Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 5 out of 5
Standing pretty close to the edge of the ambient avant-garde, Oren Ambarchi displays his skills as a master sound painter on this album. He works primarily with electric guitars, but after the strange treatments, edits, and feedback orbs that make up this album, even Brian Eno would have trouble figuring out how a six-stringed instrument made these sounds.
The album opens with the ten minute "Corkscrew." According to the liner notes, the very ambient track was made exclusively with guitar, but it's difficult to rationalize that with the overlapping, brain narcoticizing carrier tones that make up the track. It comes across as an even more primal version of Coil's drones on Time Machines, which I would not previously have imagined possible.
On "Remedios the Beauty," which logs in as side C on my record, we get to hear a few more instruments as Ambarchi further extends his sonic world. There's a bit of percussion and bells added in, which serve to suggest abstract hints of world music and jazz. This is a very relaxing album, but I'd hesitate to label it new age as the sounds are likely to hold your mind hostage.
I understand Mr. Ambarchi has a new album coming out next month. I'm looking forward to hearing it as the sounds here seem to lay out the groundwork needed to create a whole new sonic vocabulary.
Oren Ambarchi - 2006 - Grapes From the Estate