Oren Ambarchi

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Oystered Review

by François Couture

Voice Crack (Andy Guhl and Norbert Moslang) and Günter Müller account for three-fourths of the electro-acoustic improv group poire_z. One would think that trading turntablist Erik M for soundscape guitarist Oren Ambarchi on the remaining chair would take the group's music into even higher planes of crackling atmospheres. On the contrary, Oystered sounds more grounded and dynamic than poire_z's recordings. Individual contributions become very difficult to pinpoint in this music, where acoustic instruments (Müller's selected percussion) are treated to sound electronic, where everyday electronic devices are cracked to pulsate and twitch as if they were components of a laptop computer, where aerial guitars are looped and stacked to roar like a cyclone. But the group sound is irresistible: engulfing and moving with great synchronism, as if all its constituents were governed by the same spirit and yet showing independence of thought in its details. Listen to how different parties gently tug "Grounding Oysters" in opposite directions. "Briefing Oysters" stands as the highlight of this session, recorded in Sydney on July 23, 2002: it grows menacingly, blown by Ambarchi's solar winds and animated by Voice Crack's odd chirps and hisses. Fans of Ambarchi's albums for Touch and Staubgold may feel destabilized at first, because his art is fully integrated to the dominating voice of this quasi-poire_z.

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