January 2012 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the 72nd Touch Newsletter. Touch opens its 30th anniversary year with a new album by Oren Ambarchi. On "Audience of One", Ambarchi presents a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock.

Our first piece of merchandise for Touch.30 is a T-Shirt designed by Jon Wozencroft, available now in five sizes.

The Touch.30 live events begin in Lisbon, 27-28.01.12, Fim de Semana Especial n.º 3 at Teatro Maria Matos - Bruce Gilbert & Mika Vainio, CM von Hausswolff, Jana Winderen and Leslie Winer in performance.

This is followed by Spire: Live @ Passionskirche, Berlin, 5.02.12 - as part of CTM.12 Festival. In performance: Marcus Davidson, Eleh, Hildur Gudnadottir, Charles Matthews, Jana Winderen, The Eternal Chord and Organology.

Touch Radio 73 is broadcasting now: Fennesz's "On Invisible Pause" was recorded as part of Skånes Dansteater's performance HAZE, November 4th 2011 in Malmö's Skånesdansteater. Stream for free and please subscribe to the Touch Radio series.

Congratulations to Geir Jenssen (Biosphere) for winning a Spellemann Award (Norwegian Grammy), in the Electronic Music section, last night in Oslo. "N-Plants" was released in 2011 and is still available in the TouchShop. Please visit www.touchmusic.org.uk to view other recent news items, such as Jon Wozencroft interviewed by Creative Review, and The Art of Listening 2 - a blog from Touch's residency in Brussels, January 16-20 2012.

Finally, Touch issued a flurry of editions during December 2011, including the fourth in the series of limited White Label vinyls: "Débris" by Jana Winderen - very few copies left! A reminder of December's editions, below.

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TO:83 | Oren Ambarchi "Audience of One"

CD + extended digipak - 4 tracks - 53:51

Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Francois Tetaz at Moose, Melbourne

This item will be shipped the week beginning January 30th 2012.

Track listing:
1. Salt
2. Knots
3. Passage
4. Fractured Mirror

...featuring Josiah Boothby, Crys Cole, Paul Duncan, Stephen Fandrich, Eyvind Kang, Jessika Kenney, Janel Leppin, Natasha Rose, James Rushford, Joe Talia & Elizabeth Welsh.

On "Audience of One", Oren Ambarchi presents a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock. His previous solo albums for Touch 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 these recordings, opens the next chapter.

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. The techniques and strategies developed in his refined improvisational work with Keith Rowe and his explorations of the outer limits of rock with Sunn O))) and Keiji Haino are both in evidence, alongside the meticulous attention to detail and composition of his solo works. And on the cover of Ace Frehley's "Fractured Mirror" which closes the record, Ambarchi even points to his roots as a classic rock fanatic, in an epic yet faithful version which extends the shimmering guitar patters of the original into a rich field of phase patters reminiscent of the classic American minimalism of Reich and Riley.

The album features a multitude of collaborators, who, far from appearing in incidental roles, are integral to the pieces on which they perform: on "Salt", Ambarchi paints a hypnotic, chiming backdrop for Paul Duncan's (Warm Ghost) vocals, and Joe Talia's virtuoso drumming and driving cymbals are at the core of the epic "Knots", in which Ambarchi, alongside a chamber arrangement by Eyvind Kang, weaves a net of frequencies and textures with the organic push and pull of a 70s psych jam, the bass response of a doom metal ritual and the psycho-acoustic precision of an Alvin Lucier composition.

On his previous records, Ambarchi's signature guitar tone was the ever-present bedrock over which other elements sounded. At moments on Audience of One, this disappears entirely, as on the beautiful "Passage", which, recalling the 70s Italian non-academic minimalism of Roberto Cacciapaglia and Giusto Pio, is composed of overlapping tones from Hammond organ and wine glasses, Jessika Kenney's voice, various acoustic instruments, and the delicate amplified textures of Canadian sound-artist Crys Cole. Rather than being provided by any particular sound, the unified feel of "Audience of One" stems simply from the unique, patient sensibility Ambarchi has developed over the last twenty years; abstracting musical forms into their barest forms, while somehow always managing to leave their emotive power intact.
[Francis Plagne]

Buy Oren Ambarchi "Audience of One" [CD] in the TouchShop

T-S30 - Jon Wozencroft "Touch.30"

"Touch.30" T-Shirt, designed by Jon Wozencroft.

2012 is Touch's 30th year, and we have set up a new website to inform you about our activities: 30.touchmusic.org.uk. Here you will find events, archive recordings and other information to mark this anniversary. Our first piece of merchandise is a Touch.30 T-Shirt:

Printed on a black Fruit of the Loom Super Premium T-Shirt.
Position of logo and type: Center Chest, 10cm wide.

Sizes available:  S / M / L / XL / XXL
[please state size preference in the comments box when checking out!]

We are also designing a postcard and various other items, so watch this space for further news...

Buy Jon Wozencroft "Touch.30" [T-Shirt] in the TouchShop

Touch.30 live events, January and February 2012

Touch.30 Live in Lisbon, 27-28.01.12
Fim de Semana Especial n.º 3, Teatro Maria Matos

27th January programme can be viewed here
28th January programme can be viewed here

Bruce Gilbert & Mika Vainio
CM von Hausswolff
Jana Winderen
Leslie Winer


Spire: Live @ Passionskirche, Berlin, 5.02.12
as part of CTM.12 Festival

Marcus Davidson
Hildur Gudnadottir
Charles Matthews
Jana Winderen
The Eternal Chord


Touch.30: CM von Hausswolff interviews Mike Harding
as part of freq_out 8, Moderna Museet, Stockholm 17-19.02.12


Touch Radio 73 | Fennesz

6.01.12 - On Invisible Pause - 48:13 - 192 kbps

Photo: Mats Bäcker.

On Invisible Pause, choreographed by Christopher Arouni, is part of Skånes Dansteater's performance HAZE, November 4th 2011 in Malmö's Skånesdansteater. Mixed by Christopher Arouni, Christian Fennesz & Anders Myhrman.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play Fennesz "On Invisible Pause"


Jana Winderen - Debris

Jana Winderen - Débris [12" Vinyl + 320 kbps MP3]

Fennesz + Sakamoto - Flumina [DCD]

Fennesz + Sakamoto - Flumina [DCD]

Biosphere - Mysterier [7

Biosphere - Mysterier [7" Vinyl Only]

Mike Harding - Repaired/Replaced [7

Mike Harding - Repaired/Replaced [7" Vinyl Only]

The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.