Gayan Uttejak Orchestra / László Hortobágyi

Aeon

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Completed in 1997, released on a small Hungarian imprint the following year, and finally reissued on Suns of Arqa's Arka Sound label in 2002, Aeon is the Gayan Uttejak Orchestra's 13th album. It sports the subtitle "Apocryphal Musicological Fragments from the Paleolith to the 1st Millennium." As usual, Lászlo Hortobágyi samples a wide array of ethnic music, but this time instead of creating an ethnological background for a fictitious nation, he has dreamed up the music of past times. "Paleorite" was recorded at the "Mammoth Venatio Fest" in 75,000 B.C -- you get the idea. It pairs nature sounds (including some dinosaur-like growling and thunderstorms) with tribal percussion to conjure up a convincing picture from the pre-civilized era. Throughout the album listeners work their way through time up to 626 A.D. Geography becomes irrelevant in the hands of Hortobágyi: Music from the Indian and Muslim spheres blends naturally with the cithara and something that sounds pretty much like a Celtic harp in "Enterpé Laudation." The sample recombinations are less impressive than on Songs from Hunghistan, because they are less wild, although you wouldn't say that upon listening to "Avarhyton" with its shamanic throat singing paired with bagpipes and frame drum! Aeon makes a slightly stronger album simply because it relies less on spacy keyboard patches and programmed beats. It makes it more ambient, even new age at times, but it holds up better as a whole.

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