Album of the Week: Oren Ambarchi | Shebang

It’s hard not to believe that our connections to certain music are nothing more than chance encounters that occur in transitory moments, flickering like a projector with missing slides until something clicks.

But as the saying goes, you have to be in to win it, so spending real time listening to new music creates the possibility of clicks beyond chance.

I’ve already written about Oren Ambarchi’s stunning Ghosted with Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin which came out last year along with Shebang. Here, Ambarchi on guitars & whatnot is joined by Chris Abrahams (piano), Johan Berthling (acoustic bass), BJ Cole (pedal steel), Sam Dunscombe (bass clarinet), Jim O’Rourke (synths), Julia Reidy (12-string guitar), and Joe Talia (drums). The thing is, you’d be hard pressed to say exactly who is doing what at any given moment during this 35 minute 4-part invention.

From the liner notes:

Bridging minimalism, contemporary electronics, and classic ECM stylings, and bringing together a cast of preternaturally talented contributors, Shebang is unmistakably the work of Oren Ambarchi: obsessively detailed, relentlessly rhythmic, unabashedly celebratory.

This music is hypnotic, turning things topsy-turvy and back over again, over and over until up is down and down is over and out and you’re left in a very different place from where you began (I love when that happens).