Black Truffle presents a major collection of archival recordings by seminal minimalist composer, performer, instrument builder and visual artist Arnold Dreyblatt. Following on from the archival compilation Choice (Choose Records, 2013), Second Selection presents eleven pieces selected by Oren Ambarchi from Dreyblatt’s extensive archive of previously unreleased recordings.
Recorded in beautifully varying fidelity between 1978 and 1989, the pieces range from solo works to documents of various iterations of Dreyblatt’s long running Orchestra of Excited Strings. The ensemble pieces here possess the singular, hypnotic quality of Dreyblatt’s vintage work, underpinning the shimmering overtones of his self-devised twenty note microtonal scale with primordial, thudding rhythms that undergo surprising but economical shifts in group dynamics and sonic density. Like the court music of some imaginary ancient civilization, this music unfolds unhurriedly, relinquishing traditional melodic and harmonic movement in favor of a single-minded search for the world of sound inherent in a single string.
There is much to wonder over here for the Dreyblatt connoisseur, including variants of pieces found on classics such as “Nodal Excitations” and “Propellers in Love”. But “Second Selection” also unearths some elements of Dreyblatt’s work that have gone undocumented until now, including an incredible pair of solo pieces for modified electric guitar and electronics performed in Europe in 1988. The second of these, ‘Luftmenschen II’, has to be heard to be believed, consisting of 15 minutes of insistent and frenetic rhythmic irregularity sourced to multiple electric guitars run through a digital noise gate controlled by a recording of malfunctioning escalators.
“Second Selection” is presented as a high-spec gatefold double LP with archival liner notes including contemporaneous selections from Dreyblatt’s notebooks and an early conversation between Dreyblatt and Phill Niblock. This is both a gold mine for long-term fans and an ideal introduction for those still awaiting initiation into Dreyblatt’s rapturous science of the string. These are stunning examples of one of the most unique and fully realized sound-worlds of contemporary music; as Dreyblatt always recommends, they are best experienced at maximum volume!” –Francis Plagne.
Black Truffle Records