Boomkat Product Review:
Ace archival find from Berlin-based American minimalist Arnold Dreyblatt and Dutch sound artist Paul Panhuysen, who deconstruct "the infinite complexity of string harmonics" on the 1987-recorded "Duo Geloso". Using sustained electric guitar tones and overlayed drum machine cycles, they make mechanical drones and busted rhythms that harmonize with Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca and La Monte Young.
Continuing Black Truffle's series of Dreyblatt releases, "Duo Geloso" is a freshly unearthed 1987 concert recording made at Eindhoven's legendary Het Apollohuis art space. Dreyblatt and Panhuysen performed across Europe between '87 and '88, establishing a shared musical language via their interest in string harmonics and complex mathematics. Based in Eindhoven, Panhuysen invited Dreyblatt to visit Het Apollohuis, and the two began to work out a method of working that was somewhere between Dreyblatt's rigorous compositional system and Panhuysen's comparatively improvisational routine.
On the opening track they use a pair of instruments - an electric guitar and electric bass, both tuned by Dreyblatt - and play them using an E-Bow (a small electro magnet used for sustaining string tones) and motorized plectrums built by Panhuysen. It's material that won't be completely alien to anyone who's spent time poring over work from Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca or even Sonic Youth: Dreyblatt and Panhuysen pre-empt the 1990s obsession with soaring waves of electric guitar, overlaying rumbling drones in an attempt to examine tonal variations rather than elicit a specific emotional response. But as the press release notes, there's just as much of a nod to Dick Dale's Hawaiian-influenced shimmer.
'The High Life' is deeper and significantly more psychedelic, taking direction from Indian drone music and applying it to different string instruments. Dreyblatt and Panhuysen's metallic drones might seem simple at first, but train your ears into the harmonics and you begin to hear dancing tonal patterns that drip with intricacy. On 'Synsonic Batterie' meanwhile, the duo use a toy drum machine to disrupt a glam rock pattern with popcorn white noise before Dreyblatt interrupts with idiosyncratic pedal steel squeaks, scrapes, knocks and drones. Fully out there, it's another revelatory release from Black Truffle - anyone who wants to examine the roots of a guitarist like Oren Ambarchi would do well to investigate.