Oren Ambarchi's series of Stacte LPs plays the role of a laboratory. Each one has announced significant changes in his approach to the electric guitar. The first two volumes have come out in very limited editions on Ambarchi's home label Jerker Productions, but this third (and final) installment, which followed the critically acclaimed CD Insulation, was co-released by Plate Lunch and is meant to stay in print. It features two side-long tracks (14 and 23 minutes). On side A we find a busy and witty construction of stacked guitar loops. A repeated trickle of notes played above the fretboard is soon joined by simple picking that gives the first minutes of the piece a "music box orchestra" feel. That is, until a jerky, humorous guitar solo comes in. Who knows how Ambarchi wired up his guitar (i.e. through which effects boxes), but he sounds like a vintage R2D2 battling a nasty virus. Halfway through the piece the guitarist pulls a sudden stop to leave only microtonal feedback tones flapping against each other in a way reminiscent of Phill Niblock's drone pieces. The track on the other side takes the form of a slow-shifting drone. I hear soundscape guitar, but also possibly bass and surely cymbal washes. This one gives an indication of what his next CD Suspension would sound like as it buries the guitar's identifiable features under a lot of electronics, making it instrumentally anonymous, if you will. Stacte.3 is not an essential item, but it is more than a footnote experiment and will appeal to fans of his more widely available albums.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture