A M B I Q
Max Loderbauer: buchla analog synthesizer
Claudio Puntin: clarinets, electronics
Samuel Rohrer: drums, electronics
With ambiq, Max Loderbauer, Samuel Rohrer and Claudio Puntin form structures as earthy as they are flexible and, as a result, invent pioneering electro-acoustic soundscapes at the cutting edge of sound research.
The trained pianist Max Loderbauer, together with Ricardo Villalobos, has just breezily launched the jazz sanctuary of the Munich-based ECM records into the ether as "Re: ECM". On the new adventure he now logically again finds himself working with sanctuaries. For the tool he uses for creating worlds is the finest modular synthesizer in the world, the Buchla 200e. In the glow of this altar-like cockpit, he welcomes the two inspired Swiss musicians, clarinettist Claudio Puntin (also electronics) and percussionist Samuel Rohrer (also electronics), both of whom have published their own as well as co-operative productions on ECM. With ambiq, they are now exploring remote musical universes on Rohrer's innovative arjunamusic label, with the aim of opening doors of perception to the electronic scene by means of enhanced possibilities of instrumental interaction.
Samuel Rohrer, as an improvisatory sound pilot, is able to elegantly navigate beats and anti-beats. He expands the world of rhythmic functions with his artistic, cross-style overall concept to include striking emotional components. His percussion style flows with an implicit quality into his electronic arrangements, returns enriched with seductive energy and presents itself as the crucible for the contributions of his fellow passengers.
Claudio Puntin’ s unmistakeably smooth sound as he plays on all members of the clarinet family, with the support of mallet and electronics, is familiar to us from numerous CDs and performances, as well as from film, audio-drama and theatre productions. His live concept of floating, electronic spaces, layers of overtones and loops, which he customises for his clarinet sounds, opens up divine dimensions while creating the harmonic, melodic and tonal orbit for the satellites of his fellow musicians.
The basic elements of ambiq are distilled from the pizzazz with which the trio forms rhythms and sounds. Fragments breaking away from the flow do not float as particles hovering in space. Instead, using an inner drive as the starting point, they follow ordering principles which can confidently be described as “magic”. The point of departure is a cheerful, percussive grounding, a foundation of beats, metre and approximate measuring units, from which emanates a nervous cluster of scattering, yet always well-ordered vibrations. Their impulses set bodies in motion in such a way that one could believe that neither the impulses nor the bodies have ever existed in this form before. Elephant and weasel. This is a feeling as smooth and pleasant as a massage, akin to the sensation of a magnetic levitation train travelling over a messy bed of gravel.
Or a feeling as surprising as a taste on the tongue whose intensity exceeds all expectations in the context of traditional excesses. Some less daring listeners might call this “shocking”, since, for a moment, the sensuous tension does not arrive opportunely. But only for a brief initial moment. For immediately afterwards, the sensations which ambiq radiates fall into place in the canon of own empirical values, because genetically these two elements are actually not that far removed from one another. This process could be regarded as an entropy-seeking mosaic, whose parts strive to reach all available spaces and corners of the mind, with the listener placed at the mercy of a sublime dynamic of forms, sounds and colours. Meanwhile a feather-light, multi-layered and seamless mantle is established all around, time and again, to anchor the sound with the world outside – from large to small –, creating a direct connection to the innermost sensation that wishes to pet kittens, although they must first be rescued from a danger zone. Remembering to keep holding onto them. The lovingly explosive mixture from ambiq flourishes and intensifies at points that particularly lend themselves to holding onto the musical moment. Not always, but then risk only becomes beautiful when the calculation adds up to a purely invented equation
„Future jazz has never been articulated so clearly... a record that defies classification…
It´s brave, contemporary and inventive, and it should be given the upmost respect if you decide to give it your attention."
Tom Rhodes - straylandings UK
„Hier wird ein musikalisches Umfeld geschaffen, das ganz neue Klangräume zwischen analog und digitalerschafft. Was zunächst als musikalischer Gegensatz scheint, vereint sich zu einem grossen Ganzen. Die Kombination von sanfter Klarinette, dynamischem Schlagzeug und den stilgebenden Synthesizern ergibt
einen innovativen Mix aus Electro, Jazz und Klassik.“
FAZE Mag D
„Ein düster, mosaikhaftes und dennoch sehr vitales Album. Es bewegt die Seele und verlangt dafür nach echter Hingabe.“
„It´s the type of music that is both enjoyable on its own merits and enjoyable for the ideas it seeds in the heads of those listeners who also act as practitioners of music in their own right.“
William Bailey US
„AMBIQ's second album —ambitiously titled AMBIQ 2— is one of the most intriguing things we've heard all year.“
„Circonvolutions percussive et virtuosité particulièrement mises en évidence dans les dialogues entre les trois musiciens, entre miniatures, vinage electronic et post-rock. Pas de doute, ces trois lá étendent á eux seuls le vocabulaire de la musique catelle.“
„La rencontre inespérée entre la musique électroacoustique la plus inspirée, le dub et le jazz électrique.“
„Musiker die es unbewusst schaffen die Zeichen der Zeit in Sound zu übersetzen.“
MiLe – Groove Mag
"From the unexpected combination of this trio arises music that crosses boundaries with a subtle suggestive power: as if in a dream, rhythmically charged, organic. Sound structures so confident for the very reason that they are established randomly grow in this balanced continuum like magic sound stalagmites.“
Leipziger Volkszeitung - Ulrich Steinmetzger
„The clever Arjuna Music debut ambiq from the trio of Max Loderbauer, Claudio Puntin and Samuel Rohrer achieves a kind of perceptible reciprocity between players while transmitting a very compelling and unanticipated brand of ambiguity. That is to say, their music feels neither organic nor synthetic, neither fully scored nor improvised, neither aggressive nor submissive - in short, it's the type of music that is both enjoyable on its own merits, and enjoyable for the ideas it also seeds in the heads of those listeners who also act as practicioners of music in their own right.
This is simply a sign of how natural, how close to the normal functioning of a healthy and adventurous body, this music feels. Highly recommended for individuals on all points of the soundhead spectrum.“
Japan critics online, webarchive