Oren Ambarchi: Hubris (CD, Editions Mego, October 2016)

Oren Ambarchi has amassed a very impressive set of collaborators for this record — I shan’t list them here, you can get that and all sorts of technical information on the label’s site. Even more impressive is how he’s managed to weave all that together and end up with something not only cohesive but with a strong sense of Ambarchi’s own style.

The first track is a 22 minutes long and beautifully driving and hypnotic, bringing together elements of krautrock, techno, and disco grooves. There are a variety of guitar techniques and processes going on here, plus some electronic magic. One to lock in and lie back to.

The second track is a 2-minute palate-cleanser, dominated by heavily munged and cut up voices… I see why it’s there, but I have to admit I find it a little distracting.

The third track is 16½ minutes of sheer joy. It’s built around the same kind of looped guitar line as the first, but the surrounding matter is denser and more chaotic, starting with a sort of irregular percussion (that thing where there’s a couple of drum beats which are suddenly just a bit too loud is unmistakably Ricardo Villalobos) and progressing some lovely synth work from the mighty Keith Fullerton Whitman and thence to a total wig-out of a fuzzed-up guitar solo, jazzy and unhinged, the sort of thing which I would normally have no time but here it’s so superbly grounded by the discipline of those loops and it’s just soooo satisfying.

I bought this from the label.

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