Arnold Dreyblatt has been called "the most rock 'n' roll of all the composers to emerge from New York's downtown scene in the 1970s." Dreyblatt founded The Orchestra Of Excited Strings in 1979, harnessing unusual tuning intervals to an exuberant performance style. Propellers In Love, the Orchestra's second album - originally released in 1986
on the Stasch imprint, in conjunction with the contemporary art space K nstlerhaus Bethanien - develops Dreyblatt's rhythmically exacting exploration of the glittering resonances and overtones generated by an ensemble of uniquely-altered stringed instruments and drums. On Propellers In Love, simple song titles - "Odd & Even," "Harmonics," "Bowing" - belie intricate harmonic structures. Dreyblatt's modified instruments - a contrabass and miniature piano fitted with piano wire along with violin, all tuned in just intonation - undergo the Orchestra's rapid, staccato attacks. Sparkling timbres dance above interlocking rhythmic patterns moored by sparse yet propulsive percussion ("Pedal Tone Dance" and the title track). Throughout, the Orchestra's perpetual motion achieves a tremulous and exquisite density.
Thirty years since its initial release, Propellers In Love remains a peerless work of second-generation American minimalism. This first-time domestic release is recommended for fans of Glenn Branca, Ellen Fullman and Charlemagne Palestine.