Boomkat Product Review:
Robbie Avenaim and Oren Ambarchi played together in cult Aussie outfit Phlegm, and have coIlaborated extensively since, most notably on Alter Rebbe's Nigun (1999), a radical collision of noise and traditional Jewish textual influences. Dream Request is an edit of a live performance they gave in Tel Aviv in 2009, and it's just astonishing in its power, at once guttural and transcendental. These are true artists at work, and their long personal and professional association lends their musical interactions here a genuinely telepathic quality, their imperceptible yolking of percussion, guitar and electronics combining all the unfettered force of improv with a staggeringly full-bodied and elegant sound design. The A-side begins pensively, but the prompt arrival of rafter-shaking sub-low vibrations in classic Ambarchi style make Dream Request's darker intentions abundantly clear. Before long the percussion takes centre-stage, fluttering itself into a kind of demonically possessed jazz seizure; by the time it recedes, you've hardly noticed the sinewy musculature of earthquaking industrial drones that has built up around it. Pt. 2 reaches deeper into the abyss, reminding us of Ambarchi's work in Gravetemple, Burial Chamber Trio and Sunn O)). The swamp brutality heads inexorably to a cavernous drum climax which, if you listen askew, sounds almost like broken techno - no, not broken, smashed to smithereens. Listening to this record it's sometimes hard to believe that it was recorded live, so richly textured and modulated are its many layers of doom; not for the first time in their careers, Ambarchi and Avenaim have crafted something which evokes the highest spiritual drama.
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