AMBIQ is the project of Max Loderbauer (modular synth), Samuel Rohrer (drums/perc, electronics) and Claudio Puntin (clarinet, electronics). The origins can be traced back to Loderbauer’s relationship with Ricardo Villalobos. The story is quite simple: Puntin joined them for the re:ECM release concert in Berlin in 2011 and a conversation with Rohrer, a multi-talented musician and long-term collaborator of Puntin’s, began about starting an improvised collaboration that blended classical instrumentation and electronics, and AMBIQ took form. Following two short recording sessions in 2012, the group played their first live show in September 2013, before releasing their debut full-length in 2014. Their sophomore album, AMBIQ 2, dropped towards the end of 2015, also on Rohrer’s arjunamusic label.
In an age of computer, grid-based music making, the band's approach is very different: other than the instruments and their individual experience, they "prepare nothing" before a performance. They've performed in Berlin on several occasions, both with and without Ricardo Villalobos, and also in various other locations—including Mexico, where they performed at this year's Comunité Festival. A segment of their set is now available to download below.
AMBIQ will perform in Barcelona on June 15. Also performing will be Kassem Mosse (Live), Lawrence (Live), Shackleton (Live), and The Orb (Live). The event is presented by 510k Creatives and arjunamusic Records. More information and tickets are available here.
For more information on AMBIQ, read our feature here.
When and where was the mix recorded?
This is a live mix from Comunité Festival, recorded on January 6, 2017 at Parque Dos Ojos near Tulum, Mexico. It was one of the most exciting places we ever played, in the middle of the jungle surrounded by plants and sweet water caves, the Cenotes. The vibe there with all those people from all over the world, staying the whole night, sharing the magic, was truly a unique moment. The music contains this energy.
In the simplest terms possible, talk us through how the live AMBIQ sets work?
AMBIQ is a band which involves the experience and the spirit of three musicians which are contributing their own universe to one togetherness. The three-dimensionality of the music is very strongly influenced by the people in the audience and the surroundings. We celebrate the moment in a hyper-concentrated way and share it.
The flexibility in the creation is the magic between us. We never prepare tracks or presets in advance; we just prepare ourselves with the ability to be able to create one opus together. We all are connected technically in sounds and musical decisions, which all comes from the strong soul connection between us and all the participating people. Being flexible, in the sense of empty, to be able to fill up with creativity and share all this is the most important thing for us.
AMBIQ is a live band in any sense.
What else is planned with AMBIQ this year? Is there any more material on the way?
We are working on a few new tracks to be released soon. Plus we will slowly start working on a new album for arjunamusic records. Some international concerts are on track, like some in Australia in November and a South America tour in March 2018. Other material like an EP with AMBIQ and Ricardo Villalobos is coming up, too.