Oren Ambarchi – In The Pendulum’s Embrace – CD – TOUCH

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 www.touchmusic.org.uk

Ambarchi continues to investigate every possible avenue available to the deconstruction of the guitar, with this – his follow up to the euphoric, pastoral, “Grapes from the Estate”. “In the Pendulum’s Embrace”, further reduces and distils Ambarchi’s guitar sound, and fuses it with glass harmonica, percussion, strings, bells, and piano. Yet from this welter of instrumentation emerges a spare, enigmatic soundscape. These protracted dirges, these tendrils of sound instantly remind me of Labradford on downers – all of the components of the composition minutely dissected and exposed, each tone hovering, never yielding to unbearable tension.

Ambarchi still severs his source material, reconfiguring and sliding components in and out of each piece, but with a much lighter touch than on previous works. His trademarks are still present and prevalent, and the techniques no less honed, but this time more phorensically explored; a music that consists of equal parts of space and activity, inviting the listener into taut, transcendent realms where time slows down, and all is not as it seems.

“Fever, a warm poison” is an atmospheric, 18 minute opener to the album that envelops with its claustrophobic atmosphere, followed by “Inamorata”, where guitar and strings take a more prominent position amongst the dense ambience.This is quietly intense stuff, a logical descendent of the previous works on Touch, “Suspension” and “Insulation”. The closing piece, “Trailing Moss in Mystic Glow” tremors with sub-bass, shimmering guitar, and micro fine slithers of electronica, teetering on the brink of “clicks and cuts” sensibility.

“In the Pendulum’s Embrace” sees Ambarchi’s sound maturing with grace and intelligence, eclipsing his previous work with a highly refined working ethic that is at once nuanced and cerebral. Never before has  Van Der Roehe’s infamous aphorism,  “Less is More”  been more poignant. Absolutely sublime, and intelligently constructed . BGN

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About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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