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