Inner_Spaces #5: R/S, Oren Ambarchi & Thomas Brinkmann

May 2nd, 2016
Auditorium San Fedele
Via Hoepli 3B, Milan

In collaboration with S/V/N and San Fedele Musica

R/S is the experimental electronic music duo featuring Peter Rehberg and Marcus Schmickler, two of the most dominant and original figures of experimental electronic music. In 2011 they released USA, their second album, follow up to their 2007 One (Snow Mud Rain) on Erstwhile Records.

Peter Rehberg is the founder of the influential Editions Mego family of labels. Perceived as one of the pioneers of synthetic music, Rehberg (aka PITA) ushers now the next phase of his sonic exploration. His approach is the ongoing search of a radical maniac driving us to the shores of experimental electronics, maybe best to be described as visceral synthesis, fishing in the ambient depths of techno. He is fusing distorted electricity with abstract beat patterns and glitches to some form of extreme computer music.

Marcus Schmickler is a Cologne-based researching composer and has produced numerous electronic works, pieces for ensembles, choirs and orchestra. Many of his works are informed by scientific subjects as well as methods. A multi-faceted composer and producer, his interests revolve around the brain and its adaptation to multiple auditory stimuli. Schmickler has written music for ensembles, installations, theater, and radio, meanwhile also producing under multiple pseudonyms like Pluramon, and Wabi Sabi. A recipient of multiple prizes and scholarships, including the Ars Electronica; Schmickler held a lengthy seat as a member of the jury for the German Music Council, and is a co-creator of the eclectic A-Musik record distributor, known for its avant-garde and experimental releases.

Oren Ambarchi and Thomas Brinkmann‘s first collaborative work as a duo is The Mortimer Trap, an epic 77-minute “variation” of Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus released in 2012. The two collaborated again on Ambarchi‘s album Quixotism which was listed in The Wire magazine’s top 50 releases of 2014.

Oren Ambarchi‘s works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal. From the late 90’s his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Charlemagne Palestine, Sunn 0)), Thomas Brinkmann, Keiji Haino, Alvin Lucier, John Zorn, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke, Keith Rowe, and many more.

German artist Thomas Brinkmann (b.1959) is an innovator and iconic producer of experimental minimal techno music. After leaving the Art Academy of Düsseldorf in the eighties he began experimenting with vinyl records. Through the mid-90’s Brinkmann became known for his unique techniques utilizing customized dual-tone-arm turntables and generating live beats and patterns by cutting directly into prepared vinyl with razors. He gained a wide reputation with his re-workings of material by fellow artists Mike Ink and Richie Hawtin, released in the second half of the 90s. Brinkmann later founded the Ernst record label and introduced his own productions on a series of 12″ records taking their titles from female names. He has since expanded his extensive production catalog on his own Max Ernst label, as well as other highly respected labels such as Traum Schallplatten, Raster-Noton, Mute Records (under the Soul Center alias) and Editions Mego.

Cover Photo: Thomas Brinkmann, Antonio Rasi Caldogno