Boomkat Product Review:
One of Oren Ambarchi’s starkest, most singular releases, ‘Sleepwalker’s Conviction’ is a hauntingly minimal hymn to hypnagogic states, with Ambarchi’s sonorous subbass strokes accompanied by a 20 piece ensemble conducted by Ilan Volkov, and featuring members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Speak Percussion.
Giving spectral life to the kind of sounds one might associate with conditions of sleep paralysis, quaaludes, or staring into the abyss, ‘Sleepwalker’s Conviction’ ranks in the most chthonic of Ambarchi’s outings. Focussing on his bass guitar and swirling Leslie textures, he acts as a dark, liminal interpreter for other dimensions, helming a border between waking and dreaming life where sounds seep subtly across the threshold, eschewing anything bombastic or tangible in favour of a slow, gaseous form of intoxication or ordering of the senses.
The sound is incredibly deep, steep, and wide, rendered with pendulous, searching bass tones that appear to roam across the record’s massive sound stage, scouting cavernous spaces reminiscent of Leyland Kirby’s creaking visions as The Stranger, or the kind of oceanic plateaus which Gavin Bryars’ classic ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’ comes to describe. Truth be told, it’s pretty fucking petrifying down there, with Ambarchi’s unshakeable conviction and the sheer breadth and detailed layering of the sound serving to heighten the state of suspended disbelief, and ultimately submerge susceptible souls in over their head.