Oren Ambarchi is a ridiculously prolific musician and sound artist from Sydney (now Melbourne) who has played with everyone from Keith Rowe to 60s psych titans, Parson Sound. In his spare time he plays with his bands Super Stupid and Menstruation Sisters and runs the What Is Music? Festival. Oh, this year he also managed to squeeze in a tour and album with doom metal gods, Sunn O))) who are re-issuing all his beautiful droney guitar type shit on their Southern Lord label. Here are some things Ambarchi found laying around in his apartment:
I grew up eating this stuff in the 70s at my grandmother’s place. It kills. Perfect accompaniment to Indian/ Middle Eastern mains. Years later I started to search for this particular brand/version but could never find it. None of the other brands came close (believe me, I’ve tried loads of this shit). Finally, earlier this year I spotted it at a spice store in Sydney and I stocked up big time (you never know). I was VERY excited. The guy behind the counter must’ve thought I was nuts.
KEIJI HAINO GUITAR PICK
Organising shows in Australia for the man in black wasn’t the easiest task to say the least. Quite a handful. After his first show in Brisbane, he called me to the stage and, as I looked at his set-up (about 100 more effect pedals than I use), he asked me if I had a digital camera with me. He told me he wanted me to take a photo of his set-up and study it when I got back to my hotel room so I could set & pack up his gear from the next show onwards. I told him to piss off. It was all downhill from there. This guitar pick is, shall we say, a bittersweet memory.
WILLIAM S BURROUGHS SIGNED ESP LP
A few years ago this woman contacted me as she was selling her entire record and book collection. She had become a Buddhist and didn’t need ‘worldly possessions’ anymore so I was there to help her out. She had SO MUCH amazing shit; (all the Come Org/Whitehouse originals, La Monte Young records, amazing soundtracks, early ethnic recordings from Africa, Tibet and Bali, all the choice noise/musique concrete titles blah blah blah)—thousands of killer records. The only items she wouldn’t sell were the Sun Ra Saturn originals (damn!) & the William Burroughs books. Apart from that everything else was up for grabs. It was all too much so I called a friend who had a van to come by for transport, moral support & sloppy seconds. She saw how excited we were, like pigs in shit. Knowing that we’d actually listen to what we bought and not sell it all on Ebay, she told us we could take any LP for $2. Too good to be true. At the end of the madness as she was working out how much each of us owed her, she noticed we were both holding the same Burroughs LP Call Me Burroughs—funnily enough she was happy to sell both copies. She then said, “Which one of you is the lucky one?” I turned the LP over & realised mine was signed.
TRACI LORDS SEPT 1984 PENTHOUSE CENTREFOLD FEATURE
I think she was fourteen or fifteen when she did this and no one knew. Nuff said.
BRIAN JONES / HENDRIX PICS
A friend who worked in a B&W photo developing place used to have this unassuming client who brought in the usual run-of-the-mill stuff for him to develop. One time the guy came in and asked him to process an old roll that for some reason he hadn’t developed up until that point. Later that day my friend almost shat himself in the darkroom. It was a whole roll of film from 60s London with various shots featuring a who’s-who of rock legends taken by this guy. My very naughty friend made me a copy of two of the pics. Brian Jones looks pretty wasted here whilst Keef looks like his working out how to play ‘Satisfaction’. A Mojo reader’s jerk-off fantasy.