JOHN TILBURY & OREN AMBARCHI
The Just Reproach

Label: Black Truffle

Format: LP

Catalogue Number: BT10

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

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

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. The Just Reproach Pt.1
  2. The Just Reproach Pt.2

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

KEIJI HAINO/JIM O’ROURKE/OREN AMBARCHI
NOW WHILE IT IS STILL WARM LET US POUR IN ALL THE MYSTERY

Label: Black Truffle

Format: LP + CD

Catalogue Number: BT09 (LP) + BT09 (CD)

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

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, Jan 2013.

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.

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. once again i hear the beautiful vertigo… luring us to "do something, somehow"
  2. who would have thought this callous history would become my skin
  3. Only the winding "why" expresses anything clearly
  4. A new radiance springing forth from inside the light
  5. even that still here and unwanted can you and i love it? just like us it was born here too
  6. now while it’s still warm let us pour in all the mystery

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

MERZBOW & OREN AMBARCHI
Cat’s Squirrel

Label: Black Truffle

Format: LP

Catalogue Number: BT08

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

‘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, Jan 2013

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

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. Cat’s Squirrel Pt.1
  2. Cat’s Squirrel Pt.1

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 
 

KEIJI HAINO/JIM O’ROURKE/OREN AMBARCHI
IMIKUZUSHI

Label: Black Truffle

Format: 2xLP + CD

Catalogue Number: BT07 (2LP) + BT07 (CD)

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

The yearly summit of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi continues with Imikuzushi, which finds the group extending the power-trio strategies of last year’s highly praised ‘in a flash everything comes together as one there is no need for a subject’ (BT05) and bringing to them a newly sustained intensity. For this performance, Haino limits himself to electric guitar and vocals, forming complex networks of slashing rhythm work, noise squall and chromatic shredding, moving at times to near-silent passages of howled vocals and isolated, hanging guitar strums. The tendency towards driving free-rock which surfaced on moments of the trio’s last release is cemented here, with O’Rourke’s fuzzed-out, non-linear bass riffing moving the music into almost garage-rock areas, combining with Ambarchi’s drums to form a bedrock of hypnotic, metronomic pounding which transforms itself effortlessly into passages of flowing free-time.
Like all of Haino’s best work, the trio transcends any ‘rock’ genre exercise to enter a non-idiomatic zone of ritual intensity, creating a music formed purely out of instrumental and group-mind possibility. Presented as four unedited excerpts salvaged from an epic show that lasted well over three hours, the sometimes raw nature of the recording only adds to its directness and harshly emotive quality.

Francis Plagne, Melbourne, Nov, 2011

Released as a 6 panel digipak CD and as a limited edition double LP in a lavish gatefold with printed inner sleeves. Design by Stephen O’Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning images by Tokyo based photographer and sound artist Shunichiro Okada

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. still unable to throw off that teaching a heart left abandoned unable to get inside that empty space nerves freezing that unconcealed sadness…
  2. ready and waiting ready and tired of waiting this happiness hovers for a while opaque…
  3. invited in practically drawn in by something facing the exit of this hiding place who is it? that went in…
  4. an acute sensitivity is not simply a "madness" an acute sensitivity to the resonance of "i love you" teaches us just a little something it’s not that we can’t do something it’s just that we haven’t done it yet…

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

THOMAS BRINKMANN/OREN AMBARCHI
The Mortimer Trap

Label: Black Truffle

Format: CD

Catalogue Number: BT06

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

The Mortimer Trap is an epic 77min "variation" of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus constructed by German experimentalist and techno icon Thomas Brinkmann and Australian sound artist Oren Ambarchi.

Pulsating waves of claustrophobic ambience generated from who-knows-what patiently builds into a throbbing rhythmic pulse of gorgeous sonic density.

Since the 80s Thomas Brinkmann has experimented with sound, its textures and its construction methods. His custom built two-arm turntable on Concept 1, the sampling of damaged records on Klick and various experiments with carved-groove vinyl are just a handful of career highlights that mark Brinkmann out as a true musical pioneer. Oren Ambarchi, primarily known for his solo guitar records for the Touch label, has worked with a diverse array of artists such as Keiji Haino, Fennesz, Phill Niblock, Jim O’Rourke, Voice Crack, Keith Rowe and Sunn 0))).

Ambarchi and Brinkmann first worked together in in Japan in January 2011 in a trio with Mika Vainio.
The Mortimer Trap is their first collaborative work as a duo.
Artwork and design by Thomas Brinkmann.

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. The Mortimer Trap

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

KEIJI HAINO/JIM O’ROURKE/OREN AMBARCHI
In a flash everything comes together as one there is no need for a subject

Label: Black Truffle

Format: 2LP

Catalogue Number: BT05

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

Recorded one year after this international trio’s first release (‘Tima Formosa’ BT04), ‘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. The dark improvisations of ’Tima Formosa’ were produced with Ambarchi’s signature electric guitar, O’Rourke on inside-piano and Haino primarily on vocals and electronics. 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’.

Francis Plagne, Melbourne, Jan 2011.

Released as a limited edition double LP in a lavish gatefold with printed inner sleeves, design 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.

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. in a flash everything comes together as one there is no need for a subject
  2. the time I was given and the time you were given and their differences
  3. BLUES for putting a FUZZ beforehand
  4. once again you are reading it wrong what is written is to live

Available from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 
 

AMBARCHI/O’ROURKE/HAINO
Tima Formosa

Label: Black Truffle

Format: CD

Catalogue Number: BT04

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

Stunning document of the debut meeting of this international trio. Recorded live at the Playhouse, Kitakyushu, Japan in January 2009, Tima Formosa retains a mysteriously alien atmosphere throughout it’s 3 lengthy explorations with Ambarchi’s mesmerising 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)))

 
 

TRACKLISTING

  1. Tima Formosa 1
  2. Tima Formosa 2
  3. Tima Formosa 3

Available from Black Truffle records or from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

AMBARCHI/FENNESZ/PIMMON/REHBERG/ROWE
Afternoon Tea

Label: Black Truffle

Format: CD

Catalogue Number: BT03

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

Who would have thought a relaxed sunny afternoon, newfound friendships and some spur-of-the-moment would have resulted in what’s been described as ’one of the most compelling documents of both free improvisation and electronica’ (All Music Guide)?

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.

 

TRACKLISTING

  1. Afternoon Tea 1
  2. Afternoon Tea 2
  3. No Title
  4. Live Tea 1
  5. Live Tea 2

Available from Black Truffle records or from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Kompakt www.kompakt.fm

 

OREN AMBARCHI
Persona

Label: Black Truffle

Format: CD

Catalogue Number: BT02

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

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

  1. Alma
  2. Vogler
  3. Persona

Available from Black Truffle records or from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Metamkine www.metamkine.com
UK - Boomkat www.boomkat.com
Japan - p*dis www.inpartmaint.com/pdis/

 
 

OREN AMBARCHI
Stacte.3

Label: Black Truffle

Format: CD

Catalogue Number: BT01

Official web site: www.orenambarchi.com

 

Description

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

  1. Stacte.3A
  2. Stacte.3B

Available from Black Truffle records or from these fine distributors:

USA - Forced Exposure www.forcedexposure.com
Europe - Metamkine www.metamkine.com
UK - Boomkat www.boomkat.com
Japan - p*dis www.inpartmaint.com/pdis/