Collecting Records

Reviews and pictures from Sietse's record collection

Top 10 2012 #6: Oren Ambarchi – Audience Of One (Touch, 2012)


This year has been a great year for the Oren Ambarchi fan. He released three solo albums and a huge amount of collaborations. I didn’t hear all of the for example I missed out on the Fire! with Oren Ambarchi LP which got some great reviews and got recommended to me by at least 5 people the last two weeks alone, but from those I did hear for me Audience Of One really summarizes up the year in a good way, that while it was the first one to come out. It is presented as solo album, but on ever track Ambarchi gets help from several other musicians.

One the album we find four tracks and it directly kicks in very well with the first one. In the song Salt (yes, Ambarchi made a real song) he gets help from the singer Paul Duncan (who he did already remix some years ago for the song Parasoil). For sure I can say this is one of my favorite songs of the year and it shows that these two together are an amazing couple. The combination of Ambarchi’s well known minimal guitar play works very well with the warm voice of Duncan creating a somewhat “new romantic” atmosphere. Hopefully both gentlemen feel the same and decide to work more together from now on (how about an album guys?).

The second track Knots is something totally different. Here we get a much more free piece with eclectic drumming, noisy guitars, droning violins and horns and much more. In this 33 minutes piece he gets help from a huge amount of people who all benefit well in their own expertise. The list is too long to mention but the influence from at least Eyvind Kang is apparant.
The music at it self is very diverse. It starts out very rough and chaotic like some kind of free jazz kind of thing, but to the end knows to find a more quiet pace, with sustained sounds creating a more modern classical feeling. While different in setup this fits in very well with the album Sagitarian Domain (out on Editions Mego).This piece is quite the trip and can be considered as main piece of the album (though I personally prefer the first song).

The album is closed with the more quiet pieces again, where it starts with the modern classical Passage, which is again with Eyvind Kang but also with Kang’s wife Jessica Kenney. The music here is more eerie, somehow dreamy. Soft piano play with the voice of Kenney singing along with it. After the previous piece this is one got more relaxed again. It is a small beauty, which also seems to be its intent. Nothing more, nothing less.

The last track on the album is quite the change again, not so much in dynamics or such. But specially in the sense of what we get to hear. Fractured Mirror is more a folkpop song than anything else. We get to hear an acoustic guitar playing a very poppy melody, while in the background there are soft drum rhythms. It is a lush song and funny enough very unlike what one would expect from Ambarchi. To me it is the least interesting song of the album, but somehow the album wouldn’t be complete without it.
In all Audience of One is a really good album which contains some of Ambarchi’s best work up-to-date with Salt and Knots. It can be considered as the icing on the cake if you look at the year of Ambarchi.

And it comes with high recommendation for those new to Ambarchi.

Listen to some samples of Audience Of One:

Buy Audience Of One:


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This entry was posted on December 25, 2012 by in Review, top10 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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