Flypaper . Oren Ambarchi & Keith Rowe
2002. cd . dl
These recordings depart wildly from anything that either Rowe or Ambarchi have produced before. This speaks volumes when you consider the combined weight of their explorations to this point. Amazingly, neither player falls back on past gestures or comfortable proven techniques.
The result is four startling electro-acoustic environments. Only David Tudor's "Rainforest" has gone so far to create a world that is at once highly electronic, yet totally organic, without resorting to base mimicry of natural sounds. It evokes the sea, an immovable mass of fluidity, in a way that Roland Kayn would admire. But having said that, there is little to compare this to. The four pieces on this disc could be field recordings from lost civilizations.
“Keith Rowe has staked his place in musical history as a leading exponent of modern improvisation both solo and, most notably, with groups like AMM. Oren Ambarchi has worked alongside Christian Fennesz and Martin Ng, in addition to exploring solo guitar and electronic territory indebted to artists like Alvin Lucier and Phill Niblock. On ‚Flypaper’, an excellent four-part piece on Staubgold, Rowe utilizes a mix of his trademark tabletop guitar and electronics while Ambarchi adds his string and electronic work to the affair. The result is an intriguing exploration into the realm of sustained drones and tones, mixing other sound effects into measured layers of sound. The pieces here are born out of great communication and listening on the part of each musician. (...) Rowe and Ambarchi come together nicely on this release, complementing each other’s natural instincts and improvisational styles. There’s never any sense of struggle for control amongst the tracks, but rather a nice, communal ability to work with intriguing sounds and textures.” (Michael Crumsho, Dusted)
“This collaboration between English experimental guitar pioneer Keith Rowe and young Australian Oren Ambarchi could be seen as a passing of the torch. And yet, if there is intergenerational exchange here, it appears to take place on the same level. Ambarchi's style has matured rapidly. (...) It is with a confident voice and from a much different point of view that he steps into the ring to meet Rowe. At least one world separates the two artists. (...) They meet halfway on 'Flypaper’ - Ambarchi thinning out his textures to leave room for input, Rowe being careful not to shatter them. Their respective contributions juxtapose well but always remain discernible (including Rowe's use of radio waves). The four untitled pieces work more like installation soundtracks or sonic environments than compositions.” (François Couture, All Music Guide)
Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK).
Ambarchi's work on harmonics and resonance has led him to define serene spaces of fluid, shifting sound that is both fragile and extremely physical.
He has performed and recorded with Martin Ng (Australia), Sunn 0)) (USA), Christian Fennesz (Austria), Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Pimmon (Australia), Keiji Haino (Japan), John Zorn (USA), Rizili (Greece), Voice Crack (Switzerland), Sachiko M (Japan), Keith Rowe (UK), Phill Niblock (USA), Gunter Muller (Switzerland), Evan Parker (UK), Robbie Avenaim (Australia), Toshimaru Nakamura (Japan), Dave Grohl (USA), Damo Suzuki (Japan), Chris Townend (Australia) and many more.
Keith Rowe (born 16 March 1940 in Plymouth, England) is an English free improvisation tabletop guitarist and painter. Rowe is a founding member of both the hugely influential AMM in the mid-1960s (though in 2004 he quit that group for the second time) and M.I.M.E.O. Having trained as a visual artist, Rowe's paintings have been featured on most of his own albums. After years of obscurity, Rowe has achieved a level of relative notoriety, and since the late 1990s has kept up a busy recording and touring schedule. He is seen as a godfather of EAI (electroacoustic improvisation), with many of his recent recordings having been released by Erstwhile Records.