August 2012 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the 81st Touch Newsletter. Oren Ambarchi's Audience of One is now available. In a gatefold sleeve, it contains all the tracks from the CD with an edited version over two tracks of the track "Knots." See below for more details.

Savage Pencil gets in the London 2012 spirit with artwork celebrating the LIZard Queen, available as a T-Shirt in black/white or pretty vacant navy and silver, as well as a signed, hand-stamped A3 print.

Two new TouchRadios are now broadcasting. Lasse Marhaug, live at Non-Event Boston, March 31st 2012, and a document of the first Touch Invites..., recorded earlier this month at Café Oto. Details below.

Finally, Mika Vainio is to return in September with a new solo album on Touch, titled "Fe304 - Magnetite". Watch out for the next Touch Newsletter, within the next two weeks, to order this CD before it hits the shops.

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TO:83V | Oren Ambarchi - "Audience of One"

Gatefold DLP - 5 tracks - Limited edition of 1000

Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition
Originally mastered by Francois Tetaz at Moose, Melbourne

Track listing:
A: Salt
B: Knots pt. 1
C: Knots pt. 2
D1: Passage
D2: Fractured Mirror

[Knots has been edited by the artist for vinyl into two parts]

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 70’s 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 to 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" [DLP] in the TouchShop

also available:
Buy Oren Ambarchi "Audience of One" [CD] in the TouchShop
Buy Oren Ambarchi "Audience of One" [FLAC] in the TouchShop
Buy Oren Ambarchi "Audience of One" [Apple Lossless] in the TouchShop

TTS#02/TPW#05 | SavX - "A Celebration of the LIZard Queen"

The Tapeworm, going for gold, celebrates London 2012 with two Savage Pencil items in honour of our LIZard Queen.

Item one: the T-Shirt in black/white or pretty vacant navy and silver.

Item two: the signed, hand-stamped A3 print.

Buy SavX "A Celebration of the LIZard Queen" [T-Shirt] in the TouchShop

Buy SavX "A Celebration of the LIZard Queen" [A3 Print] in the TouchShop

...and, please investigate SavX's latest project - Battle of the Eyes

T33.2V | Touch 33 - "Islands Inbetween"

LP - edition of 500 vinyl and download only

A new series of vinyl and download only releases, "from the archives...". Islands Inbetween was originally released on cassette in 1983 [Touch # T33.2]. Three tracks, by John Keliehor & Orlando Kimber, have been removed from this edition for copyright reasons.

The second in this series, "Drumming for Creation" [Touch # T33.3V] will be released in the autumn...

Cut by Jason at Transition
Sticker by Jon Wozencroft

Track Listing:
Side One 20'31"

Day and Night
Gending Gending
Degung Instrumental
Cremation Gamelan
Dag combination dance
Ramayana ll

Side Two 17'05"

Temple Gamelan
Frog Sound
Degung instrumental no. 2


Indonesians often use the name 'Nusantara', meaning 'the islands in-between', when referring to the archipelago that forms their Republic. This cassette covers only some of the cultural activity on Java and Bali, the best known islands out of the 13,700 counted by statisticians, so it is not intended to be in any way definitive. The selections are more like musical postcards of two cultures balanced between tradition and tourism.

legend: meridian 105º - 115º east

Side one

There is no specific translation for 'Gending Gending'. The term generally means 'orchestra' or 'gamelan composition'. The Javanese word for hammer is 'gamel', and the music is said to encourage the growth of plants. 'Suling' - the end blown flute. 'Degung instrumental' - from the Sudabese region of West Java to the speakers of tourists cafes. 'Genggong' - the first Balinese instrument, a mouth harp made from the palm and played by Igusti Ngurah Togog at his homestay in Peliatan, Bali. 'Cremation Gamelan' - a portable ensemble plays while the cremation tower is raised from the death pavilion. Before travelling a mile along the Peliatan road to the Temple of the Dead, the tower is spun around on its bearer's shoulders to confuse the soul, preventing its return home to trouble the living. The overture played as the tower is set alight (with a magnifying glass - matches are thought to be unclean), is recorded on 'Touch Travel'. Dag combination dance - in Bali, individual dances are sometimes merged into modern adaptations, not only as a result of tourism - the gamelan elders think popularisation is the best way to attract young people to dance, though dividing lines are difficult to draw. 'Dag' is a combination of 'Kecak' and 'Kebyar', performed from the squatting position in a pantomime style very popular with children. Attention is focused on the facial expressions of the dancers which interpret man's ever-changing moods. 'King Rama' - the story of the 'Kecak' (monkey) dance is taken from the Hindu Ramayana epic and portrays Rama'a search for his wife, Sita, who has been abducted to the monkey forest. Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu, The Creator, and serves as an ideal for the Hindu man. 'Ramayana ll' - the opening sequence of the gamelan acvcompaniment to the 4 part ballet held on the full moon-lit nights of June, July and August at Prambanan temple complex. The largest central temple is dedictade to Shiva, the destroyer. The voices that follow were recorded on a train at Bandung station at 3am, en route to Yogjakarta. Local sellers board trains whatever the hour, and every carriage becomes an indoor market.

Side two

'Watermark' - nightfall by a bridge near the Monkey Forest, Ubud. 'One Language' - there are c. 300 different languages and dialects in Indonesia. After independence in 1945, Bahasa Indonesian became the universally accepted language, though its use had already been encouraged by Nationalists as a political tool against the Dutch colonisers, and sanctioned by Japanese invaders who wished to spread propaganda to the villagers. 'Temple Gamelan' - musicians play while women bring ornately prepared offerings to the temple shrines on auspicious days of the Hindu calendar. Spirits and demons cannot live without food and drink, so the women fan the essence towards the divine recipient before offerings are placed on the ground to waiting dogs. Smaller offerings made daily, are left at strategic points around the house and alongside the ricefields. 'Frog Sound' - the sound comes from the reed mouthpiece of the genggong harp. Played by Togog and his son. 'Ducks' - every morning young boys and old men direct the family ducks out of their pens and along narrow paths into ricefields that are wet enough to paddle in. 'Tenun' - the Balinese weaving dance depicting women working at this traditional craft. 'Anjung' - the name given to the hordes of semi-wild dogs that roam Bali's villages, barking instinctively at any approaching white man. 'Garuda' - Indonesia's national symbol is the Garuda bird. Vishnu's chosen vehicle and thus the king of flight associated with creative energy. Garuda is a dominant motif in Indonesian art, the name of the national airline and the seal of the official state coat of arms, beneath which appears the words 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' - literally 'many are there but there is only one'.

Buy Touch 33 "Islands Inbetween" [LP] in the TouchShop

Touch Radio 80 | Lasse Marhaug

14.07.12 - Live at Non-Event Boston, March 31st 2012 - 22:52 - 192 kbps

Recorded and mixed by Ernst Karel. Special thanks to C. Spencer Yeh and Non-Event: Susanna Bolle, Benjamin Nelson and Ernst Karel -

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play Lasse Marhaug "Live at Non-Event Boston, March 31st 2012"

Touch Radio 81 | Jiyeon Kim | Maia Urstad | Dawn Scarfe with interventions from Sandra Jasper

31.07.12 - Touch invites... Live at Café Oto 17.07.12 - 26:29 - 192 kbps

The first in a series of Touch invites... held at Café Oto on 17th July 2012. You can read more about the event here.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Touch invites... Live at Café Oto 17.07.12"
Click here for Jiyeon Kim's website | for Maia Urstad's | for Dawn Scarfe's and for Sandra Jasper's

Recent releases in the TouchShop

Michael Esposito & Chris Connelly - The Phantoms of Purgatory Souls [Flexidisc]

Michael Esposito & Per Svensson - The Ghosts of Ogilvie Station [Flexidisc]

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.