Oren Ambarchi/ Robbie Avenaim/ Keith Rowe + Otomo Yoshihide + Sachiko M - Thumb (10.2002)
The moment before a rock band steps on stage: the amplifiers have been hooked up and are humming, the glaring flood lights are buzzing, a roadie is fiddling round with a drum set, pushes it a few centimeters until it is at the perfect place. Above all the atmosphere is electrified.
This is the atmosphere the music on Thumb conveys. Of course a rock band will never step on stage, of course, the musicians make music the entire time (even when you don't believe it, because you don't think you can hear it! Here stand, or rather sit, five musicians on stage).
This CD is the result of a recording or stage situation, happening so suddenly, that happened on May 29, 2001 in the legendary Paris Club, Instants Chavires. The trio Ambarchi/Avenaim/Rowe (two prepared guitars, a little electronics and percussion) were on tour at the time in France (their first tour) and met the duo Otomo/Sachiko (guitar, turntables and sine wave generator), who are well-established and have proven themselves through uncountable recordings.
[Do we have to introduce the musicians? Hardly. Ambarchi, Rowe, Yoshihide and M have strongly influenced the new improvised music of the 90's on numerous records and leave no doubt that they are playing the music of the moment in the new decade. Avenaim, the percussionist, or roadie who pushes the drum set around, is a bit less well-known. He is the closest musical friend of Ambarchi, both went to the same school and together worked through free jazz 15 years ago. Up to today the have been playing together. His musical contribution is not a decibel less important than his friend's.]
The result of this meeting is not a hectic-unconcentrated jam session, not a labored search and then a timid find. What we hear is maximal concentration. And consolidation-not, however, in view of noise and energy. They condense their music activity into two or three lines: tender, but played all the more resolute and direct. The five play in this moment exactly as secure as if they had played together for years. Thumb features the entire performance of this quintet. Although it lasted only a little longer than a half-an-hour, the overview is quickly lost. Have they already finished (have they even begun?)? How long have they been playing? Ten minutes? Twenty? An hour? At the end, their sound actually leaves not question unanswered.
Thumb is the beginning of a series of CDs that will focus on the cooperation of Oran Ambarchi and Keith Rowe. In Spring 2003, a CD will appear from Ambarchi, Rowe, and Avenaim, then in Summer 2003 with Rowe and Ambarchi as duo, recorded in real time.
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GROB433 Olaf Rupp - Scree