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Reconnaissance . Oren Ambarchi & Martin Ng


staubgold 15
2001. cd . dl . lp

"Reconnaissance" is the first duo release by Australian composers Oren Ambarchi and Martin Ng from Sydney - a trilogy of pieces based upon the fluid architectural modulation of harmonics and resonances. Recalling the landmark experiments of the Sonic Arts Union (Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier and Gordon Mumma), Ambarchi and Ng create an enigmatic tapestry of pulsing, shimmering and shifting sound which represents a subtle and compelling realignment of Eastern and Western minimalist traditions.

The unique full-colour art work accompanying this release was created by Viennese graphic designer Tina Frank (Mego).

“There is an aura of nostalgia surrounding Oren Ambarchi and Martin Ng's ‘Reconnaissance’. The analog electronics, stripped-down aesthetics, and the lines and geometrical shapes in Tina Frank's artwork are taken right out of the early days of minimalism and sound art (especially Alvin Lucier). Ng's analog tones and Ambarchi's guitar are literally fused together. Only after the most attentive listen (and the willingness to take chances) will one be able to ascertain who produced what sounds. Harmonies and resonances are the heart of this cd. Tones delicately echo off one another, creating cold but pleasant soundscapes. (…) Ever heard a guitar that sounds like finger cymbals? This one is very peaceful, totally Zen. (…)

Many artists with or without electronic backgrounds have tried similar things, but rarely have they created a piece that is an object of such plastic beauty, such raw postmodern aestheticism. Every musical gesture counts in this endeavor structured around the repetition of a very limited number of moves. ‘Reconnaissance’ (…) shows impeccable taste and an uncanny courage to do less. Recommended.” (François Couture, All Music Guide)

Oren Ambarchi

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.

Martin Ng

Martin Ng whose main instrument is the turntable is another outstanding character in Sydney's rich experimental music circuit. He released an album for the Mego label with Farmer's Manual's Hiaz Gmachl, recorded for Grob with Jim Denley and was part of 2002's "Turntable Hell" tour with among others Otomo Yoshihide and Martin Tetrault.