Oren Ambarchi | Simian Angel
Editions Mego (LP/DL)
Two nice and lengthy leftfield tracks from Oren Ambarchi with the assistance of Cyro Baptista (percussion/voice). Palm Sugar Candy is a rather slow and meandering inner-thought charged piece with an curling synth drone and an open village folk tom tom. In its muted wash of faded neural vitality there is breadth to spare. Baptista uses his vocalese in an arpeggio-style, though the addition is fused well into the mix. Simian Angel incorporates microsound orchestrated in new ways, with an ambient drone backdrop and a beguiling sense of hushed, abstract rhythm.
The guitar strings are nary audible in the traditional sense, here looped and recycled and pedaled into a copiously indistinguishable mesh of intonations to cool the modern psyche. Stretched, and stretched into a new form of lightness, of being and into a lucid kinesthesia.
The title track loosely picks up where the initial piece started, here the minimal percussion, somewhat in the tribal sense, begins to sizzle gloriously. The piece seems to be a bit more aligned towards funk roots, perhaps with a nod to dub, without bending towards the known. The artist’s love of rhapsodic Brazilian themes comes through with stylish flourishes of free beats without compromise and ends up with a soothing piano melody that earnestly shifts the mood completely. There seem to be inferences to states of mind here, after all referring to our closest mammal ancestors in the past tense brings to mind the futuristic iterations of writer Pierre Boulle (La Planète des singes). The bold turn mid track, which is surprising at first, happens gradually, and evolves with a similar set of percussive rhythms in the final stage of this piece.
I feel like I am listening to an entirely reinvented version of Ambachi here, someone (like myself) who has reached mid-career and has an unearthed vocabulary of sophisticated, intricate visions in his back pocket.