Oren Ambarchi continues with his bold mission to make an infinite number of records with every notable musician in the world. Hubris is a mighty work that contains contributions from Arto Lindsay, Mark Fell and regular collaborator Jim O’Rourke, as well as Ricardo Villalobos and Keith Fullerton Whitman and crys cole… Amazingly, Oren knits them all together into a groove-heavy coherent whole, Out on Editions Mego.
LP £16.99 EMEGO227
LP on Editions Mego.
CD £13.99 EMEGO227
CD on Editions Mego.
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- Hubris by Oren Ambarchi
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The implausibly prolific Oren Ambarchi, the I’ve Been Everywhere of free improvisation, the free jazz orchestra bud… here he is: again. Laurie and I have something of an affection for Ambarchi’s solo records, because he tends to give them front covers that are just full of a bunch of a thing: chairs, collars, and in this case… uh… beads? Eyeballs? Whatever the case, Ambarchi’s year has been so strong on the collaborative front -- I’m partial, in particular, to the amazing muzak meditation Pale Calling with Kassel Jaeger and James Rushford -- that we’re absolutely dying to hear this.
Swinging back over to Editions Mego, Ambarchi offers two long-form tracks and a wee one to split them up, opening the record with a groaning motorik groove that I imagine might have been informed by the contributions of steadfast danceman Ricardo Villalobos, who appears on the record alongside a bunch of other Ambarchi sitcom characters (Jim O’Rourke, Will Guthrie, Mark Fell… phew, so much information!). It’s safe to say he all but forgets about the rhythm, letting it perpetuate while he makes flourishes tiny and obnoxious: the synthy squeaks that burst out around the eleventh minute are exciting for how out of place they feel, while the fret-smacks and tinny beats that lead the piece out seem to apologetically lend it some narrative.
They’re just having fun, though! I’d wager the second part of this record could have been made in Ambarchi’s bedroom as a teenager, fucking about with a guitar and stumbling on a particular good multi-sectioned riff. Voices interrupt proceedings in the background, quietly muttering in agreement with each-other behind the simple guitar figure, before the solo-but-band team go into “Hubris Part 3”, which feels like a lounge band making noise -- the Mark Fell of it all is there, with dissonant squaking, while guitars fight each-other over whether proceedings should be fluid or furious. The whole time, though, it feels like the groove is winning out, like the raucous noise can’t get to you if you’ve got a beat under its wing. More loveliness from Ambarchi, even in its temper tantrums.
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