OREN AMBARCHI: In The Pendulum’s Embrace (Touch)

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Posted on Oct 21st 2007 11:50 pm

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Oren Ambarchi: In The Pendulum's Embrace

OREN AMBARCHI
In The Pendulum’s Embrace
TO38
Touch 2007
03 Tracks. 40mins49secs

In recent times, Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi has been busy with the more experimental side of his work and has published a considerable amount of music on various labels, including Southern Lord, Room40 and For 4 Ears. He has also become a regular fixture as part of Sunn O)))), and has been spotted playing alongside the likes of Fennesz, John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Günter Müller, Evan Parker or Toshimaru Nakamura to name but a few, leaving the line of work leading up to his 2004 album Grapes From The Estate to lay somewhat dormant. In The Pendulum’s Embrace therefore marks his long awaited return to Touch and to more melodic forms.

Counting only three tracks, each clocking above ten minutes, with the opening piece stretching to almost eighteen minutes, this new opus continues in the footsteps of the superb Grapes From The Estate. On Fever, A Warm Poison, Ambarchi works almost exclusively with the lower end of the guitar spectrum and creates a somewhat more sombre frame of bass distortions than heard on previous Touch recordings. Expanding on his basic electric guitar setting, Ambarchi incorporates here bells, glass harmonica and drums but retains the arid aspect of his earlier work.

The scope appears similar on Inamorata. Here, Ambarchi uses a seemingly more restricted pool of sounds (electric guitars). During the first few minutes, Ambarchi assembles rare notes played on the lower end of the guitar, but as the composition progresses, he moves up the scale and builds in additional strings textures, provided by Australian ensemble Fourplay String Quartet member Veren Grigorov. This eventually proves to be the richest set of sounds heard on the album. On Trailing Moss In Mystic Glow, Ambarchi finally let’s some light in by applying a series of motifs carved from the more common register on an acoustic guitar. While the piece kicks off with somber sub-bass tones and scarce electronics, the move away from guttural depths allow for much more subtle and airy melodic formations and reveals some superb ethereal moments. Like on Fever, A Warm Poison, Ambarchi adds layers of sounds, here bells and voice to give his work a wider scope.

Very much like its Touch predecessor, In The Pendulum’s Embrace reaches to new, more hospitable terrains, than some of Oren Ambarchi’s more extreme work. Here, he plays with a more varied set of sounds than he has done in the past, and his music gains in warmth and accessibility, yet, this new album is at times more arid and minimal than Grapes From The Estate. Ambarchi retains here the full exploratory nature of his work and makes of this latest offering a precious addition to his discography.

4.2/5

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2 Responses to “OREN AMBARCHI: In The Pendulum’s Embrace (Touch)”

  1. mapsadaisicalon 22 Oct 2007 at 7:13 pm

    I love this album, even more than I love Grapes From The Estate. Great late-night listening.

  2. [...] almost five years on from his last solo outing, In The Pendulum’s Embrace, Audience Of One may initially prove something of an intriguing release for the usually poised [...]