Boomkat Product Review:
Oren Ambarchi reconnects with veteran Belgian percussionist Eric Thielemans on 'Double Consciousness', using his guitar as a fiddle, synth and organ over Thielemans' icy, frenetic patter.
Thielemans has been a fixture in the Belgian improv/jazz scene for decades, collaborating with artists as varied as Kreng, Chantal Acda, Charlemagne Palestine and Mika Vainio and releasing music on Ultra Eczema, Sub Rosa and Miasmah. He joins Ambarchi here once more after appearing on last year's 'ਚੈਨਲKAANALचैनलRÁÐעָרוּץ', and the two seem to share a similar interest in the mutability of cooperation - even the set's title suggests that their collaboration is deeper than your average head-to-head. Here the Berlin-based Aussie plays his prepared guitar alongside an Audobon Bird Call, a 1950s whistle that helps introduce the album, whistling away evocatively while Thielemans rattles on bells and cymbals.
As the piece progresses, Ambarchi contorts his guitar into varying forms, making it sound like a metallophone, a sub-aquatic synthesizer, a violin or a Hammond organ. For his part, Thielemans doesn't just set the rhythm but uses his drum set to punctuate Ambarchi's rich clouds. The two seem completely in step with each other at all times, there's never a stumble or a fall, rather they draw from each other's respective energy - Ambarchi sounds as if he's being carried by Thielemans' tidal flow, and Thielmans sounds invigorated by Ambarchi's measured soundscapes. At its best, they almost freeze time completely, studying their instruments so deeply that they become extensions of pure soul and spirit. Recommended!