Ah, the healing power of slow oscillation.
I have lost count of the recent reviews published in this blog about Oren Ambarchi’s work in varying contexts. It is not a writer’s fault if the man keeps extracting outstanding albums from his handbag. This one might place the Australian’s vision on the topographic point where spectralism and minimalist dronage meet.
The purpose is immediately made clear: an immensity of grumbling frequencies, bowed metals, sempiternal faraway resonances, the tendency to gradually shift across diverse sonic planes. All is connected. From the underground, the quaking appears as belonging to the “perennially latent” variety; the “submarine chorale” hypothesis is also brought back in selected junctures. Think of a convention including Harley Gaber, Lustmord and Organum; not only for the superficial aspects of the overall vibrancy, but for the willingness to avoid authentic stillness in spite of the work’s monolithic temperament.
To that end, different types of orchestral nuance are employed to fill any crevice of doubt, the entirety of the instrumental sources acting in total symbiosis. Between prescience and redemption, these sounds convey a distinct idea of timelessness. Indeed one would love to bath in there forever, an apparent menace becoming the means for a fine tuning of our internal representations. The upper partials work splendidly, massively: their occasional morphing into a sort of nebular numbness flashes signals of truth, anticipating a progressive physical diminution that we will have to accept with serenity, better sooner than later. Semi-perceptible acoustic colors – emerging on occasion – add further layers of solemnity to an already convincing statement, which in this very moment is being savored amidst strong winds coming from the outside. The leaves and the shrubs have joined a private ritual of temporary detachment from the material.
Sleepwalker’s Conviction is the certification of Ambarchi’s definitive acquisition of the “serious composer” status.