TOUCH.30 // Oren Ambarchi + Daniel Menche + BJ Nilsen

Oren Ambarchi

Monday 2nd April 2012


Door Times : 8pm



An evening celebrating Touch's 30th anniversary and the release of Oren Ambarchi's striking new album 'Audience of One' - a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock. Ambarchi will perform alongside the unparalleled aural intensity of Daniel Menche and BJ Nilsen's layered sound environments.


Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK).

Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.

From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On recent releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum's Embrace Ambarchi has employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar.

Ambarchi works with simple constructs and parameters; exploring one idea over an extended duration and patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture; the phenomena of sum and difference tones; carefully tended arrangements that unravel gently; unprepossessing melodies that slowly work their way through various permutations; resulting in an otherworldly, cumulative impact of patiently unfolding compositions.

Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, Pimmon, Keiji Haino, John Zorn, Rizili, Voice Crack, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker, z'ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release.

Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for international labels such as Touch, Southern Lord, Table Of The Elements and Tzadik. In 2003 his live release Triste received an 'honourary mention' in the Prix Ars Electronica digital music category.

On Audience of One, Oren Ambarchi, presents a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock. While his previous solo albums for Touch have exhibited a clear progression towards augmenting and embellishing his signature bass-heavy guitar tones with fragile acoustic instrumentation, Audience of One, while also existing in clear continuity with his previous recordings, opens the next chapter in his catalogue of solo works. Remarkable in its confidence and breadth, but also in the sensuous immediacy of its details, this is the first time a single record has come close to encapsulating Ambarchi’s musical personality in its full range and singularity; as, among other guises in addition to the guitar based solo-works he is best known for, electro-acoustic improviser with Keith Rowe, explorer of the outer limits of rock with Sunn O))) and Keiji Haino, and, in the epic yet faithful Ace Frehley cover which closes the record, classic rock enthusiast.


Daniel Menche spills musical blood in a manner invested with a deeply personal sense of wonder and humanity that pours from the speaker channels, casting him as a totally singular figure in the world of audio limit-pushing. Gushing waterfalls, storms, throat, skin, heart, massive drums, kids choirs, acoustic instruments, pianos and organs, junk electronics, high tech electronics, garbage, dirt, gold and diamonds . . . There are no rules. Any and all sounds are possible conduits to music. There are absolutely no barriers or biases in what can be used.

With scores of releases on cornerstone labels like Editions Mego, Important, Touch and Sub Rosa and close ties with a host of similarly broad-spectrum adventurers from Stephen O’ Malley through to Vicki “People Like Us” Bennett, Menche is an invigorating and engrossing onstage force, whether coaxing relentless and all-enveloping waves of sound from his own body via metal objects and a bank of pedals or in accompaniment to his own eye-poppingly intense visual work, with the uncompromising majesty of the natural world a recurring theme.

‘Guts’, a new record of ‘abused and thrashed piano noise', is out now on Editions Mego, and a 12”, ‘Quanta Of Light’, drops soon as part of Touch Music’s ‘White Label Vinyl Series’.

Daniel Menche Website


BJNilsen born in 1975. He has been active with experimental music for over 20 years. For the past 10 years he has been releasing albums on Touch, making music and sound design for documentary film, television and commercials.

He is focused on the sound of nature and its effect on humans, field recordings and the perception of time and space as experienced through sound, offten electronically treated.

BJNilsen has collaborated with Chris Watson, Hildur Gudnadottir, Philip Jeck and Stilluppsteypa amongst others.

BJ Nilsen live at cafe OTO from Gianmarco Del Re on Vimeo.

BJ Nilsen website


Touch's first release was Feature Mist [T1] in December 1982, so 2012 is their 30th anniversary.

Touch.30 microsite

Read a 3 part interview by Scott McMillan from The Liminal, conducted in a couple of North London pubs over the last few weeks of 2011...

Part One: Ritual
Part Two: Contact
Part Three: Vectors