Afternoon Tea reissued by Black Truffle

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.

www.blacktrufflerecords.com

Black Truffle | Reissue of Oren Ambarchi releases

A new label, Black Truffle, is re-issuing two rare recordings from Oren Ambarchi:

Stacte.3
Format: CD
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.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Stacte.3A
02. Stacte.3B

Persona
Format: CD
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

TRACKLISTING:
01. Alma
02. Vogler
03. Persona

Black Truffle web site: www.blacktrufflerecords.com

Interview with Oren Ambarchi in Heathen Harvest

Heathen Harvest

Interview with Oren Ambarchi in Cyclic Defrost

An interview with Oren Ambarchi in Cyclic Defrost can be read here