Ambarchi and Ng Fateless
Published Feb 18, 2009With a long working relationship that began as teens in their native Australia, Oren Ambarchi and Martin Ng are the sound design half of Asphodel's inaugural DVD release. The guitarist and turntablist strip down to nearly bare tonalities for much of the two half-hour pieces. "Vigilance" pushes sine waves, tones and digitally controlled feedback from hearing test frequencies past the point of saturation into some dark matter universe of sound. "8 Seconds of Weightlessness" is more about resonance and what happens when the decay of a tone is extended far past its natural resolution. Mego label designer Tina Frank, who developed a digital interface to accompany the performance of "Vigilance" by Ambarchi and Ng at Mutek, provides the first visual element. Her dimensional grid-like graphics react to the audio content, slowly becoming increasingly colourful, complex and agitated as the sound shreds and warps time/space. Robin Fox's cathode green oscilloscope graphic suits the less chaotic content of the second piece. Fluttering waves and geometric forms lend a sense of scientific measurement, bending out of shape as the bell-like harmonics become more distended. For best effect try the 5.1 mix on as big a flat screen you can find and journey to the centre of whatever you have on hand.