AMBIQ, the Berliner instrumental trio of Max Loderbauer, Samuel Rohrer and Claudio Puntin emerged onto the scene not long ago with a self-titled arjunamusic LP (AM703) of impressive sonic distinctiveness and technical ability. Drinking from a deep pool of influences that includes free improv, early electronic music and spaced-out dub, the trio does what any great ensemble should set out to do: it becomes more than the sum of its parts, a single organism with its own unique expressive vocabulary and perspective. Proving that their debut was no fluke, the ambiq trio has already re-convened for a second full length bubbling over with new timbral combinations, and with a sophisticated interpretation of the ancient art of tension and release.
Plenty of music exists for the open-minded, but not all of it has the ability to initiate the process of opening minds in the first place. ambiq does have that ability, and have come up with a musical formula that will melt away the defenses of the most hardened techno fanatic or avant-gardist, seeding new ideas not beholden to any one genre or lifestyle.
Max Loderbauer has notable experience in the area where jazz and experimental sound design intersect, namely Re: ECM, the compilation of ECM remixes he and Ricardo Villalobos released in 2011. Loderbauer’s latest project, Ambiq, is more traditional, direct and spontaneous, with the sound of a live trio improvising together in a room.
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.
Samuel Rohrer’s flexibility and capability to move around effortlessly in different styles, from atmospheric and free sounds to straight and energetic grooves make him a very dynamical and one of the creative percussionists in the european music scene today.
Ambiq is expertly constructed and obviously played by extremely talented musicians, but there’s a nagging sense that a few more risks could have been taken here. Over the course of an hour, there is no moment of realization, no point at which the individual threads come together. As undoubtedly professional as it is, Ambiq lacks an edge sharp enough to leave a memorable impression.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Saturday, 20 February 2016 | 21:00 CET
Roter Salon in der Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte