"By the late '80s most of the burgeoning minimal underground had been forgotten, especially one amazing character, Arnold Dreyblatt. Dreyblatt only had one record, Nodal Excitation (on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, where he concentrated on his other activities, making only two more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock that any of the others combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early '60s. Indeed, in the early '70s after being in school in Buffalo, where Tony Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for Young, where he witnessed first-hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interested in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm. Dreyblatt couldn't get the rock singles he'd grown up without of him, and couldn't become the full-on new-music man that seemed to be a requirement in the '70s, and it wasn't until the '80s that the fence could be straddled, if not knocked over. It was time to start a band.
It brought it into a lot of new ears -- but times have changed and so have the ears. So what you have here is the first ever LP reissue of Arnold Dreyblatt's freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is STILL as potent now, if not more, as it was in '98 and '81 before it. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it's shining right in your face."
"Perhaps the most striking aspect of US composer Arnold Dreyblatt’s 1982 album of overtones created via piano strings strung to an upright bass was how hard it rocked. Nodal Excitation never sounded like a dryly academic exercise rather it exerted a physical pull on the listener that was impossible to ignore. Drag City’s newly annotated reissue offered a reminder of the album’s enduring potency. Bill Meyer said: “This album drills to the core of Dreyblatt’s ‘single, subjective experience’."
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