Remastered vinyl version of Oren Ambarchi's landmark release, one of his most beautiful records, at once dense, deep and luminous.
Originally released on CD on Touch
in 2004 and reissued on Southern Lord as a limited double LP in 2006 during Ambarchi's tenure as a member of Sunn O))), Grapes from the Estate was a landmark release for Ambarchi, seeing him expand his sonic palette beyond the clipped, bass-heavy electric guitar tones he was known for at that point. Incorporating subtle layers of strings, keyboards, percussion over a bedrock of his signature guitar tones, in retrospect this album can be seen as the beginning of a broadening and evolution in Ambarchi's work that would lead to his acclaimed, densely layered epics for Editions Mego
, Quixotism (2014) and Hubris (2016). Beginning with the shuddering pure tones of opener "Corkscrew", which looks back to previous guitar-only releases such as Suspension (2001), the album's next two pieces show a progressive broadening of the instrumental palette and a corresponding move away from textural abstraction and sustained tones towards more traditional notions of musicality. This reached its high point on the album's third piece, the fifteen-minute long "Remedios The Beauty", where guitars, both acoustic and electric, strings, piano, and bells build from a murmur to an interlockinging web of repeating melodic patterns over gently swinging brushed snare and cymbals. The epic closer, "'Stars Aligned, Webs Spun", returns us to a space populated only by the electric guitar, but unlike everything Ambarchi had produced up until this point in his career, the piece has a liquid, psychedelic edge that looks forward to the shimmering harmonics of his more recent work. As Brendan Walls wrote at the time of the original release, this is 'another outpouring of personal, intimate and enduring music from Oren Ambarchi'.
Presented in a stunning gatefold sleeve featuring the original artwork and design by Jon Wozencroft. Redesigned by Stephen O'Malley
Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin.
Oren Ambarchi (born 1969 in Australia) 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
Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman
and Alvin Lucier
; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.
From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On releases such as Grapes From The Estate
and In The Pendulum's Embrace
Ambarchi has employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.
Ambarchi works with simple constructs and parameters; exploring one idea over an extended duration and patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture; the phenomena of sum and difference tones; carefully tended arrangements that unravel gently; unprepossessing melodies that slowly work their way through various permutations; resulting in an otherworldly, cumulative impact of patiently unfolding compositions.
Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz
, Otomo Yoshihide
, Pimmon, Keiji Haino
, John Zorn
, Rizili, Voice Crack, Jim O'Rourke
, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock
, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker
, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg
, Kassel Jaeger
, Anthony Pateras
, Crys Cole
, Giuseppe Ielasi
, Judith Hamann
, Sunn 0))), James Rushford
, Stephen O'Malley
and many more.
For 10 years together with Robbie Avenaim, Ambarchi was the co-organiser of the What Is Music? festival, Australia's premier annual showcase of local and international experimental music. Ambarchi now curates the Maximum Arousal series at The Toff In Town in Melbourne and has recently co-produced an Australian television series on experimental music called Subsonics. Ambarchi co-curated the sound program for the 2008 Yokohama Triennale.
Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for international labels such as Touch
, Southern Lord, Table Of The Elements and Tzadik. He is the founder of Black Truffle Records