Sun Jan 19
Oren Ambarchi solo
@ MONA festival
Sun Jan 19
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
@ MONA fest
Fri Jan 31
Oren Ambarchi (7hr DJ Set)
Thu Feb 6
Oren Ambarchi solo
+ Thembi Soddell, Arrowhead
Sat Feb 15
Oren Ambarchi solo + crys cole solo
Sun Feb 16
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
@ The White Room
Mon Feb 17
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
@ Cavity Curiousity Shop
Victoria, BC, Canada
Tue Feb 18
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
Thu Feb 20
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
@ The Lab
San Francisco, USA
Sat Feb 22
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole duo
@ Public Records
Mon Feb 24
Oren Ambarchi solo
crys cole solo
@ Frequency Festival
Chicago, IL, USA
Oren Ambarchi – guitars & whatnot
Cyro Baptista – percussion & voice
Recorded by Randall Dunn, Joerg Hiller, Iuri Oriente and Oren Ambarchi.
Edited by Joerg Hiller and Oren Ambarchi at Choose Studios, Berlin.
Mixed by Joe Talia and Oren Ambarchi at Good Mixture, Tokyo.
Cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin.
Executive Producers: Konrad Sprenger & Dick Wolf.
Photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.
Design by Lasse Marhaug.
After a trilogy of spectacular explorations of relentlessly driving rhythms – Sagittarian Domain (2012), Quixotism (2014) and Hubris (2016) – Simian Angel finds Oren Ambarchi renewing his focus on his singular approach to the electric guitar, returning in part to the spacious canvases of classic releases like Grapes from the Estate while also following his muse down previously unexplored byways.
Reflecting Ambarchi’s profound love of Brazilian music – an aspect of his omnivorous musical appetite not immediately apparent in his own work until now – Simian Angel features the remarkable percussive talents of the legendary Cyro Baptista, a key part of the Downtown scene who has collaborated with everyone from John Zorn and Derek Bailey to Robert Palmer and Herbie Hancock. Like the music of Nana Vasconcelos and Airto Moreira, Simian Angel places Baptista’s dexterous and rhythmically nuanced handling of traditional Brazilian percussion instruments into an unexpected musical context. On the first side, ‘Palm Sugar Candy’, Baptista’s spare and halting rhythms wind their way through a landscape of gliding electronic tones, gently rising up and momentarily subsiding until the piece’s final minutes leave Ambarchi’s guitar unaccompanied. While the rich, swirling harmonics of Ambarchi’s guitar performance are familiar to listeners from his previous recordings, the subtly wavering, synthetic guitar tone we hear is quite new, coming across at times like an abstracted, splayed-out take on the 80s guitar-synth work of Pat Metheny or Bill Frisell. Equally new is the harmonic complexity of Ambarchi’s playing, which leaves behind the minimalist simplicity of much of his previous work for a constantly-shifting play between lush consonance and uneasy dissonance.
Beginning with a beautiful passage of unaccompanied percussion dominated by the berimbau, the side-long title piece carries on the first side’s exploration of subtle, non-linear dynamic arcs, taking the form of a gently episodic suite, in which distinctive moments, like a lyrical passage of guitar-triggered piano, unexpectedly arise from intervals of drifting tones like dream images suddenly cohering. In the piece’s second half, the piano tones becomes increasingly more clipped and synthetic, scattering themselves into aleatoric melodies that call to mind an imaginary collaboration between Albert Marcoeur and David Behrman, grounded all the while by the pulse of Baptista’s percussion. Subtle yet complex, fleeting yet emotionally affecting, Simian Angel is an essential chapter in Ambarchi’s restlessly exploratory oeuvre.
Delighted to present this special festival celebrating Oren Ambarchi’s 50th birthday and 10 years of his Black Truffle label. Spilling over three unmissable days, the festival (curated by Oren himself) features a packed international bill of special guests, projects and collaborations, all closely associated with Oren and his label.
Oren Ambarchi is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and musical polymath who has been releasing records with the frequency of someone who prefers studio time to sleep. His remarkably prolific and diverse oeuvre since the 90’s has included releases such as “Suspension” (2002), “Grapes From The Estate” (2004), “Audience Of One” & “Sagittarian Domain” (both 2012), “Quixotism” (2014) & “Hubris” (2016).
Ambarchi continues to collaborate with artists the world over and in the last few years his longform compositions have featured many friends and collaborators constituting some of his most adventurous work to date and demonstrating his slippery capacity for stylistic shapeshifting whilst retaining his singular musical language.
Black Truffle Records is an Australian-based label for experimental, improv, noise and abstract music, founded by Oren in 2009. There are around 50 releases to it’s name, featuring the likes of Alvin Lucier, Annea Lockwood, Keiji Haino, Charlemagne Palestine and many more www.blacktrufflerecords.com
Oren is one the musicians we hold highly in our international community of adventurous artists, and we feel privileged to host this unmissable festival.
76pp full colour book + CD
33 tracks – 78:59
Limited edition of 1000
Release date: 11th December 2017
Into the Open
Mika Vainio – Behind the Radiators
AER – Just Before Dawn
Bethan Kellough – Twelve
Wire – A Year A Second [For BCG]
London in a Week
Carl Michael Von Hausswolff – Sine Missing One
Chris Watson – Deepcar
Jana Winderen – Bronx Tunnel
The Magical Land of the North
Claire M Singer – Storr
Hildur Gudnadottir – Death 200AD
Three 20 – Four Twelve
Philip Jeck – Deed of Gift
Walking on Water
Simon Scott – Storm of the Fens
Eleh – Overt One
The Love Train
Russell Haswell – Demons
Heitor Alvelos – Expectant
I’m a Schoolteacher on Holiday
Johann Johannsson – Mingyun
Mark Van Hoen – Prescient
Fennesz – Paint It Black (remastered)
Sohrab – JV Dream
It’s Enough to Make You Weep
Strafe FR – Virgin
Before The Sea @ Falasarna
Jim O’Rourke – Despite The Water Supply
Situation Stabilised / BJ Nilsen – Atom Mother
Peter Rehberg – Cinecom
Gateway to the Garden
Oren Ambarchi – Testify
The Sound of Eleven
In a 24/7 world there is no greater challenge than “to be in command of one’s own time”. Is it true that the ability to download anything, at any moment, constitutes freedom? Has the ‘value’ of music, art and design been stripped bare? “I Google, therefore I am”…
Touch MOVEMENTS has been compiled over the course of 3 years. It is a response to many requests for Touch to publish a fuller account of Jon Wozencroft’s photography for the cover art of the project. The book follows the music, which was compiled step-by-step, like a jigsaw – there was not an “open call” to the artists, rather a sequential development which gives the CD a special narrative quality. And since our last Touch 30 compilation in 2012, the accuracy of the music has grown and rises to the challenge of what sound can do to transform perceptions about the immediate emotion of musical work and its more difficult, longer term evolution.
Following Touch Folio 001 in 2015, this series is a dedication to finding new ways of audiovisual publishing, somewhere between the twin peaks of a jewel-cased CD and a lavish box-set. The two elements of sound and the visual work in parallel to create the idea of an “Ear-book”, whose interdependency reveals itself over time, and allows the richest of listening and viewing experiences. The music and the photography is fully annotated, alongside a rarely-seen manifesto by the Surrealist film-maker Jan Švankmajer which celebrates the spirit of the creative act.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Oren Ambarchi is a gifted composer, multi-instrumentalist and improviser who has been traveling the world, crafting a most singular musical vision for the past twenty five years. He’s also an enthusiastic listener and avid record collector, a gourmand and happens to be one of my favorite musicians around. On a quick visit to New York for performances with Alvin Lucier and Loren Connors, Oren dropped by for a candid conversation about his early days as an Hasidic student in NYC, record collecting, learning to play guitar, running his own record label and a whole lot more. I love Oren’s music deeply and am delighted conversation got to happen. After our talk, Oren and I headed over to Russ & Daughters Cafe and gorged on smoked fish and chopped liver.
Black Truffle BT029
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.
Hubris Parts 1-3
LP, CD & Digital
Release date: 11th November 2016
Label: Editions Mego
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.
2. I Am A Prune Cake On A Background Of Corn Semolina
The experimental Italian quartet will to release two-track LP on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label.
Earlier this year when our Ian Maleney met with Oren Ambarchi in a Dublin pub before the Australian was due to play its small basement, he imparted of his label, “not many people know about a lot of the artists there but I believe the level is extremely high,” before suggesting 2016 was to present a wave of new music. As we enter August, Black Truffle this year has released long players from Charlemagne Palestine, free improve ensemble AMM and Ambarchi’s Pale Calling LP made with Kassel Jaeger and James Rushford. While most recently, Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke reconnected with Oren Ambarchi to release another collaborative album entitled I Wonder If You Noticed ”I’m Sorry” Is Such A Lovely Sound It Keeps Things From Getting Worse which follows several a series or irregular long-winded titles translated from Japanese.
Now invited into the Black Truffle stable is 3/4HadBeenEliminated, a trio-turned-quartet since drummer Tony Arrabito was invited to join Claudio Rocchetti, Stefano Pilia and PAN affiliate Valerio Tricoli’s improvisational trinity. Their forthcoming two-track Speak To Me LP presents the group with its sixth album, with Ambarchi and 3/4HadBeenEliminated crossing paths in the past by their involvement with Swedish label Häpna. Said to be recorded in Bologna and Berlin over several years, the album was made using “source material for compositions built up through layering, editing and analog manipulation,” which the label has aligned with the music Teo Macero, Faust and This Heat. Black Truffle further describe Speak To Me as melancholic instrumental ruminations that “sit alongside cracked electronics, concrete sounds and Tricoli’s whispered vocals, drawn together into dense assemblages animated by gradual transformations and sudden jump cuts.”
The author of the mix is Oren Ambarchi (b. 1969), an Australian electronic guitarist and percussionist who now lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Ambarchi has been performing live since 1986. Oren Ambarchi’s works are hesitant, tense and extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing, laminal improvisation and minimalism, hushed, pensive songwriting, the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier, and the physicality of slowed down and stripped to its bare bones rock music, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.
Here you can read an Interview with Oren Ambarchi by Guillermo Escudero for LOOP (Chile) – so its in Spanish…
The Outer Church (blog):
When someone tweeted earlier today that Oren Ambarchi had covered Ace Frehley’s instrumental ‘Fractured Mirror’ – the closing track from his magnificent 1978 debut solo album – I had to investigate. I’m happy to confirm that Ambarchi’s version is every bit as good as I’d hoped, retaining the bittersweet beauty of the original while making a case for its validity as work of non-canonical minimalism. ‘Fractured Mirror’ is a special track for me, for reasons I find very interesting and rather unusual. Thing is, the track reminds me of a very specific time in my life – in fact a very specific moment. So far, so nostalgic. But what I find curious is that at that particular point in time, I had not heard this piece of music. It took about a decade for me to discover that Frehley had recorded a composition that reached forward in time to that moment, distilled its essence with pinpoint accuracy, then lay in wait for me to stumble across it and find myself involuntarily transported back to that moment. Suffice to say, this raises some interesting questions concerning the less-than-straightforward relationship between music and nostalgia.
Oren has added two new splendid fish recipes to the Touch Recipe Book
Oren Ambarchi & Robin Fox have just completed the score for a new Chunky Move dance production called CONNECTED.
Teaming up with Californian artist, Reuben Margolin, director Gideon Obarzanek animates both the body and the machine through physical connection between the dancers and Margolin’s purpose-built, kinetic sculpture.
Reuben’s startlingly live sculptural works – constructed from wood, re-cycled plastic, paper and steel – transcend their concrete forms once set into motion, appearing as natural waveforms in a weightless kinetic flow. Suspended by hundreds of fine strings receiving information from multiple camshafts and wheels, his sculptures reveal in articulate detail the impulses of what they are coupled to. In this world premiere of connected, it is people – athletic and agile dancers’ bodies twisting and hurtling through space, as well as people in recognisable situations.
Beginning with simple movements and hundreds of tiny pieces, the dancers build their performance while they construct the sculpture in real time. During the performance, these basic elements and simple physical connections quickly evolve into complex structures and relationships. The show has just completed it’s premiere run in Melbourne, with upcoming shows in Sydney, Seoul and the USA thru 2010-2011
short film here
TouchRadio is proud to present Oren Ambarchi’s first solo contribution to TouchRadio. His concert at Corsica Studios on 1st July 2010 was recorded straight from the mixing desk and has been unedited.
6.09.10 – Live at Corsica Studios – 25:59 – 192 kbps
With thanks to Tom Relleen.
It’s the people involved in ‘Afternoon Tea’ – originally released in 2000 on German label Ritornell and now reissued on Black Truffle with a new master, bonus tracks and newly discovered live recordings after years of being out of print – that ensured it as more than a happy accident. The twin guitar presence of AMM’s Keith Rowe and Oren Ambarchi and kindred spirits of the laptop – Sydney’s Pimmon, Vienna’s Christian Fennesz and Peter Rehberg – made it a momentous day.
With all the players coming together during the 2000 What Is Music? Festival, ‘Afternoon Tea’ stands as a highpoint of the then-emerging intersection between Powerbook performance and guitar improvisation. All subtley, nuance and detail, it is a revelation of restraint. Built on a steadying flow of burbling rhythm, the quintet slowly weave around each others’ sonics in layers to create a tonal palette immersive in its atmosphere and magnetic in its compulsion.
Hindsight clearly reveals the heart of these pieces – important to note considering they were recorded at a time when laptop performance was an alien concept to many in experimental music, suffering controversy and backlash as well as an over-abundance of pale approaches from many who took it on as novelty as opposed to serious musical pursuit. Those involved in the ‘Afternoon Tea’ session left their Australian tour inspired, citing their merry time in the country eating, drinking and hanging out at the beach as well as their performances as a direct influence on their following work. Many great live recordings were spawned from the tour itself including Rehberg & Bauer’s ‘passt’, Fennesz’ ‘Live at Revolver’ (both on Touch) and a collaboration between him and New Zealand’s Rosy Parlane (released on Synaesthesia). Additionally the seeds were sown for the Fennesz classic ‘Endless Summer’ from 2001 (Mego).
‘Afternoon Tea’ remains one of the quiet and real achievers for experimental music of the past decade.
Remastered in May 2009 and with artwork designed by Stephen O’Malley.
A new label, Black Truffle, is re-issuing two rare recordings from Oren Ambarchi:
Catalogue Number: BT01
Originally released in 2000 as a limited vinyl only album, ‘Stacte.3’ is now available on CD for the first time.
Described by Wire scribe Jon Dale as “Alvin Lucier and Cluster collaborating for Mego”, the concept of Oren Ambarchi’s ‘Stacte’ LP series – now comprising of five volumes – began in 1998. The first few ‘Stacte’ LPs were self-released by Ambarchi and featured his earliest explorations of the guitar and its sonic possibilities after a period known as a drummer in post-punk, noise and free jazz outfits. An idea was explored and investigated at length using a spontaneous approach, with Ambarchi treating each side of the vinyl like a canvas, slowly capturing a moment, patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture. His method allowed the listener to sink their teeth into something substantial over the course of the LP side’s entire duration, resulting in an otherworldly, cumulative impact of patiently unfolding compositions.
The ‘Stacte.3’ release (especially the LP’s second side) was a breakthrough for Ambarchi and it defined the parameters for his subsequent projects such as 2001’s ‘Suspension’ and ‘Grapes From The Estate’ from 2004, both released on the legendary UK label Touch. ‘Stacte.3’ is an early glimpse of Ambarchi at his most raw and minimal and it’s a fascinating, integral listen in his catalogue of sound works.
Remastered in December 2008 and with artwork designed by Stephen O’Malley.
Catalogue Number: BT02
Originally released in 2000 as a limited vinyl only album, ‘Persona’ is now available on CD for the first time.
‘Persona’ was recorded in February 2000, just a week after the ‘Afternoon Tea’ collaboration with Fennesz, Pimmon, Pita and Keith Rowe. Utilizing a raw and spontaneous approach like the ‘Stacte’ series of solo releases, Ambarchi recorded the pieces on ‘Persona’ at home in a day, only using his guitar, a handful of effect pedals and a boombox as a monitor(!). Considered to be a ‘sister’ release to Ambarchi’s acclaimed ‘Suspension‘ album on Touch, the material on ‘Persona’ (originally released on E.R.S. in a tiny edition of 300) was only heard by a handful of listeners. From the late 90’s his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique led to a more personal and unique soundworld and ‘Persona’ was an early document of this direction. Here, the pieces are hesitant and tense extended songforms, located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; and hushed, pensive songwriting. It recalls the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier, and the physicality of rock music, stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.
Remastered in December 2008 and with artwork designed by Stephen O’Malley
Black Truffle web site: www.blacktrufflerecords.com