Following his departure from ‘70s No Wave bands Theoretical Girls and The Static, NYC icon Glenn Branca made his seminal statement with The Ascent in 1981. His first symphony might be less celebrated but it’s a no less remarkable, cacophonous work that deserves greater recognition.
An avalanche of guitars, performed by a noisy ensemble featuring the Theoretical Girls’ Wharton Tiers and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, Symphony No. 1 (Tonal Plexus) was recorded at New York’s legendary Performing Garage in 1981 and released on tape two years later.
The album was pressed to vinyl in 1991 but has now received a hefty reissue via original label Reachout International Records. The edition includes additional liner notes by Lee Ranaldo and new photos by Paula Court, the photographer behind New York Noise.