Releases

CRYS COLE & OREN AMBARCHI – “HOTEL RECORD”

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Hotel Record is the second release from the duo/couple of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi, following on from Sonja Henies vei 31 (PLANAM 031LP, 2014). Where their debut recording presented a disquieting portrait of the erotic dimension of romantic intimacy, the follow-up continues to explore the pair’s simultaneously musical and romantic relationship in a more subtle fashion, presenting four long-form pieces that touch on the variety of forms the life of this couple takes: as a musical duo, as a pair of travelers to exotic locations, as opponents in a game of cards… Each of the double LP’s four sides presents a distinct sound-world, yet each manages to attain the same suspended, half-sleeping feeling, outlining a space where improbable combinations of the electronic and the acoustic, of extreme closeness and amorphous distance, occurring with the gentle insistence of a dream.

The opening “Call Myself” calmly unfolds a fabric of long tones from electronic organ and guitar, combining the sliding, aleatoric effects of classic David Behrman with a more hands-on feel. Over the top of this slowly shifting tonal bed, cole’s voice mutters unintelligibly into a Buchla synth, teasing the listener by suggesting a meaning that remains always out of the ear’s reach. “Francis Debacle (Uno)” builds on the foundations of a heavily amplified session of the titular card game, overlaying vocal murmurs and exhalations and mysterious room-sounds to create an impossible aural environment. On “Burrata”, a palette of vintage 1980s digital synthesizer sounds combined with guitars create an irregular texture of lush chords and bubbling melodic details, into which cole’s voice processed by a vocoder, is interwoven, reading fragments of romantic correspondence. Finally, on “Pad Phet Gob”, field recordings made in Thailand become an ambiguously acoustic/electronic rainforest, eventually giving way to a mysterious, wavering electronic tone-field punctuated by sibilant, popping mouth-sounds.

Carving out an intimate and human sonic space across a diverse array of compositional approaches, sound sources, fidelities, and textures, Hotel Record is the latest dispatch from the continuing explorations of a unique duo. Ambarchi and cole reimagine electro-acoustic music, not simply as “abstract” sound, but as a diary, a love poem, a dream.

Comes in deluxe gatefold sleeve with photography by crys cole and LP design via Stephen O’Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

from SoundOhm, Italy:

For many, the geography defying partnership of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi is the likely source of envy and awe – a creatively rigorous adventure in sound, egged forward by the romance they share. Ambarchi needs little introduction. Over the last 20 years, he has risen as a leading light of experimental and electroacoustic practice, as recognised for his collaborations with Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino, Sunn O))), Keith Rowe, Fire!, John Tilburyand countless others, as he is for his solo work. Cole, an artist focused on the constrained limits of sonic possibility, bridging gallery and musical contexts, has increasingly caught the attention of the international experimental music community over the last decade, running a parallel course in her dedication to collaborative and solo work. Following Sonja Henies vei 31, their debut from 2014, an album as much as an abstract diary centred around the “erotic dimension of romantic intimacy”, the duo is back with the stunning LP Hotel Record, continuing the exploration of their musical and romantic relationship, marked by the subtlety of investigation which has defined both of their careers.

Experimental musics tend to be consciously resistant to explicit narrative or location. When attempted, it is rarely done well, or retains the openness which make these territories so striking. These elements might be understood as experimental sound’s the most challenging and under-explored trajectories. They are the conceptual architectures of Hotel Record, and the root of its overwhelming success. Each of its four sides offers a distinct sound-world – subjective renderings of time, space, and geography through the lens of interplay, creative and romantic – locations in the hazy, amorphous expanse of the album’s whole. A world of introspection and cohesive diversity, modeled by the experiences of two constant travelers, forced to see themselves, each other, and their relationship, evolving against a shifting landscape.

Built from improbable combinations of the electronic and acoustic – sonic demarcations of time, place, and emotion, Hotel Record transcends any reductive idea of music. Through synthesis, electronics, field recording, acoustic instrumentation and voice, it is an installment in the duo’s aural diary. A sonic rendering of the transmogrification of self, falling within the undefinable realm between sound-art and and the outer boundaries of how musicality is understood. A rippling, profoundly intimate construction of texture and tone, so beautiful, surprising, and filled with humanity, that it overwhelms the ear. Out via Black Truffle, through Hotel Record , cole and Ambarchi show us what great art is all about – an opening of self, rigor of ideas, and adventure which never ends. An album which will send you excitedly flipping through its four sides for years to come. Not to be missed by any count.

OREN AMBARCHI – “HUBRIS”

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Hubris Parts 1-3
LP, CD & Digital
Release date: 11th November 2016
Label: Editions Mego

Players:
Oren Ambarchi, Crys Cole, Mark Fell, Will Guthrie, Arto Lindsay, Jim O’Rourke, Konrad Sprenger, Joe Talia, Ricardo Villalobos, Keith Fullerton Whitman

Mastered & cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin, April 2016

Photography by Estelle Hanania
Sculptures by Daniel Druet
Design by Stephen O’Malley

Hubris continues the exploration of relentless, driving rhythms heard on Ambarchi’s Sagittarian Domain (2012) and Quixotism (2014). Where those records looked to Krautrock and techno for their starting points, the sidelong opening track here begins from the perhaps unlikely inspirations of disco and new wave, drawing particularly from Ambarchi’s love of Wang Chung’s soundtrack to William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. Leaving behind the song-forms of these reference points, Ambarchi weaves a sustained and pulsating web of layered palm-muted guitars from which individual voices rise up and recede, eventually setting the stage for some lush guitar synth from Jim O’Rourke. Arnold Dreyblatt collaborator Konrad Sprenger contributes overtone-rich motorized guitar, pushing the piece into a satisfying intersection of shimmering minimalism and rhythmic drive that smoothly builds up until the entrance of Mark Fell’s electronic percussion in its final section.

After a short second part, in which Ambarchi, O’Rourke and Crys Cole pay tribute to the skewed harmonic sense of Albert Marcoeur with a track built from layered bass guitar figures and abstracted speech, the long final piece pushes the concept of the first side into darker and denser areas. Joined by electronic rhythms from Ricardo Villalobos and the twin drums of Joe Talia and Will Guthrie, the layered guitars of the first piece are transformed into a raw and tumbling fusion-funk groove that calls to mind early Weather Report or even the first Golden Palominos LP. As this stellar rhythm section rides a single repeated chord change into oblivion, a series of spectacular events emerge in the foreground: first, aleatoric synthesizer burbles from Keith Fullerton Whitman, then slashing skronk guitar from Arto Lindsay, until finally Ambarchi’s own fuzzed-out guitar harmonics take center stage as the piece builds to an ecstatic frenzy. Few artists could hope to include such an incredible variety of collaborators on one record and still hope for it to have a unique identity, but Ambarchi manages to do just that, crafting three pieces that emerge directly out of his previous work while also pushing ahead into new dimensions.
[Francis Plagne]

editionsmego.com/release/EMEGO-227

Bandcamp

You can find many of Oren’s releases <a href=”http://www.orenambarchi.bandcamp.com”>on Bandcamp</a>

OREN AMBARCHI – ‘QUIXOTISM’

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Live show:
Wed Dec 3
Oren Ambarchi solo
+ Robin Fox
+ Marco Fusinato
@ Everybody Talks About The Weather
Corner Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia
cornerhotel.com

Oren Ambarchi – guitars and percussion
with
Thomas Brinkmann – computable drums with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem (Parts 1-5)
Matt Chamberlain – drums & electronics (Parts 3 & 4)
Crys Cole – contact mics & brushes (Part 4)
Eyvind Kang – bowed gender (Part 1) & violas (Part 5)
Jim O’ Rourke – synths (Parts 4 & 5)
John Tilbury – piano (Parts 1 & 2)
U-zhaan – tabla (Part 5)

Ilan Volkov & the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra (Parts 1 & 3)
Recorded 2012-2014 in Cologne (Max Ernst Studios), Reykjavik (Harpa), Melbourne, Seattle (Avast! Studios – session co-produced & engineered by Randall Dunn, London, Los Angeles (Cyclops Sound Studio) and Tokyo (Steamroom – engineered by Jim O’Rourke)

Mixed Dec 2013 & March 2014 at Chinatown, Melbourne by Joe Talia and Oren Ambarchi
Mastered at Moose, Melbourne March-April 2014 by Byron Scullin
Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker & D&M, Berlin, June 2014
Photography by Estelle Hanania
Design by Stephen O’ Malley

Recorded with a multitude of collaborators in Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA, Quixotism presents the fruit of two years of work in the form of a single, LP-length piece in five parts. Ambarchi’s work in recent years has evinced an increasing fascination with the possibilities of combining abstract sonic textures with rhythm and pulse, whether in his drumming with Keiji Haino, the subtly driving ride cymbals provided by drummer Joe Talia in their work together, or the motorik grooves of Sagittarian Domain (Editions Mego, 2012). Quixotism takes this aspect of Ambarchi’s recent work to the next level: the entirety of this long-form work is built on a foundation of pulsing double-time electronic percussion provided by Thomas Brinkmann. Beginning as almost subliminal propulsion behind cavernous orchestral textures and John Tilbury’s delicate piano interjections, the percussive elements (elaborated on by Ambarchi and Matt Chamberlain) slowly inch into the foreground of the piece before suddenly breaking out into a polyrhythmic shuffle around the halfway mark, being joined by master Japanese tabla player U-zhaan for the piece’s final, beautiful passages.

The pulse acts as thread leading the listener though a heterogeneous variety of acoustic spaces, from the concert hall in which the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra were recorded to the intimacy of Crys Cole’s contact-mic textures. Ambarchi’s guitar itself ranges over this wide variety of acoustic spaces, from airless, clipped tones to swirling, reverberated fog. Within the complex web Ambarchi spins over the piece’s steadily pulsing foundation, elements approach and recede, appear and reappear, in a non-linear fashion, even as the piece plots an overall course from the grey, almost Nono-esque reverberated space of its opening section to the crisp foreground presence of Jim O’Rourke’s synth and Evyind Kang’s strings in its final moments. Formally indebted to the side-long workouts of classic Cologne techno, the long-form works of composers such as Eliane Radigue, and the organic push and pull of improvised performance, Quixotism is constantly in motion, yet its transitions happen slowly and steadily, so that they are often nearly imperceptible, the diverse elements which make up the piece succeeding one another with the logic of a dream.

Anyone who follows Ambarchi’s work knows that it has many facets: explorations of the outer limits of rock with Keiji Haino, psychoacoustic interference and sizzling harmonics in his solo performances, delicate improvisations with Keith Rowe or John Tilbury. To all these projects, Ambarchi brings his particular sensibility, patiently allowing sounds to develop on their own terms without forsaking their intrinsic physical and emotional power. Similarly, although Quixotism is shaped by its many contributors, the resulting sound world is unmistakably Ambarchi’s own. His most substantial solo release since Audience of One (Touch, 2012), Quixotism represents the summation of Ambarchi’s work over the last few years while also pointing to the future.

soundcloud.com/editionsmego/oren-ambarchi

OREN AMBARCHI – ‘STACTE KARAOKE’

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12″ (Black Truffle 2014)

Two raw, ecstatic, face-melting guitar solos recorded in one take in the Ambarchi “Stacte tradition.” This time around, Ambarchi is backed up by a badass rhythm section from Texas, and together they ride the endless riff into the goddamn sunset.

RICHARD PINHAS/OREN AMBARCHI

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“TIKKUN” CD/DVD (Cuneiform, USA 2014)
Richard Pinhas, the founder of 70s progressive legends Heldon, is one of the most uncompromising artists on the international rock scene, having remained constantly innovative and true to his personal artistic vision for 40 years and some 35 full length releases.

Oren Ambarchi is a guitarist, drummer and sound-artist who has performed and/or recorded with a huge array of artists, including Fennesz, John Zorn, Jim O’Rourke, Otomo Yoshihide, Evan Parker, Merzbow and others. Since 2004, he has worked with the avant-metal band Sunn O))), contributing to many of their releases and side- projects.
Pinhas and Ambarchi first recorded together when Ambarchi contributed to recordings that were eventually tied together with other contributors into Pinhas’ 2013’s release Desolation Row. Since that time they have been working on ideas, recordings and concert / live collaborations.

The personnel for Tikkun is: Oren Ambarchi-guitar Richard Pinhas-guitar, synth guitar, effects Joe Talia-drums, effects Masami Akita (Merzbow)-loops, noise, effects Duncan Pinhas-sequences, effects, noise Eric Borelva-additional drums Interestingly, Richard specifically thinks of this album as a duo project that was conceived as a duo project for himself and Oren, despite the very effective contributions of the other four musicians. The music on Tikkun, which consists of three very lengthy tracks, comes across as a very tasty cross between the heavy, synth-driven, sequencer beats of classic Heldon and the much more noisier aspects of Pinhas’ work over the last decade. In addition to the studio album, physical CD+DVD version also includes a DVD of a live performance of the duo. It was filmed at Paris’ main venue for experimental music, Les Instants Chavires, October 29, 2013.

AMBARCHI/O’MALLEY/DUNN


SHADE THEMES FROM KAIROS 2LP (Drag City, USA 2014)
“Shade Themes from Kairos is a new iteration of the dream for all the guitar freaks out there, bringing together a couple of singular players together, just to see what happens. In this case, the players were old friends and collaborators Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley, playing in a space engineered and co-populated by Randall Dunn. From the top, Shade Themes from Kairos is resonant as a collective inquest in sound, with all the players deeply immersed within the panorama they are creating. ‘That Space Between’ blows in from a distance, rolling rhythmically, with synthetic percussion chattering, before it settles into a stately pace, as the guitars wind ethereal around the procession. Under the beat lies always space, and as the cadential clusters drift off, metal chimes and keys sputter and dig deep and clean through the abyss.” Housed in a gatefold sleeve.

CRYS COLE/OREN AMBARCHI

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“Sonja Henies vei 31″ LP (Planam, Italy 2014)

Recorded during a week-long sojourn in Norway, Sonja Henies vei 31 is a profoundly moving document of the personal and artistic union between Crys Cole and Oren Ambarchi. Abandoning their usual instrumental artillery, both performers make themselves vulnerable to the listener, undertaking a committed exploration of pure physical gesture. Surrounding an explicitly intimate duo performance is a hazy collage of field recordings, tape hiss, metallic clinks and wandering voices. This forces the listener to hover in a disorienting psychological space between a confronting real world, and a swirling dream-world. While the latter’s abstraction cannot penetrate the former’s emotional directness, both environments function to obscure one another’s meaning. What is most affecting for the listener is how he/she inadvertently becomes part of the record’s scenery: a dreamer, narrator and voyeur in equal parts. Sonja Henies vei 31is a brave personal statement, a celebration of the idyllic, and a tragic theater of emotional longing.” –James Rushford, Melbourne, 2014

OREN AMBARCHI/NEIL CAMPBELL/MICHAEL FLOWER

“LIVE AT TUSK FESTIVAL 2013″ LP (TUSK, UK 2014)

Every year, TUSK Festival puts together a first-time trio selected from the assembled genii performing that weekend.

Over the 3 festivals so far, this simple trick has produced some pretty incredible results. 2011 saw Alan Bishop, Bill Orcutt and Chris Corsano throw down together for the first time, a union they enjoyed so much that they’ve since repeated it elsewhere. 2012 saw us merge the awesome talents of Michael Morley (Dead C, Gate), Gary Smith and Steve Noble for more revelations in sound and slack-jawed wonderment.
And in 2013, we managed to devise a trio that without question produced one of the most incredible performances of TUSK (or any) Festival to date – the stratospheric trio of Oren Ambarchi, Neil Campbell and Michael Flower. Ambarchi starts out on guitar and effects through a vintage Leslie speaker, Campbell exploring his astral table-top network and his Vibracathedral Orchestra colleague Flower’s guitar taking Canned Heat into outer space. Into side 2, Ambarchi moves onto drums and we truly have lift off!

The 3 members of this trio each come with exquisite pedigrees: Ambarchi with his run of solo albums via the great Touch label and collaborations with everyone from Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rouke to Fennesz, Stephen O’Malley, Keith Rowe, Voice Crack and more; Campbell with his intergalactic Astral Social Club and Vibracathedral Orchestra output and collaborations with Richard Youngs, Deacer Pinga, Matthew Bower and others, and VCO ally Flower’s work solo, as half of Flower-Corsano Duo, plus his many albums as part of MV&EE.

So – pouring 3 musicians of this calibre into one 12” piece of vinyl would be expected to produce some highly flammable results, and this searing record without doubt lives upto all expectations.

KEIJI HAINO/JIM O’ROURKE/OREN AMBARCHI

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“Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen”
CD/LP Black Truffle BT011

“Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino’s most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O’Rourke’s 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino’s kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver’s seat, here O’Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino’s greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi’s cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry’s liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio’s move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino’s greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of ‘those things said to be as of yet unseen.” [Francis Plagne]

Design by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.

OREN AMBARCHI/ELI KESZLER

dancing

Vinyl Album – edition of 500
Instant free digital download on purchase.

Digital downloads will become available on the 25th.

ALPS by Oren Ambarchi & Eli Keszler is a seemingly inevitable collaboration of two musicians kicking against limits and genre definitions, recorded and presented with a similar disregard for anything but quality.

Two vinyl-side-long pieces that mix improv, noise, rock, and drone, this is never an easy listen but always a compelling one. Both musicians are compulsive collaborators, with individual oeuvres that span all those genres and others yet to be labelled, and this album reflects and distills their hard-working heritage.

Listening to ALPS is a discomforting, uneasy and massively rewarding exercise, which denies the listener any steady ground on which to stand.
The LP insert features liner notes by C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core).

A very limited number of cover art posters is available for separate purchase. They measure appx 31.5 x 62 cm and are screenprinted on heavy 300 gsm Heritage White paperstock. Suitable for framing. These will be shipped in sturdy cardboard tubes.

For more information on this release click HERE.

JOHN TILBURY/OREN AMBARCHI

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JOHN TILBURY & OREN AMBARCHI – THE JUST REPROACH LP (BT10)

The Just Reproach documents the second concert given by John Tilbury and Oren Ambarchi as a duo. When they first performed together in Reykjavik, Iceland in March 2012, the aptness of the pairing was evident. When they reprised the duo at London’s Cafe OTO in September the same year in the concert presented here, the city was in the midst of a heatwave. With the air-conditioning turned off to accommodate the low volume of the performance, the uncomfortable squirming of the audience members in their sweaty chairs becomes, alongside the occasional dropped glass and cough, an additional sonic element in the duo’s performance, providing a randomised accompaniment to the duo’s careful exploration of tonal and textural minutiae.

As always, Tilbury displays a remarkable sensitivity and inquisitiveness, investigating the unique character of specific harmonic intervals through iteration and slight variation in a way that displays the same remarkable care for the individual sonic event that he found many years ago in Webern’s Variations for piano. In Webern, Tilbury found a freedom from harmonic context that allowed normally jarring dissonances to appear ‘warm, even sensuous’ because they were transformed into timbres, into pure sounds rather than relational harmonic values. This same concentration on every individual sound allows Tilbury to breathe new life into a tap on the piano’s strings, a simple sequence of descending notes or even a commonplace consonance. Indeed, there are moments of simple beauty in The Just Reproach that remind us that, in addition to his devotion to the work of Morton Feldman, Tilbury is also the major interpreter of the piano music of Howard Skempton, with its reduced folk-forms and static airs.

Ambarchi’s guitar does not simply provide the steady backdrop for Tilbury’s articulations that we might expect, but rather engages in a more complex interaction. Gentle swells of tones, sometimes supporting Tilbury’s iterations, at other times complicating them, alternate with occasional bursts of abstract electricity. Ambarchi constantly moves his sounds around between multiple amplifiers and a Leslie cabinet to produce a subtle yet environmental whole, interacting both with Tilbury and the sound of the room, edging forwards into a clear sonic presence before dispersing back into silence. Despite the hushed nature of the performance, Ambarchi’s signature sub-bass tones are not absent, but in fact form an essential part of the texture woven by the two musicians, taking on an ominous quality like the distant rumblings of a helicopter through the night sky.

Far from a simple exercise in reductionism, the reduced volume of the duo’s performance acts like a microscope focussing the audience on an incredibly rich palette of sonic details. Like in the late works of Morton Feldman, a seeming homogeneity to the proceedings reveals itself on closer inspection to be a ceaseless investigation and reconfiguration of sonic events, allowing the listener to move freely between the lushness and warmth of the sounds themselves and the questioning, non-linear forms Tilbury and Ambarchi spontaneously construct from them. [Francis Plagne]

Deluxe limited edition vinyl designed by Stephen O’Malley with stunning artwork by Shunichiro Okada

HAINO/O’ROURKE/AMBARCHI

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KEIJI HAINO/JIM O’ROURKE/OREN AMBARCHI – NOW WHILE IT IS STILL WARM LET US POUR IN ALL THE MYSTERY LP/CD (BT09)

Following on from last year’s acclaimed ‘Imikizushi’ (BT 07), ‘now while it’s still warm let us pour in all the mystery’ is the fourth release from the established power trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi, recorded in January 2012 at their yearly concert at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo. While the trio’s two previous double LP releases featured sprawling, side-long performances, the music here is presented in six shorter pieces, each one displaying a different side of the trio’s interactions, from holy minimalism to cave-man rock.

The record begins with the trio joined by special guests Charlemagne Palestine and Eiko Ishibashi, conjuring ghostly tones from wine glasses as an accompaniment to Haino’s angelic vocals. This ten-minute piece, which moves from near silence and the sound of onstage footsteps to a stunning passage of clean guitar work from Haino, is steeped in the same mysterious atmospherics as Haino’s great folk-drone project, Nijumu. When Haino turns to the flute on the LP’s second track, a performance that clearly demonstrates the importance of the special concept of space and silence (ma) that Haino has developed from traditional Japanese aesthetics, O’Rourke and Ambarchi transform into the delicate and probing rhythm section of a classic 70s fusion side.

When the trio return to the crushing free-rock of their last two records, O’Rourke’s heavily effected bass rolling alongside Ambarchi’s tumbling rhythms as Haino’s guitar squeals and slashes above them, their performances display a new purposefulness and concision. Now truly operating as a band after a number of years of playing together, the pieces here feel like instant rocks songs, O’Rourke and Ambarchi instantly locking into solid riffs over which Haino alternates between jarring no-wave chords, intense soloing and his signature vocalisations. When the trio slow down and stretch out, the rhythm section plods like an abstracted Crazy Horse on the brink of collapse, and Haino elicits long, mournful solos reminiscent of the first classic Fushitshusha double live LP.

Perhaps more accessible than the trio’s previous recordings because of its range and concision, ‘now while it’s still warm let us pour in all the mystery’ exudes the dark, alien quality of Haino’s greatest recordings and testifies to the strength of the musical bond that has developed between these three players. [Francis Plagne]

Released as a 6 panel digipak CD and as limited edition LP in a lavish gatefold with a printed inner sleeve.

Design by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Shunichiro Okada.

MERZBOW/OREN AMBARCHI

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MERZBOW & OREN AMBARCHI – CAT’S SQUIRREL LP (BT08)

‘Cat’s Squirrel’ presents a live recording of Masami Akita and Oren Ambarchi’s performance in Campbelltown, Australia in May 2012. Although Akita and Ambarchi have known one another since 1993 and performed together as part of larger ensembles, this was their first performance as a duo. Together they create a massive wall of sound that moves from the cavernous to the blisteringly psychedelic, laying down shifting low-end structures over which pointillist details ricochet across the stereo field. Akita and Ambarchi’s voices blend together into a sonic morass, Ambarchi’s set-up expanded to include extra electronics and a spring reverb unit in addition to his signature guitar textures, and Akita utilizing both analogue and digital sound sources. Moving through a number of episodes, from deluges of reverberated metal screeches to rapid-fire iterations of visceral electronic tones, the record reaches a high point mid way through the second side, where Akita’s electronics gradually thin out into a stream of skipping chirps and screeches while around him Ambarchi builds up a dense mass of phasing low end guitar tones, the duo patiently developing an impenetrable wall of ecstatic, psychedelic noise. [Francis Plagne]

Deluxe, limited edition vinyl with artwork by Shunichiro Okada and design by Stephen O’ Malley.

 

OREN AMBARCHI – RAGA OOTY/THE NILGIRI PLATEAU LP

Raga Ooty unearths three previously-unreleased works (each titled with reference to the area in south India where his mother was born) from Australian sound artist Oren Ambarchi’s archive, showcasing the rawer side of his solo work between 2006 and 2011. The side-long “Raga Ooty” unspools a twisting, skittering thread of gritty guitar harmonics over a bed of buzzing tambura drone, creating the same paradoxical impression of simultaneous stasis and forward propulsion achieved by minimalist masters such as Henry Flynt, to whom this work is dedicated. “The Nilgiri Plateau” generates an eight-minute wash of gleaming overtones from a 12 string acoustic guitar played with motors, continuing the experiments first made public on the 2007 Stacte Motors LP. The closing “Raga Ooty (Slight Return)” returns to the distorted guitar harmonic hysterics of the opening piece, this time elaborated over a wash of Ambarchi’s signature Leslie cabinet tones, building relentlessly over the course of 12 minutes, recorded live in Basel in late 2011.
www.boweavilrecordings.com

Oren Ambarchi – “SAGITTARIAN DOMAIN”

New album released on Editions Mego from the soundtrack featured in Benedict Andrews’ production of ‘Every Breath’, Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney 2012
Oren Ambarchi – Guitars, Moog Bass, Drums, Percussion, Voice
+
Elizabeth Welsh – Violin
James Rushford – Viola
Judith Hamann – Cello

Recorded by Lachlan Carrick at Sing Sing, Melbourne May 26, 2011
Strings recorded by Joe Talia at Chinatown, Melbourne Oct 11, 2011
Strings arranged by James Rushford

Mixed by Joe Talia and Oren Ambarchi at Chinatown March 7, 2012
Mastered by Lachlan Carrick at Moose, Melbourne May 8, 2012
Vinyl cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, June 2012
Photography by Shunichiro Okada

For anyone who still associates Oren Ambarchi exclusively with the clipped, bass-heavy tones of solo electric guitar works such as Suspension, this rhythmically churning one-man-band monster of an album-length piece might seem to come out of nowhere. However, listeners who have followed the breadth of his work for the last few years (solo and in projects with collaborators from Jim O’Rourke to Stephen O’Malley and Keith Rowe to Keiji Haino) will have noted how Ambarchi has allowed increasingly clear traces of his enthusiasms as a music listener (for classic rock, minimal techno and 70’s fusion, among other areas) to surface in his performances and recordings, all the time filtering them through his signature long-form structures and psychoacoustic sonics.

Recorded in a single inspired studio session, Sagittarian Domain displaces Ambarchi’s trademark guitar sound from the centre of the mix, its presence felt only as an occasional ghostly reverberated shimmer. Endlessly pulsating guitar and bass lines sit alongside electronic percussion and thundering motorik drumming (familiar from his work with Keiji Haino) at the core of the piece, locking into a voodoo groove like Faust covering a 70’s cop show theme. The work is founded on hypnotic almost-repetition, the accents of the drum hits and interlocking bass and guitar lines shifting almost imperceptibly back and forwards over the beat as they undergo gradual transformations of timbre. Cut-up and phase-shifted strings enter around the half-way mark like an abstracted memory of the eastern-tinged fusion of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s classic Visions of the Emerald Beyond, before returning for an extended, stark yet affecting come-down coda, equal parts Gavin Bryars and Purple Rain.

While Sagittarian Domain contains traces of a diversity of influences, it mines all of them to uncover something that is clearly an extension of Ambarchi’s own investigations up to this point, exhibiting the same care for micro-detail and surrender to the physicality of sound that are present in all of his work, extending them in new ways to repetition, pulse and rhythm [Francis Plagne]

TO:83 | Oren Ambarchi – “Audience of One”

TO83 - Audience of One - Oren Ambarchi

CD – 4 tracks – 53:51
& also available on vinyl

Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Francois Tetaz at Moose, Melbourne

Track listing:

1. Salt – 5:30
2. Knots – 33:23
3. Passage – 6:41
4. Fractured Mirror – 8:20

On “Audience of One”, Oren Ambarchi presents a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock. His previous solo albums for Touch exhibited a clear progression towards augmenting and embellishing his signature bass-heavy guitar tones with fragile acoustic instrumentation. Audience of One, while also existing in clear continuity with these recordings, opens the next chapter.
Remarkable in its confidence and breadth, but also in the sensuous immediacy of its details, this is the first time a single record has come close to encapsulating Ambarchi’s musical personality in its full range and singularity. The techniques and strategies developed in his refined improvisational work with Keith Rowe and his explorations of the outer limits of rock with Sunn O))) and Keiji Haino are both in evidence, alongside the meticulous attention to detail and composition of his solo works. And on the cover of Ace Frehley’s ‘Fractured Mirror’ which closes the record, Ambarchi even points to his roots as a classic rock fanatic, in an epic yet faithful version which extends the shimmering guitar patters of the original into a rich field of phase patters reminiscent of the classic American minimalism of Reich and Riley.

The album features a multitude of collaborators, who, far from appearing in incidental roles, are integral to the pieces on which they perform: on ‘Salt’, Ambarchi paints a hypnotic, chiming backdrop for Paul Duncan’s (Warm Ghost) vocals, and Joe Talia’s virtuoso drumming and driving cymbals are at the core of the epic ‘Knots’, in which Ambarchi, alongside a chamber arrangement by Eyvind Kang, weaves a net of frequencies and textures with the organic push and pull of a 70s psych jam, the bass response of a doom metal ritual and the psycho-acoustic precision of an Alvin Lucier composition.
On his previous records, Ambarchi’s signature guitar tone was the ever-present bedrock over which other elements sounded. At moments on Audience of One, this disappears entirely, as on the beautiful ‘Passage’, which, recalling the 70’s Italian non-academic minimalism of Roberto Cacciapaglia and Giusto Pio, is composed of overlapping tones from Hammond organ and wine glasses, Jessika Kenney’s voice, various acoustic instruments, and the delicate amplified textures of Canadian sound-artist Crys Cole. Rather than being provided by any particular sound, the unified feel of Audience to One stems simply from the unique, patient sensibility Ambarchi has developed over the last twenty years; abstracting musical forms into their barest forms, while somehow always managing to leave their emotive power intact. [Francis Plagne]

AMBARCHI/O’ROURKE

DEMEGO21

Oren Ambarchi : Guitar, Synth, Percussion
Jim O’Rourke : Strings, Synth, Percussion
DEMEGO 021

Recorded & Mixed at Steamroom, Tokyo, Jan 2011
Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, May 2011
Photographs by Shunichiro Okada
Design by Takashi Site

While Oren Ambarchi and Jim O’Rourke have collaborated in a number of forms, from remixes to their acclaimed trio with Keiji Haino, Indeed is their first duo album. One long electro-acoustic exploration (presented here as two side-long pieces), what Ambarchi and O’Rourke proffer up here is also melodic and approachable, bringing to mind the warm post-minimalism of composers like Alvin Curran, David Behrman and Luciano Cilio. Indeed, it sounds a bit like the collective textural and melodic personality of their respective solo albums filtered through the highpoints of the Lovely Music catalogue. Beginning with a sequence of analogue electro-acoustic crunch before settling into a warm synth glow highlighted by the occasional melodic or percussive detail, it sounds like the music that two guys who have honed their skills through years of composition, pop songwriting and rigorous improvisation make when they’re having fun in the studio. [Francis Plagne]

AMBARCHI/O’ROURKE/HAINO

BT005LP

…There Is No Need For A Subject Recorded one year after the international trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi’s first release (Tima Formosa [BT 004CD]), In A Flash Everything Comes Together As One There Is No Need For A Subject presents the entirety of a live performance that took place at SuperDeluxe, Tokyo on January 24th 2010. For their second performance together, the trio opted for an entirely different instrumental configuration. Here they form a classic power trio: Ambarchi on drums, O’Rourke on bass and Haino on guitar, vocals, electronics and, in one amazing passage, lap steel. While the instrumentation has changed, the mysterious atmosphere of their first collaboration remains: far from a rock genre exercise, this performance is steeped in the dark ritualistic mood that characterizes all of Haino’s best work. Haino is in truly phenomenal form herein, foregoing the single-instrument explorations of much of his recent solo work and his more peripheral role on the trio’s first release for a virtuosic and wide-ranging performance that takes in piercing leads, delicate strumming, jarring lap-steel interjections and his inimitable vocal caresses and howls. O’Rourke’s bass sometimes merges with Haino’s guitar to form crumbling walls of noise; at other times his dark ostinatos and runs add melodic weight. Ambarchi’s drumming moves from delicate, propulsive cymbal work to endless thundering streams of free-pulse pounding. The title of the release is appropriate: from the spacious and unpredictable slow-mo interactions of the first piece (reminiscent of some of the greatest Fushitsusha moments) to the wild free-riffing that concludes the performance, the trio seems uncannily attuned to one-another’s movements, and everything truly “comes together as one.” Released as a limited edition double LP in a lavish gatefold with printed inner sleeves, designed by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and a stunning cover-image by noise-guitar blaster and internationally renowned visual artist Marco Fusinato.

Vinyl cut made by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

This release can be obtained from Forced Exposure in the USA

AMBARCHI/O’ROURKE/HAINO

Black Truffle presents a stunning document of the debut meeting of international trio Oren Ambarchi, Jim O’Rourke and Keiji Haino. Recorded live at the Playhouse, Kitakyushu, Japan in January 2009, Tima Formosa retains a mysteriously alien atmosphere throughout its three lengthy explorations with Ambarchi’s mesmerizing textures and signature, deep guitar tones beautifully merging with O’Rourke’s Tudor-esque piano-feedback interjections. Haino provides the icing on the cake via his melancholic, higher consciousness choral vocals and bewildering electronics. Co-released with the Center For Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu with deluxe packaging designed by Stephen O’Malley of Sunn 0))).
Black Truffle web site: www.blacktrufflerecords.com