Lost in the decade long deluge of releases, a good one.- Jesse Goin
L’enregistrement de Chambel contient beaucoup de bruit et de fureur dans les limites d’un minimalisme beaucoup plus rigoureux. Musique objective, elle se découvre jusqu’à l’os, comme un malade à qui la fièvre fait perdre tout ce qui le constitue en des temps habituels. L’auditeur ressent pourtant à l’écoute un poids idéologique et conceptuel considérable. Chambel semble travailler à partir d’un scénario, appliquer un programme: dans cette musique le passé écrase le présent, le réduit, à proprement parler, au silence. On peut difficilement s’empêcher de penser au passé, legs écrasant d'une grande puissance à un petit pays. Noël Tachet (Improjazz) Anamnesis is Pedro Chambel’s first solo album. A Portuguese guitarist unknown outside his home country, Pedro Chambel comes forth with an artistic proposition that parallels those of Keith Rowe, Martin Siewert and the likes. His music relies on silence, the electrical drone of a "naked" amplifier and the use of unusual guitar playing techniques to squeeze delicate noise textures out of the instrument. Severely reductionist in its means, this music requires from the listener a leap of faith: ignore your first impressions of sonic poverty and stillness and just listen as Pedro Chambel unfolds the mysteries he has encountered. The guitar as instrument doesn't hold any importance anymore—these crackles, drones, and indescribable noises could have a number of origins. That is particularly true of "Anamnesis IV" where what sounds like basic white noise is sampled and processed in real time. On the other hand "Anamnesis I" starts with a few distinguishable guitar notes, all very quiet and moving into even quieter realms. Whether the music works for you or not depends mostly on your state of mind. Granted, Pedro Chambel doesn’t make it easy for the listener and truth be told his music lacks a bit of soul (even when compared to Keith Rowe or Burkhard Stangl, or even Taku Sugimoto). Nevertheless, «Anamnesis» makes for an intriguing listen electro-acoustic improv enthusiasts will want to check out. François Couture (AMG)
A set of four very beautiful, very spare pieces for guitar done in 2001 wherein a fine balance is achieved between recognizable guitar sounds and mists of hum and grit. Though differently sourced, I hear a good bit akin to what Toshi Nakamura and Sachiko M were doing around the same time. There's a bit of resonance in the room, making for a fine sense of concentrated isolation; one has the sense of a sharply lit area in a pool of darkness, dust motes aswirl in the air. Chambel is both patient and active, keeping the volume low, allowing for spatial ellipses. The last cut is an especially lovely series of cloud-like bursts, all haze and soot, a softly sputtering engine filling a field with ash. A very well conceived recording, a hidden gem in the Creative Sources catalog (# 4 in their lengthy series) that shouldn't have been overlooked.~ Brian Olewnick, http://olewnick.blogspot.com/
Pedro Chambel - Guitar, Microphones
Portuguese guitarist Chambel starts with microsounds camouflaged as barely visible biotic structures but sure enough, from the second track on, hisses and hums are amplified, dissected and exploited, becoming a mirror reflecting everything that a guitar and a microphone would never want to say. Crude and naked, the electric meditations that Chambel initiates get disturbed by fiddling and scrabbling on strings and other surfaces, like if tiny animals - prisoners in a six-stringed cage - tried their best to catch the attention of the casual listener. But the most satisfying texture of the disc is indeed the progressive hypnotic pulse of the feedback drones: long moments of pre-explosion drift strain the nerves without deviating from the main course, making "Bruit" maybe the first "minimalist" release by Creative Sources, at least until the author bombards our brain with echoed distortion in the sixth movement.
Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)
"Noise" is an adequate title for this solo guitar record by Portuguese musician Pedro Chambel, who has already appeared in the Creative Sources catalogue a few years ago. Not that it is extra loud (quite the opposite, actually),but it's surely based on un-musical (micro)sounds - the static feedback coming from guitar and amp, the scratching of fingers on the chords... using the guitar surface and components to produce anything but notes. Chambel is surely not breaking any new ground in the radical improvisation field, but the album has a sort of suspended feel that I quite liked - and the more physical pieces, like the feedback driven second track and the delay loops (only my guess) in the sixth one added some nice bursts of electricity.
Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)
As the title might portend, "Bruit", from 2005, is a more rough-hewn affair. The hums are louder, more forceful, the accompanying detritus strewn with more vigor. Again, there's an eerie parallel to certain contemporaneous things involving Nakamura, like the sun-spot track from "between"--not a direct comparison but something that came to mind while listening. Things are generally pitched mid-range and below with occasional guitar-ish sounds surfacing and, as on the sixth track, some low, ringing tones that verge on the spacey. But Chambel also evinces some really fine focus, peeling off layer after layer of a given sound-area, savoring what he discovers for a few moments, then digging further. I enjoyed the earlier one more, but "Bruit" is certainly worth a listen