If you never heard of Samuel Rohrer, it’s time to keep up with him. For those who do not know, he is one third of the AMBIQ trio, which are three exuberant, eclectic, borderline and resourceful musicians based in Berlin which often like to experiment new sounds in between acoustic and electronic.
Samuel Rohrer, the multi-faceted, forward-thinking percussionist and producer behind the arjunamusic label and a wealth of other musical projects, has set out on his own not long ago, with a new full-length solo album Range of Regularity as a double vinyl set with a deceptive title if ever there was one: the sonic experience of this record is, in fact, a highly irregular one (and a highly welcome one at that). Constructed almost entirely upon electronically-treated recordings of acoustic instrumentation, with a bare minimum of synthesizer voicing, RoR vibrates with a compelling organicism – as if old-growth Black Forest trees had conspired together to make an album of ultra-modern improvisational music. Indeed, the record feels limned with contributions from some ‘other’ intelligence, despite being a clear extension of the fluid, percussion-driven musical technique that Rohrer has exhibited in previous years, among others also with the AMBIQ trio.
More than anything else, he and his fellow musicians from AMBIQ are skilled musicians: Max Loderbauer is an experienced pianist, but he does not dislike the complexity and resourcefulness of a Buchla200e analog synthesizer. You can often see him performing together with one of the maximum exponent of electronic music, Ricardo Villalobos, under their monkier VILOD. Claudio Puntin is in charge of clarinets and electronics while Samuel Rohrer sits in between drums and electronics. Together, they combine deeply textured electronics with experimental and jazz influenced organic sounds.
Assisting to one of their performance is an absolute experience, as they are able to gentle blending acoustic and electronic sounds together in a respectable and familiar flow, without being scared of venture in less-known and introspective soundscapes.
One of their latest performance was in May 2017 at Funkhaus Berlin, where together with Ricardo Villalobos, they once again put their heads down, hands on the instruments and performed live music for few hundreds of lucky attendees.
Apart from Live acts, both the trio and the single artists itself are quite active in producing and releasing music: on 19th of January in fact, a REMIX Bundle, a double 12“ set of Samuel Rohrer´s Range of Regularity album, will be released on arjunamusic, which is also the label of AMBIQ.
The four striking reinterpretations by production specialists Ricardo Villalobos, Vilod and Burnt Friedman are certainly something not to be missed out.
In April 2017, Samuel released his first solo album, followed by two remix EPs, which are now presented as a bundle.
The remixes provide an intriguing parallax view of the original tracks, using the percussive eclecticism of the parent LP as a starting point from which to journey into sonically vibrant, featurerich territories. The production specialists on hand for this project include Burnt Friedman, Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer. Villalobos, already formed a strong working relationship with Rohrer’s AMBIQ trio, lends his talents to both of the EPs, on track together with Max Loderbauer. Nonplace label boss Friedman, as well, has carved out a unique space for himself within the electronic world, logging several decades’ worth of releases that with dub-wise production sensibility, skewed humor, and riots of tone color. Though each individual remix has its own character, they are all united in their ability to provide a quick cure for fatigue with the common “loop”: they are strung together from fleeting phrases that evolve as if they are taking on a life independent of their creators.
Villalobos’ compelling take on “Lenina” pulsates from start to finish with a kind of voluntary anxiety; a commitment to painting every corner of the sonic surface with clearly defined pointillist touches. While this kind of approach would cause less confident producers to collapse at their editing workstation, Villalobos takes to the task with gusto -leaving seemingly no corner un-animated by sound, he pieces together something surprisingly funky and hyper-real from a catalog of distinct percussive hits, time-reversed ephemera, and playful “kitchen sink” ambience.
Vilod’s “Uncertain Grace” remix, though marginally more laidback than the flipside, is no less engaging. A buzzing beehive of activity powered by an organ-like refrain, this is one of those pieces that will induce a feeling of perpetual movement into even the most still of physical surroundings. This is especially true when, after four and a half minutes of flotation, a straight-ahead techno rhythm takes over and all the disparate hovering elements fall into place.
Burnt Friedman’s own dramatic interpretation of “Microcosmoism” pairs up his consciousness of deep bass and analog inventiveness with Rohrer’s continually transforming sound objects, making for a flowing and wordless narrative that simply dares listeners to stop paying attention. Feeling more like a collaboration in “real time” than a remix proper, Friedman brings his characteristic ‘mad scientist’ wit to the proceedings and delivers an energetic piece that simply glows in the dark.
This is complemented nicely by Villalobos’ remix of “Microcosmoism”. It carries the energy level of the 1st EP over to a new disk, while heavily experimenting with feelings of emotional ambiguity. At some points aggressive and at other points merely curious, this mischievous collage of attitudes feels as inspired by the questing jazz of Sun Ra as it is by continental techno. Contemplative keyboard runs, enthusiastic spring-like percussion and malfunctioning machine chatter all coalesce to make this a most fascinating piece of multi-purpose electronic music.
Release Date: January 19 2018
A: Uncertain Grace – Vilod REMIX – 10:45
B: Lenina – Ricardo Villalobos REMIX – 12:46
A: Microcosmoism – Burnt Friedman REMIX – 6:41
B: Microcosmoism – Ricardo Villalobos REMIX – 9:44
DL: Uncertain Grace – Samuel Rohrer ORIGINAL MIX – 11:15
Produced by Ricardo Villalobos, Vilod, Burnt Friedman & Samuel Rohrer
Vinyl mastering and vinyl cut by Mike Grinser, Manmade Mastering
Layout and graphic design by Ian Anderson, The Designers Republic
arjunamusic records 2018 – electronic series – AMEL-EP716/13 // Format: Vinyl, Digital
preorder the bundle on bandcamp:
Samuel Rohrer BODY OF IGNORANCE new video:
written by: Trommel & Thomas Bey & William Bailey