Oren Ambarchi continues his public affront to all other artists purporting to be 'prolific' with yet another release. 'Quixotism' is an LP performed in five distinct suites, each deliberately and precisely driven by one particular constant: the percussive work of Thomas Brinkmann. Aside from this, Ambarchi lets his experimental compositions wonder through different spaces, motifs and timbres.
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- Quixotism by Oren Ambarchi
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 23 October 2014
Prolific antipodean noisemaker Oren Ambarchi's only gone and done another album, but don't expect more of the cheeseball boogie-buzz heroics that made his recent ZZ Top collaboration, 'Stacte Karaoke', such a rip-roaring listen -- he's in a much more cerebral and understated mode here. 'Quixotism' was put together over the course of three years, in studios in Cologne, Reykjavik, Melbourne, Seattle, London, LA and Tokyo, and features contributions from all sorts of familiar names including Eyvind Kang, Jim O'Rourke, John Tilbury, Crys Cole and Ilan Volkov & the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra(!). The most dominant sound source, though, comes from Thomas Brinkmann, whose "computable drums with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem" stretch across all five movements of this album-long piece.
Comparisons to his recent album-long track 'Sagittarian Domain' are inevitable, but while that one had a krautrock-ish, propulsive and rockin' payoff, 'Quixotism' is quiet and reserved, driven by a double-time electronic pulse, with the album's opening minutes allowing it to gently infect the listener's consciousness in a slow fade-in from silence, a flickering paranoid throb. By the third movement this develops into a gently stumbling polyrhythmic loop, and in the closing section U-zhaan joins in on tabla.
Alongside these soft but relentless rhythms, various textures drift in and out of focus: eerie guitar drones, orchestral strings, burbling modular synths and strange rustling textures are slowly and constantly morphing throughout the record's duration. It's hardly the most accessible of Ambarchi's works, the composer citing the cold rhythms of Cologne techno and the microscopic texture-worlds of Eliane Radigue as influences this time round, but his tireless explorations of tone and repetition are ceaselessly fascinating.
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