- Quixotism is a continuous 47-minute composition that was recorded over the span of two years in several different locations. That idea might sound like a mess, but in the hands of Australian experimental veteran Oren Ambarchi, it turns out beautifully fluid. Quixotism is not exactly a solo effort: it features, among others, Jim O'Rourke, Thomas Brinkmann, an Icelandic orchestra and the Japanese tabla player U-zhaan. These disparate collaborators and separate sessions are so carefully woven together by Ambarchi that Quixotism sounds like one recording, which may be the record's most impressive quality.
The only constant here is Thomas Brinkmann's staticky pulse, an electric heartbeat that pounds in double time. Its unwavering patter, somehow both soft and gritty, plays aural tricks on the mind: at some points it seems to skip, and other times it jells with the other elements to create a thicker, headier rhythm. Brinkmann's beat is the central element of the record's first movement, but it fades into the background for the more assertive second part, which hints at Clicks & Cuts-style glitch, something that's even more apparent on the brief fourth movement, which is basically a wireframe of springy percussion. Those wonderfully weird drum sounds come from percussionist Matt Chamberlain, who also dominates part three, the album's de facto centrepiece It's a plateau of gently rolling techno embellished by Ambarchi's guitar.
The first four movements of Quixotism are quietly hesitant. The 14-minute closer, on the other hand, is pure payoff, sliding into the lush meditative embrace of U-zhaan's tabla and Eyvind Kang's violas. Coming after the spartan hinterlands of part four, it's almost comforting. For an artist who has traditionally experimented with recording methods, Quixotism is another landmark, thanks largely to how natural it sounds in spite of its ambitious approach.
01. Quixotism Part 1
02. Quixotism Part 2
03. Quixotism Part 3
04. Quixotism Part 4
05. Quixotism Part 5