Music Review | posted 05.04.2018
Oren Ambarchi
Grapes From The Estate
Black Truffle, 2018
Text Sebastian Hinz , Translation Sebastian Hinz
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Cover Oren Ambarchi - Grapes From The Estate

Today the Australian guitarist and sound artist Oren Ambarchi looks back on a past of at least 75 records. Among them cooperations with Jim O’Rourke, Keiji Haino (one of his role models), Richard Pinhas, Robin Fox, Kassel Jaeger, Stephen O’Malley. »Grapes From The Estate«, first released 2004 only on CD by Touch and covered with vinyl by Southern Lord in 2006, must almost be attributed to his early work. In fact, the 4-piece and 56-minute long work is a kind of initial for the subsequent recordings of Ambarchi. From this moment on, his art seems to know no stylistic boundaries.

It all starts with »Corkscrew«, that 10 minute long drone-based piece in which the guitars were manipulated in such a way that they sound like an echo tone generator. Legend has it that Stephen O’Malley, the guitarist of SunnO)))) played this track once in New York and the low frequencies of it triggered the fire alarm of the venue, including evacuation, blue lights and sirens in operations. This anecdote alone makes the piece a classic of music history. »Girl With The Silver Eyes« is the world’s slowest jazz. So slowly that Radian on »Rec.extern« look like hyper nervous guys with heart flutter. I don’t know if this stoic serenity is a genuinely Australian peculiarity, but I think at least the attitude given in this piece can be heard in Nick Cave as well. Even if that doesn’t seem to make much sense to the listener at first glance.

»Remedios The Beauty« shows that an increase is even possible – because it is the highlight of the record. Normally, when I see that a textual work is very long, the editor comes through me and I want to shorten, shorten, shorten. Not so with this 15-minute piece, in which the Australian spreads out his entire keyboard of sounds and tricks. Finally, in »Stars Aligned, Web Spun«, you can watch the morning dew bubble from the fine threads of the spider’s web for 20 minutes. »Grapes From The Estate« has been re-mastered for the reissue on Black Truffle by Rashad Becker.

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