Continuing on from "Sagittarian Domain" & "Quixotism", Oren Ambarchi joins forces with Jim O'Rourke, Chris Cole, Keith Fullerton Whitmanm, Konrad Sprenger, Mark Fell, Will Guthrie, Joe Talia, Ricardo Villalobos and Arto Lindsay for this album of driving rhythm and sound.
Label: Editions Mego
Released in: Austria
Hubris continues the exploration of relentless, driving rhythms heard on Ambarchi's Sagittarian Domain (2012) and Quixotism (2014). Where those records looked to Krautrock and techno for their starting points, the sidelong opening track here begins from the perhaps unlikely inspirations of disco and new wave, drawing particularly from Ambarchi's love of Wang Chung's soundtrack to William Friedkin's To Live and Die in L.A. Leaving behind the song-forms of these reference points, Ambarchi weaves a sustained and pulsating web of layered palm-muted guitars from which individual voices rise up and recede, eventually setting the stage for some lush guitar synth from Jim O'Rourke. Arnold Dreyblatt collaborator Konrad Sprenger contributes overtone-rich motorized guitar, pushing the piece into a satisfying intersection of shimmering minimalism and rhythmic drive that smoothly builds up until the entrance of Mark Fell's electronic percussion in its final section.
After a short second part, in which Ambarchi, O'Rourke and Crys Cole pay tribute to the skewed harmonic sense of Albert Marcoeur with a track built from layered bass guitar figures and abstracted speech, the long final piece pushes the concept of the first side into darker and denser areas. Joined by electronic rhythms from Ricardo Villalobos and the twin drums of Joe Talia and Will Guthrie, the layered guitars of the first piece are transformed into a raw and tumbling fusion-funk groove that calls to mind early Weather Report or even the first Golden Palominos LP. As this stellar rhythm section rides a single repeated chord change into oblivion, a series of spectacular events emerge in the foreground: first, aleatoric synthesizer burbles from Keith Fullerton Whitman, then slashing skronk guitar from Arto Lindsay, until finally Ambarchi's own fuzzed-out guitar harmonics take center stage as the piece builds to an ecstatic frenzy. Few artists could hope to include such an incredible variety of collaborators on one record and still hope for it to have a unique identity, but Ambarchi manages to do just that, crafting three pieces that emerge directly out of his previous work while also pushing ahead into new dimensions."-Francis PlagneAlso available on vinyl LP.
• Show Bio for Oren Ambarchi
"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).
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 recent 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, z'ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release.
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. The festival hosted over 200 local and international performers. 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 recently co-curated the sound program for the 2008 Yokohama Triennale."-Oren Ambarchi Website (http://orenambarchi.com/category/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Jim O'Rourke
"O'Rourke was born on January 18, 1969 in Chicago, Illinois. He is an alumnus of DePaul University. He has released albums of jazz, noise, glitchy electronica and rock music. O'Rourke has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Brigitte Fontaine, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Phew, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and in 2006 mixed Joanna Newsom's album Ys. In 2009, he also mixed several tracks on Newsom's follow up Have One On Me.
He has produced albums by artists such as Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Superchunk, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple. He mixed Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy Award for "Best Alternative Album". During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O'Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA. He also mixed the unfinished recordings that made up a planned third album by the late American singer-songwriter Judee Sill, recorded in 1974 and mixed by O'Rourke for a 2005 release.
O'Rourke was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol (with David Grubbs) and Sonic Youth. Beginning in 1999 he played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group. He withdrew as a full member in late 2005, but continued to play with them in some of their side projects. In the early 1993, O'Rourke formed an avant-rock group with Darin Gray and Dylan Posa called Brise-Glace. The band released one studio album, When in Vanitas..., in 1994. They also released a 7" in the same year titled In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan.
O'Rourke has also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles. His most well-known works may be his series of releases on Drag City, which focus on more traditional songcraft: Bad Timing (1997), Eureka (1999), Insignificance (2001), The Visitor (2009) and Simple Songs (2015). The titles of the first four albums all refer to films by the British director Nicolas Roeg; the first three by direct reference to film titles, the fourth being titled after a fictional album within Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth. With music director Takehisa Kosugi, he played for the Merce Cunningham dance company for four years. O'Rourke received a 2001 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_O'Rourke_(musician))
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• Show Bio for Mark Fell
"Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield (UK). After studying experimental film and video art at Sheffield City Polytechnic he reverted to earlier interests in computational technology, music and synthetic sound. In 1998 he began a series of critically acclaimed record releases on labels including Mille Plateaux, Line, Editions Mego and Raster Noton. Fell is widely known for exploring the relationships between popular music styles, such as electronica and club musics, and typically academic approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems. Since his early electronic music pieces Fell's practice has expanded to include moving image works, sound and light installation, choregoraphy, critical texts, curatorial projects and educational activites. He has worked with a number of artists including Yasunao Tone, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Okkyung Lee, Luke Fowler, Peter Gidal, John Chowning, Ernest Edmonds, Peter Rehberg, Oren Ambarchi and Carl Michael Von Hausswolff.
The diversity and importance of Fell's practice is reflected in the range and scale of international institutions that have presented his work which include - Hong Kong National Film archive, The Baltic (Gateshead), Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Laboral (XIxon), The Institute of Contemporary Art (London), Royal Festival Hall (London), The Serpentine (London), The Australian Centre For Moving Image, Artists Space (NYC), Issue Project Room (NYC), Corcoran (DC), Curtis R.Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (NY), Lampo/Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (Chicago), Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe), Hanger Biccoca (Milan) and others. Fell's work is in the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna) and has as been recognised by ARS Electronica (Linz)."-Mark Fell Website (http://www.markfell.com/wiki/index.php?n=Mf.Biography)
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• Show Bio for Will Guthrie
"Will Guthrie is an Australian drummer / percussionist living in France. He works in many different settings of music: live performance, improvisation and studio composition using various combinations of drums, percussion, objects, junk, amplification and electronics..He plays solo and in various projects such as THE AMES ROOM & THE SOMMES ENSEMBLE. His music has been released on labels such as Gaffer Records, Erstwhile, Clean Feed, 23five, Editions Mego, Ipecac, iDEAL and his own label Antboy Music.
While studying jazz and improvised music(s) at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, alongside Ren Walters he started the weekly concert series 'Improvised Tuesdays', now known as the Make It Up Club and is Australia's longest running performance space dedicated to experimental and improvised musics. In Nantes, France he is part of the collective CABLE# which also organizes regular concerts and an annual festival. He also runs the experimental improvised CD label and mail-order service; ANTBOY MUSIC.
He plays solo using different combinations of drums, percussion, amplification and electronics, in minimalist/maximalist free jazz trio THE AMES ROOM (with Jean-Luc Guionnet & Clayton Thomas), as well as the improvised/composed ensemble THE SOMMES ENSEMBLE (with Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, Julien Desperez & Maxime Petit).
Regular collaborators past and present include Jérôme Noetinger, Oren Ambarchi, Anthony Pateras, Chulki Hong, Keith Rowe, David Maranha, Toma Gouband, Erell Latimier, Ava Mendoza, Adam Sussmann, Matt Earle, Ren Walters, Helmut Schafer, David Ades, Mark Simmonds, the film maker Hangjun Lee and choreographer/dancer Mette Ingvartsen."-Will Guthrie Website (http://will-guthrie.com/index.php?/about/)
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• Show Bio for Joe Talia
"Joe Talia is an Australian drummer, composer and record producer/engineer based in Tokyo. He first established his reputation as a drummer in contemporary jazz and improvised music fields in which he is now active as a member of the ARIA award winning Andrea Keller Quartet and in numerous collaborative projects, including a long-term duo with Oren Ambarchi. In the last few years a great deal of his work as a drummer has taken place alongside outsider singer-songwriters (such as Ned Collette, Yuko Kono and Francis Plagne), in groups which synthesize his adventurous, exploratory drumming with the demands of song form. His longstanding musical partnership with Ned Collette has resulted in four records, on which Talia acts as both drummer and producer/engineer, most recently Networking in Purgatory (Bronze Rat 2013).
Talia also works in the realm of electro-acoustic composition and performance, working with reel-to-reel tape machines and other analogue devices. Following the release of his musique concrete suite in/exterior in 2006, he established a duo with composer James Rushford. Although the duo's working methods and sound sources have changed radically between releases (and even performances), all of their work breathes the same peculiar air of lingering obsession and decayed virtuosity. Having worked with extended instrumental timbres and rapid-fire electro-acoustic techniques on previous releases, their most recent LP Manhunter (Kye 2013) develops a unique palette of submerged synthesizers, expiring drum machines and domestic detritus.
In addition to the collaborations above he has performed, recorded and toured with Jim O'Rourke, Anthony Pateras, Richard Pinhas, John Duncan, Brous, Mary Halvorson, The Australian Art Orchestra, Thembi Soddell, Anthea Caddy, Sean Baxter, Robbie Avenaim, David Shea, Marco Fusinato, Rand and Holland, Adam Simmons, Magic Mountain Band, among others. As a studio engineer, producer and mixer he has worked on records for Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O'Malley, Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, Fire! and many others."-Joe Talia Website (http://www.joetalia.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Ricardo Villalobos
"Ricardo Villalobos (born 1970) is a Chilean-born German electronic music producer and DJ. He is well known for his work in the minimal techno and microhouse genres, and is one of the most significant figures in today's minimal techno scene. Villalobos was born in Chile in 1970. In 1973 he moved to Germany with his family to escape the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who had seized power that year. When Villalobos was around 10 or 11 he started to play conga and bongos. He began making electronic music in the late 80s. From a very young age he has been a big fan of Depeche Mode, following their tours around Europe to listen to them.
Villalobos began to play his music at parties while he was studying at university, but this was only for his own enjoyment. He started a label, Placid Flavour, in 1993 but this was unsuccessful. His first record was released on the German Playhouse label in 1994 and he began DJing as a professional in 1998. In 2006 Villalobos, along with Richie Hawtin and Luciano, played to around 300,000 people at the Berlin Loveparade. At the end of 2008 and 2010, he came first in Resident Advisor's Top 100 DJs of the year."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricardo_Villalobos)
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• Show Bio for Arto Lindsay
"Arto Lindsay (b. 1953) has stood at the intersection of music and art for more than four decades. As a member of DNA, he contributed to the foundation of No Wave. As bandleader for the Ambitious Lovers he developed an intensely subversive pop music,a hybrid of American and Brazilian styles.. Throughout his career, Lindsay has collaborated with both visual and musical artists, including Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Animal Collective, Matthew Barney, Caetano Veloso and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Having been involved with carnaval in Brazil for many years in 2004 he began making parades."-Arto Lindsay Website (http://artolindsay.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Konrad Sprenger
"Konrad Sprenger is the pseudonym of Joerg Hiller, a composer, music producer and artist based in Berlin. He was born in 1977 in Lahr, Germany. Hiller runs the Choose record label, for which he has produced recordings by artists Ellen Fullman, Arnold Dreyblatt, Robert Ashley and Terry Fox among others. Since 2000 Hiller regularly performs and works together with minimal music composer Arnold Dreyblatt and composer/ instrument builder Ellen Fullman, the bands Ethnostress and Ei and collaborates with the art collective Honey-Suckle Company. His recent focus has been on live performance with a computer-controlled multi-channel electric guitar.
His music and installation work have been presented at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berghain, Gallery Giti Nourbakhsch, Podewil, Schaubühne, Pavillon der Volksbühne, Berlin; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden; Frankfurter Kunstverein; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart; Kunsthalle Basel; MoMA PS1, New York; Cubitt Gallery, London; Sonar, Barcelona among others. About the computer-controlled multi-channel electric guitar: Konrad Sprenger explores rhythmic patterns based on the Euclidean algorithm, to evoke a kind of cognitive insecurity through metrical dissonance. Sprenger approaches the strings of the guitar as frequency generators, tuned and set into motion by various electronically controlled mechanical actions. The music relates to the insistent rhythms of Minimalism, Krautrock and Techno, and their shared focus on transcendence through propulsive, full-spectrum sound. The custom-built instrument was conceived by Konrad Sprenger, and realized by Sukandar Kartadinata and Daniel van den Eijkel."-Konrad Sprenger Website (http://www.konradsprenger.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Keith Fullerton Whitman
"Keith Fullerton Whitman is a composer & musician currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Beginning in the early 90's while working towards a Bachelor's Degree in "Music Synthesis" Degree at Boston's Berklee College of Music, Keith began exploring electronic music's many facets, eventually yielding dozens of recordings for influential labels such as Kranky, Editions Mego, PAN, Planet µ, Carpark, Room40, Amethyst Sunset, Amish, NNA Tapes, No Fun Productions, Agents of Chaos, Arbor, Digitalis Limited, Ekhein, Heavy Tapes, Rare Youth, Root Strata, and many more.
These days his creative energies are largely put into the continued development of a singular take on "Live Electronic Music" incorporating an ever-changing hybrid software & hardware-based system that allows for the desired complexities of sound & vision. While this work has recently manifested itself as a pair of albums for Editions Mego entitled "Generators" & "Occlusions," it's largely intended for the stage. More recently, Keith has been performing a piece titled "Redactions," incorporating thematically & geographically relevant Musique Concrète elements into the modular setup. He is set to launch a new series of scalable, equestrian-themed digital music frameworks under the "Grid Work" banner in early 2017."-Keith Fullerton Whitman Website (http://www.keithfullertonwhitman.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Crys Cole
"Crys Cole is a Canadian sound artist working in composition, performance and sound installation. Cole's approach to sound emphasizes subtlety and discretion, guided by a fascination with microsonics that test the limits of audibility and intentionality. By drawing attention to the texture and delicacy of minimal sonic environments, cole aims to create a heightened awareness not only of the sounds she creates, but of the environmental sounds that arise during listening - and ideally, of the listener's own self-consciousness as a perceptual body and agent.
She has performed in Canada, Japan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, the USA and throughout Europe. cole has ongoing collaborations with James Rushford (AU) (under the name Ora Clementi) and with Oren Ambarchi (AU). She has also worked with Keith Rowe, Lance Austin Olsen, Jamie Drouin, Mathieu Ruhlmann, Tetuzi Akiyama, Seiji Morimoto, Jessika Kenney, echo ho, Tim Olive and many more. Cole's work has been published on labels Black Truffle (AU), Penultimate Press (UK), Touch (UK), MeGO (AT), caduc (CA), Bocian (PL), Another Timbre (UK) and Infrequency editions (CA/DE). She has exhibited in Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the UK and Thailand."-Crys Cole Website (https://cryscole.com/about/)
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Label: Editions Mego
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Recorded April 2015 to February 2016 in Rotherham (at The Upper Lounge, Chatham Street, engineered by Mark Fell), Berlin (Choose Studio by Jorg Hiller & Villalobos Studio by Ricardo Villalobos), Tokyo (Steamroom by Jim O'Rourke), Brooklyn, NY (Strange Weather Studio by Daniel Schlett), Melbourne (Chinatown by Joe Talia & at Jerker House [misspelled as "Jorker House"] by Oren Ambarchi), Nantes (at MY Studio by Yann Jaffiol)
Oren Ambarchi-guitar, voice
Jim O'Rourke-bass, synth, guitar synthesizer
Joe Talia-drums, bass
Ricardo Villalobos-electronic drums, electronics
Keith Fullerton Whitman-synth
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1. Hubris (Part 1) 21:47
2. Hubris (Part 2) 1:53
3. Hubris (Part 3) 16:34