|The Louisiana Purchase
|Duo for Guitars
Black Truffle continues its program of archival releases from Arnold Dreyblatt with a recently unearthed concert recording from Dreyblatt and Paul Panhuysen’s Duo Geloso.
This is the first release to document the variety and playfulness of the concerts that Duo Geloso performed throughout Europe in 1987-88. Both working across sonic and visual forms, fascinated by numerical relationship and the infinite complexity of string harmonics, Dreyblatt and Panhuysen had a natural affinity for each other’s work, strengthened through Dreyblatt’s many visits to Het Apollohuis, the important experimental art space Panhuysen helped to found in Eindhoven. However, as René van Peer suggests in the liner notes enclosed within this release, Dreyblatt and Panhuysen took very different approaches to these shared interests; the wonderful energy of these Duo Geloso performances results from the meeting of Dreyblatt’s more austere, compositional process with Panhuysen’s spontaneity.
Recorded at a concert at Het Apollohuis in December 1987 (a series of beautiful photographs of which adorn the LP’s packaging), each of the six pieces presented here is distinctive in terms of instrumentation and performance approach. Using electric guitar and bass tuned by Dreyblatt and played using E-Bow and Panhuysen’s motorised plectrums, the opening »Razorburg« moves slowly through a long series of held notes with a madly insistent tremolo that crosses Dick Dale with a mechanised take on the layered guitars of Günter Schickert. The same pair of instruments returns on »Duo for Guitars«, where the mechanised attacks dissolve into a harmonic wash, reminiscent of the machine guitar work of fellow Het Apollohuis alumni Remko Scha. On »Love Call«, the guitars and bass are accompanied by Panhuysen’s distant warbled vocals, familiar to Maciunas Ensemble listeners. On the remarkable »Synsonic Batterie«, Panhuysen begins proceedings with a solo barrage of electronic percussion on the Synsonics Drum Machine (a simple drum synthesiser produced by the toy manufacturer Mattell), joined eventually by Dreyblatt performing his signature percussive natural harmonics on pedal steel guitar. When Panhuysen adds his bird whistle to the mix, the performance becomes the perfect exemplar of the Duo Geloso’s unique mix of studious close listening and subtle absurdity.