambient music and New Age, field recordings taken from his travels, and his own playing acoustic instruments from across the globe.

In 1981 Hortobágyi founded the Gáyan Uttejak Society, an imaginary musical organisation that doubled as an alter-ego, a studio, and an archive of his discoveries. While Hortobágyi composed under his own name and numerous aliases like Astral Triggering Orchestra, Aural Medicin Tranport's Band, El-Horto, Hallucinogen Fractal Group, and Interstellar Spectra Band, those more directly connected to The Gayan Uttejak Society / Gayan Uttejak Orchestra seem to have held special importance. It is to this specific body of work that áMARXE’s stunning LP, The Amygdala Expedition, belongs.

The amygdala is a collection of cells near the base of the brain that are directly related to feelings of fear, offering certain clues into Hortobágyi’s compositions that presents this region as a mysterious geographic realm of discovery for a sonic explorer. Comprising seven individual works that spread their way across the LP’s two sides, The Amygdala Expedition hails from a series of compositions that began to emerge during the late '80s and early '90s. Presenting new forms of myth-making and imagination at the boundaries of the real and unreal, similar to contemporary Mexican composers like Jorge Reyes, Antonio Zepeda, and Luis Perez Ixoneztli were doing during roughly the same moment on the other side of the globe, Hortobágyi’s compositions take form as a unique idiom of experimental music that delves toward New Age temperaments, while drawing heavily on a deep understanding of various musical traditions - recording of which are threaded through out - to construct a world of sonic myth and narrative, as though the gates of a new world have opened.

László Hortobágyi’s The Amygdala Expedition is like nothing else and will hold endless revelations for anyone yet to encounter his work. We can’t express how happy we are to have this one in our hands. 

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