Oren Ambarchi’s works are hesitant and tense 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 rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. From the late 90’s his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum’s Embrace, Ambarchi employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.
Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Charlemagne Palestine, Sunn 0)), Thomas Brinkmann, crys cole, Keiji Haino, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Curran, Loren Connors, Manuel Gottsching/Ash Ra, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke, Keith Rowe, David Rosenboom, Julia Reidy, Akio Suzuki, Phill Niblock, John Tilbury, Richard Pinhas, Evan Parker, Fire! and many more.
Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for labels such as Touch, Editions Mego, Drag City, PAN, Southern Lord, Kranky and Tzadik. His acclaimed trio with Keiji Haino and Jim O’Rourke performs in Tokyo annually with many of their concerts documented on Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label. Black Truffle has over 90 releases to date.
In 2003 his live release Triste received an honorary mention in the Prix Ars Electronica digital music category. His release Quixotism was listed in The Wire magazine’s top 50 releases of 2014 and that same year Pitchfork named him Experimental Artist Of The Year. His 2016 album Hubris and featured an astonishing cast of players including crys cole, Mark Fell, Arto Lindsay, Jim O’Rourke, Keith Fullerton Whitman and Ricardo Villalobos amongst others. Hubris was listed in numerous ‘Best Albums Of 2016″ listings in renowned magazine’s such as The Wire, Rolling Stone, The Quietus and Tiny Mix Tapes. In 2019 Ambarchi was the cover feature for the August #426 issue of the Wire Magazine.
In May 2019 renowned London venue Cafe Oto celebrated Ambarchi’s 50th birthday and the 10 year anniversary of his Black Truffle label with a 3-day festival featuring a packed international bill of special guests, projects and collaborations, all closely associated with Oren and his label. The Live Hubris release on Black Truffle documents the final performance from this event, featuring fifteen of Ambarchi’s close collaborators.
Ambarchi’s latest release is Shebang (Drag City) and features Chris Abrahams, Johan Berthling, BJ Cole, Sam Dunscombe, Jim O’Rourke, Julia Reidy, Konrad Sprenger and Joe Talia.