Originally released as a limited edition edition LP of 500 copies, stamped and hand-numbered, pressed on 180 gram black vinyl, with screenprinted covers on the Dancing Wayang label.
The first 100 copies of the LP come with a bonus 3″ CDR which features a specially mixed collage of Alps I & II also included here.
"Dancing Wayang Records is thrilled to announce the imminent release of the label's ninth album -- Alps by Oren Ambarchi & Eli Keszler; a fresh yet seemingly inevitable collaboration of two musicians kicking against limits and genre definitions, recorded and presented with a similar disregard for anything but quality. Alps was recorded in June 2013 at Eastcote Studios in London. Thereafter mixed by frequent Ambarchi associate Joe Talia in Melbourne and mastered by Rashad Becker in Berlin, it comes pressed on 180 gram black virgin vinyl housed in the label's traditional hand-screenprinted wrap-around sleeves featuring cover art by Eli Keszler. Liner notes come courtesy of U.S. musician C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core). Two vinyl-side-long pieces that mix improv, noise, rock, and drone, this is never an easy listen but always a compelling one. Both musicians are compulsive collaborators, with individual oeuvres that span all those genres and others yet to be labeled, and this album reflects and distills their hard-working heritage. They have a similar approach to questioning the fundamentals and exploring the sonic properties of their chosen instruments in a way that is informed by musical theory and learning but manifests itself in a defiantly non-academic, visceral and physical sound, both in intent and experience. Listening to Alps is a discomforting, uneasy and massively rewarding exercise, which denies the listener any steady ground on which to stand. This is evident from the moment that "Alps I" kicks off with piercing bowed cymbals. Percussive elements emerge from deep in the mix, drums without rhythm nor meter. Background and foreground shift tectonically and queasily. A chopping helicopter pulse hovers omnipresently over the battlefield of attacking drums and splintery bass beneath. It is a liquescent, rolling, never-still 20 minutes of multiple musical narratives. From the outset side B upholds the intensity. The conflagration of "Alps II" comes off like a tribute to classic Japanese psych; guitar proudly and consistently in the red, tsunamis of drum rolls. It has a defiant crudeness and rawness to its attack, which belies the intelligence needed to create such a rough-edged sound, the deftness needed to keep the truck-driving momentum on the road".
released August 25, 2014
Oren Ambarchi - guitar and bowed cymbals
Eli Keszler - drums, percussion, bowed cymbals,
crotales, spring harp
Recorded by Philip Bagenal and Anna Tjan at Eastcote Studios London June 26, 2013
Mixed by Joe Talia and Oren Ambarchi at Chinatown, Melbourne September 1, 2013
Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M,
Berlin May 2014
Cover illustration by Eli Keszler
Screenprinting by Midori Ogata and Anna Tjan
Band Photo by Fabio Lugaro
Thanks to Simon Parris / South London Gallery
Oren Ambarchi is published by Touch Music
www.orenambarchi.com www.elikeszler.com www.dancingwayang.com
(c) 2014 Dancing Wayang / Ambarchi / Keszler
Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental
approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK)....more
It's brill. Well worth a few of your hard-earned quid, or whatever currency you're paid in. Something new each time you listen. While I'm here, I'd also highly recommend Ambarchi's 'Quixotism', which is an absolute masterpiece. In fact I'd argue that his work for Editions Mego is the high point (so far) of his career. kralin
A highpoint in the recent Necks catalogue, I'd say, fusing the more textural approach of their later stuff with some of the groove-based energy of their earlier stuff, especially the last track "Further" which is a swaggering bluesy ramble.
Tony Buck's drumming sounds like a wilderness field recording with its layers of sounds built up into large, breathing environments.
The middle track "Lovelock" is a moody, mysterious nocturnal dreamscape. Jascha Narveson