[pe135]Henry Kaiser / Alan Licht
Skip to the Solo
[pe134]Peter Aaron / Brian Chase Duo
Purges
[pe133]Alan Sondheim / Azure Carter / Luke Damrosch
Threnody
[pe132]Ou
Scrambled!
[pe131]Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura
[pe130]Ben Bennett / Jack Wright
Tangle
[pe129]Period
2
[pe128]Music For Hard Times
City of Cardboard
[pe127]Tetuzi Akiyama & Anla Courtis
Naranja Songs
[pe126]Massimo Falascone
Variazioni Mumacs
[pe125]Auris + Gino
Rub
[pe124]Honnda
Fantasy Remover
[pe123]Azure Carter & Alan Sondheim
Avatar Woman
[pe122]Various Artists
The Unscratchable Itch: A Tribute To Little Fyodor
[pe121]Nels Cline / Elliott Sharp
Open The Door
[pe120]Pretty Monsters
[pe119]Cactus Truck
Brand New For China!
[pe118]Belcher / Bivins Double Quartet
EXO
[pe117]Normal Love
Survival Tricks
[pe116]Ron Anderson / Robert L. Pepper / David Tamura / Philippe Petit
Closed Encounters of the 4 Minds
[pe115]Philip Gayle
Babanço Total
[pe114]Dino Felipe
Sorta' Bleu
[pe113]Ydestroyde
Synzosizer
[pe112]Pilesar
Radio Friendly
[pe111]Little Fyodor
Peace is Boring
[pe110]Courtis / Yamamoto / Yoshimi
Live at Kanadian
[pe109]Bob Marsh
Viovox
[pe108]Tartar Lamb
60 Metonymies
[pe107]Shelf Life
Ductworks
[pe106]A Tomato a Day
The Moon is Green
[pe105]D + D
[pe104]The Mighty Vitamins
Take-Out
[pe103]Smut / OVO
Split 7"
[pe102]Bill Horist / Marron
Sleephammer
[pe101]Richard Trosper
The Ocean
[pe100]Shinyville
No Sleep till Babylon
[pe99]Lisi
Damn It!!
[pe98]Poormen
[pe97]Emily Hay / Marcos Fernandes
We Are
[pe96]The Machine Gun TV
GO->
[pe95]Monotract
Live In Japan
[pe94]Mike Pride
The Ensemble is an Electronic Device
[pe93]Jorge Castro
Cinética
[pe92]Yagihashi Tsukasa
Automatic
[pe91]Eftus Spectun
The Tocks Clicking
[pe89]Amy Denio
Tasogare
[pe88]Eric Cook
Asymptosy
[pe87] Onid & Isil
[pe86]Autodidact
Devotional Hymns for the Women of Anu
[pe85]Che Guevara Memorial Marching (and Stationary) Accordion Band
[pe84]Day / Boardman
One to Seven
[pe83]Knot + Over
[pe82]Shifts
Vertonen 9
[pe81]Blue Collar
Lovely Hazel
[pe80]Mogami
[pe79]Jesse Krakow
Oceans in the Sun
[pe78]Diaz-Infante / Forsyth / Scherzberg
A Barren Place of Overwhelming Simplicity
[pe77]Angels
[pe76]Khoury / Shearer / Hall
Braille
[pe75]Renato Rinaldi
The Time and the Room
[pe74]Masami Kawaguchi
Live in December
[pe72]Watch the Stereo
Presents...
[pe71]Modern Day Urban Barbarians
The Endless Retreat
[pe70]The Bunny Brains
Holiday Massacre '98
[pe69]Jack Wright & Bob Marsh
Birds in the Hand
[pe68]Free From Disguise
[pe67]Jad Fair & Jason Willett
Superfine
[pe66]Baker / Baker / Bloor
Terza Rima
previous


sold out

Cactus Truck - Brand New For China!
CD (Amsterdam, Netherlands)



-aporia
-search and restore
-coitophobe
-sweet movie
-plork
-the snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea
-la la la la labia time!




John Dikeman - Soprano, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Jasper Stadhouders - Guitar & Bass
Onno Govaert - Drums

Reviews:
(The Wire) It’s easy to see why The Ex’s Terrie Hessels described Cactus Truck as the discovery of the year in The Wire’s 2011 Rewind a few months back. His idea of a friendly greeting is a hard punch to the solar plexus, and that’s what Amsterdam based American saxophonist John Dikeman and Dutch sparring partners guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert deliver on Brand New For China!, three of whose seven excitingly raw tracks clock in at just 20 seconds, for anyone nostalgic for grindcore. But there’s a lingering aftertaste of vintage free jazz in Dikeman’s rough, rubbery saxophone playing and Stadhouders’s wild, wiry guitar. - Dan Warburton

(Goddeau) Imagine Cactus Truck appearing at the Ghent Jazz Festival, around 10:00 PM, in a tent filled to the rafters. We’re willing to spend a month’s salary to witness that, because it’s guaranteed to cause some mayhem. And perhaps it will spur the eternal debate again: what is jazz and what isn’t? After all, where do you draw the line? Does it have to swing? Do you need blues charts? Improvisation? Or will you speak of jazz as soon as there’s an instrument that’s synonymous with the genre? Did Adolphe Sax consider that? Never is this discussion as difficult as when you’re dealing with jazz’s most iconic format, the saxophone trio. Cactus Truck, a new group coming out of the lively Amsterdam scene, makes you realize that this whole discussion is mostly a waste of time. It doesn’t matter what it isn’t, when it’s already hard enough to define what it IS to begin with. As usual, you may get a quicker idea using a few reference points, such as The Thing, Zu and Naked City, or even more Last Exit, the quartet of Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Bill Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson, which turned the jazz world on its head in the eighties. Cactus Truck has a similar fury and brutality, an equally radical, wildly flailing uppercut that will knock out fans of extreme music. Actually, you must see the band live — the frantic headbanging of saxophonist John Dikeman is an attraction in itself — but Brand New For China! is also sufficient and actually a lot stronger than expected. The sound is raw and almost physically overwhelming, with spirited interplay from the first to the last second. Both on guitar and on bass , Jasper Stadhouders (brother of the more civilized music making Bram) rampages with a lust for the ear-splitting volatility of Sharrock as well as Terrie Ex and Thurston Moore, with dissonant howling, whirling in distortion, thrashing and bending the strings until they threaten to break. The drumming of Onno Govaert is equally impressive, with the unpredictability of a Paal Nilssen-Love, at one moment assaulting the cymbals, the next wringing out warped march rolls and bulky bursts. It’s an unflinchingly back-and-forth flux which doesn’t allow a moment of rest. The spearhead of this jazzcore is Dikeman. On soprano, tenor and baritone, he unleashes his demons and guides the trio through a hell of unrelenting madness. The ten minute “Aporia” leads to an equally exhausting dose of noisy free improvisation and explosive skronk-noise, sitting uncomfortably in the quiet (more or less) sections and bashing disgustingly during the frantic passages. It is a recipe that is used again for “Coitophobe” and “Sweet Movie”, while "Search and Restore" and "Plork" belong to their series of 30 second explosions. Brötzmann meets the Flying Luttenbachers, something like that. The LP release contains these five tracks, which all together account for barely half an hour. The CD version drops another short bomb (“la la la la labia time!”) and a meaty piece (“The snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea”), even more obstinate noise. Now it is clear that, despite an obvious instrumental prowess and a successful use of dynamics, not too much time and energy is spent on refinement. Cactus Truck ops for the monumental approach, the grand gesture, the Fucking Statement. Nietszche would have found all this excessive courage great. Which makes it extra funny that these over-sexed dirtbags got the album title from a former band name, Brand New Vagina. The band is busy at the moment with the “Young VIPS 2012”-tour, which is taking them to a whole bunch of Dutch stages. The album is currently only available during the concerts and pre-release. In June, the regular version (with excellent artwork by Phil Wood) will be available on CD, LP, and as a download. - Guy Peters

(Sound Projector) Loopy and intense noisy jazz rock blurt from Cactus Truck, a trio which showcases the saxophone malarkey of John Dikeman as much as the tangled guitar lines of Jasper Stadhouders, while drummer Onno Govaert urges these two rabid loons to propel themselves over the cliff edge. Their album Brand New For China! (PUBLIC EYESORE NO. 119) has a ten-minute opening salvo which will let the listener know instantly if they’ve the stomach to stick around for more of the same. These “spiky” fellows have caused much agitation in and around Amsterdam where they are based (this was recorded in a Netherlands studio), but many improvisers and veteran jazzmen on the international circuits also tip their hats to Cactus Truck. They make sure to put on gardening gloves first, though. I’d like to report a melange of Albert Ayler lines on top of Beefheartian blues rhythms, but their ultra-aggressive music favours surface sound and technique over structure. Not that you’ll notice as you succumb to the joyous free energy on offer here. - Ed Pinsent

(JazzFlits) Over het optreden van Cactus Truck in het kader van de Young VIPS Tour 2012 schreef Bart Hollebrandse in Jazzflits 176. Nu ligt het debuutalbum van dit trio in mijn cd-speler, en mijn boxen hebben het ternauwernood overleefd. De energie die van deze plaat af spat is genoeg om je een hele dag alert, en op de been te houden. Dikeman (sax), Stadhouders (g, bg) en Govaert (d) brengen een bruisend mengsel van freejazz, Europese improvisatiemuziek, punk en avant-rock. Daarbij verliezen de drie zich nooit in ongebreideld loos gaan, maar is er steeds een enorme precisie, waardoor iedere noot ook raak is. Soms gebeurt dat in lange gedachteslierten, zoals het openingsstuk, ‘Aporia’, maar ook in ultrakorte miniatuurtjes (‘Search and Restore’ telt maar 25 seconden). Die afwisseling, net als die tussen expressieve abstractie ŕ la Peter Brötzmann en meer melodische verkenningen (‘Coitiphobe’, bijvoorbeeld), zorgt ervoor dat je als luisteraar niet alleen maar wordt weggeblazen door het muzikale geweld dat overigens wel de allergrootste kracht is van Cactus Truck. Het zou zomaar kunnen dat ‘Brand New for China!’ een legendarische status gaat krijgen in de geschiedenis van de Nederlandse geďmproviseerde muziek. Want afgezien van een aantal albums van The Ex zullen er weinig platen in deze sector zijn die zo enerverend zijn. Vooral hard afspelen, dus. - Herman te Loo

(Free Jazz) It starts with a bang! A starter pistol of sorts. This fight to the death, this Brand New For China! album by Cactus Truck has begun. Weapons are chosen. Onno Govaert on drums, Jasper Stadhouders on guitars, and John Dikeman on saxophone, two from the Netherlands and one from America respectively, step into the ring to see who will come out alive holding the recording. Track one, Aporia, gets to the heart of the matter quickly with all three members fighting for the last available sliver of bandwidth to squeeze their point of view into. Stadhouders pulls up an impenetrable curtain of sound, Govaert's use of the kick drum is like a man with a death wish searching for land mines, and Dikeman plays is if in a headlock. His sound is very purposeful from the strain in the upper registers to the distortion on the opposite end. Aporia is a wonderfully thought out track on this 31 minute record and definitely it's focal point as it gives us the roadmap that the rest of the album follows. It, over the course of its 10 and a half minute duration, gives us pure raw punk aggression, to a diminution, to a lone pleading cry from the saxophone before ramping the whole thing up again to its original fury. Some great playing here. A band I would definitely love to see and experience live. With some of their juvenile song titles aside, la la la la labia time!, or The snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea, which fall into their punk aesthetic, there are some very mature and experienced interactions and decisions within the tunes on this album, which definitively places it back to the jazz tradition. On Coitiphobe, Dikeman steps back to let the rhythm section have a duo moment. If you are quick enough, the album is peppered with such moments. Whether it be the sax and drums or any other duo incarnation, (there are several really good ones on Sweet Movie) they are worth waiting for, but enjoy them because they don't last very long, as this is not the type of band that likes standing in a ring without throwing punches. Almost to a fault. Brand New For China! reads like a calling card, unapologetically letting us know what their agenda is, from the 3, thirty second blasts of intensity, laced around the 4 longer tracks, to their choice of album cover art. They mean business, and like anyone from the punk tradition, they don't care what we think. I can't wait to see what else they bring to the table on their next effort. - Philip Coombs

(De Volkskrant) It’s been a long time since the Netherlands had such a wild jazz band. That comes as a relief. What a fucking racket, is what you think the first couple seconds. One tremendously loud hit on the snare drum launches a massive wall of sound. Metal and wood—on and in between the guitar strings—­hitting the neck. The bow saws the bass in half as a whirlwind rages through the sax. After three minutes the snare is demolished. That’s Cactus Truck. The trio makes a combination of noise, no wave and freejazz which leaves the audience gawking. Anarchistic non-music for quasi-intellectuals who want to ironically show their disgust of the consumer society? Absolutely not. This was a feast of immense energy, played by enthusiastic geezers who are up for a game of good improv straight from the heart. This involves a lot of noise and violence, but is well grounded in extremely firey conversations. Guitarist Jasper Stadhouders increases the sound level with crackling jabs, incited by stammering drum rhythms. John Dikeman joins with fierce sax cries and the crescendo is completed by the rhythmic jerking of the bass strings by special guest Jon Rune Strom. This makes for a fascinating spectacle between skilled musicians who don’t see beauty in pretty melodies, but by ferociously challenging one another. It’s been a long time since the Netherlands had such a wild jazz band. That comes as a relief. t’s a brave decision of the Young VIPs Tour that they’ve chosen for such a formation which crosses borders three steps at a time. - Tim Sprangers

(Buscando Un Nombre) Sin bajar el pistón desde el principio hasta el final. Energéticos y ruidosos. Así suenan Cactus Truck. Un jovencísimo trío holandés de guitarra - bajo, saxo (soprano, tenor o barítono) y batería, que en poco más de treinta minutos se explayan (es un decir) con una explosión que remite al hardcore (especialmente en tres miniaturas de menos de 30 segundos), el free jazz, la no-wave y el noise. La mezcla no es nueva, aunque en Brand New For China! el resultado es un explosivo de primera generación. Si se decía en algún sitio que la velocidad sin control no sirve para casi nada, Cactus Truck hace suya la máxima en “Aporia”, que a lo largo de sus diez minutos de duración los muestra energéticos pero calmados. Todo lo contrario sucede en “Search and Restore” (bonito homenaje a The Stooges), “Plork” (que pone punto final al LP) y el tema extra “la la la la labia time!”. Entre ambos extremos están los alaridos aylerianos en el inicio de “Coitiphobe”, la intensidad de “Sweet Movie” y “The snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea” en el que juegan con la intensidad, aumentándola progresivamente. Un disco que pasa como una exalación, es un placer para los oídos escuchar a estos tres jovenzuelos tan descar(n)ados. - Pachi Tapiz

(Monsieur Délire)A terrorist trio of free, dirty and noisy improvisation, Cactus Truck delivers a one-two punch of an album in three parts. One ten-minute track that never actually FEELS long; a sequence of four short and ultrashort tracks; and an addendum punctuated by a flash finale. John Dikeman’s sax dominates throughout, despite the fact that guitarist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert are doing everything they can to drown him out! - François Couture

(Babysue) Yet another exercise in difficult listening from the curious folks at Public Eyesore (!). Cactus Truck is the Amsterdam-based trio comprised of John Dikeman (saxophones), Jasper Stadhouders (guitar, bass), and Onno Govaert (drums). According to the band's web site, they create songs that combine "...hints of delta blues, early free jazz, Japanese noise, and no wave in the music." These guys play it hard and harsh on this, their first official full-length release. The chaotic nature of these compositions reminds us a great deal of the strange atonal instrumental segments in early Captain Beefheart recordings. The spontaneous intense energy is unforgiving and certainly not intended for a mass audience. Purely experimental stuff that is strange, nervous, and peculiar. We can only recommend this to folks into the stranger side of modern jazz and experimental music. Just over 30 minutes in length, Brand New For China! is an experience you won't soon forget... - Don Seven

(Dalston Sound) Looking back over the musical highlights of 2011 for The Wire magazine’s annual Rewind feature, The Ex’s Terrie Hessels described Cactus Truck, a band I’d never heard of, as his discovery of the year. Having finally heard the band’s debut album, I can see where he was coming from. As a studio recording it probably doesn’t capture the full thrill of the Cactus Truck live experience, but it makes a fine fist of the attempt. Cactus Truck is a lash-tight trio, two thirds Dutch, one third American. Jasper Stadhousers is credited with both guitar and bass tracks, but when they play live I guess it’s mostly bass that wins out. The back cover shows him playing an electric instrument, but his sound here resonates with the deep taut steel-on-wood thrum of an artfully pummelled contrabass. The other Cactus Truckers are John Dikeman soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, and Onno Govaert drums. The closest point of comparison is probably Zu with Mats Gustafsson, but that doesn’t quite nail it. Imagine a more feral and hardcore Ex (don’t expect to hear Ethiopian rhythms or anyone guesting on cello here), something more tightly focused than the ‘Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo’ project Lean Left, and more scabrous than Nilssen-Love trading blows with sax titan Peter Brötzmann (and those are not sax/drum sound/style comparisons I’d make lightly). Brand New is lean. Its running time extends to just 25 minutes across five bands of vinyl, or thirty minutes on CD with two bonus tracks. LP side one is all “Aporia”, which at 10:38 gives us Cactus Truck stretching out, mapping their hardscrabble sonic terrain. Sometimes it’s with tenderness in heir hearts, but more often venting pent-up aggression. Despite the album’s overall ferocity however, it’s not inhuman as hardcore can sometimes be, but rather impassioned. The trio’s raw punker energy disguises their evidently keen musical intelligence. Three twenty-second-long tracks are much more brutally direct, but they are also compacted compositions, not just heads-down thrash. Well, perhaps CD climax “La la la la Labia Time!” is a bit thrashy, but with a title like that, who cares. Ditto the other bonus track, a staccato stabbing, ultimately rip-snorting number with time for a doleful sax interlude, titled “The Snotgreen Sea, the Scrotumtightening Sea”. It’s actually a great track, and any vinyl fetishists who buy this album should certainly search it out on download. For anyone else, it would make for a great taster. - Tim Owen

(Ptolemaic Terrascope) Right, after those slow-motion inner explorations it is time to get the brain and body moving with the manic intensity and skronking chaos of Cactus Truck whose hyper-energetic jazz free-form workouts are enough to spark electricity between the ears and get you grinning like a cheshire cat. Featuring John Dikeman – Sax, Jasper Stadhousers – Guitar, Bass and Onno Govaert – Drums, the band display amazing understanding and dexterity, their almost telepathic interplay giving the piece a vitality and rhythm that is hard to pin down but excellent to listen to. Opening with the ten minute “Aporia”, the band make a holy racket right from the off, giving the listener no time to get bored or distracted. When faced with such cacophony it is hard to pick a favourite but what is not to love about a free form jazz workout called “The Snotgreen Sea, The Scrotumtightening Sea”, or if that is too long “Splork”.

(New York City Jazz Record) Fleshing out the lengthy but not always appreciated connection between free jazz and punk rock is the third and latest LP by Amsterdam trio Cactus Truck, which consists of expatriate saxophonist John Dikeman, guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert. They’ve collaborated with agitprop bouncers The Ex as well as open-form improvisers like Ab Baars, Dave Rempis and Jeb Bishop and it’s not difficult to see why they’ve found a willing stable of partners: the trio gets things done. Spry and limber they have energy to spare, but being go-for-broke is not without a healthy amount of conversational awareness. I use the term “conversational awareness” as opposed to “listening”, because Weasel Walter recently pointed out in a discussion that musicians’ refusal to listen can create diverse and complex musical environments. Players may be aware of the plurality and instead choose to isolate themselves formally, which in the most successful instances can create bizarrely tense structures. It’s a risk, but most good art is. Certainly a healthy dose of obstinance is at play here, Stadhouders doggedly strumming a detuned guitar in careening chunks as Govaert rattles and pushes, Dikeman’s effusive and steely keen soaring atop it all. Or, in a fine tenor and drum duet towards the end of “Sweet Movie”, the fourth track here, Govaert hangs out just behind the beat and a little to the left, continuing his twinkle-eyed random careen as Stadhouders picks up a gritty bass line reminiscent of Confusion is Sex-era Kim Gordon. Clocking in at a half hour in its CD incarnation (the vinyl is pressed at 45 rpm and less two tracks), Brand New For China! doesn’t overstay its welcome or much else. Once again: Cactus Truck gets things done. - Clifford Allen

(All About Jazz) I Cactus Truck sono un trio, fondato ad Amsterdam dal saxofonista americano John Dikeman e da due giovanissimi olandesi volanti come il bassista/chitarrista Jasper Stadhouders e il batterista Onno Govaert, che sta giŕ facendo parlare di sé per la furia iconoclasta e l'energia furibonda delle loro performance. L'improvvisazione gioca un ruolo determinante in questa modalitŕ espressiva che non si ferma davanti a nessun ostacolo. Non a caso i brani sono tutti a firma collettiva dei tre musicisti. Il loro album di esordio, Brand New for China!, č piuttosto breve e alterna quattro brani lunghi con tre frammenti brevissimi al di sotto dei trenta secondi. In totale mezz'ora di musica che ha giŕ fatto alzare molti sopraccigli. Il loro approccio č simile a quello dei Last Exit che negli anni ottanta, con Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Bill Laswell e Ronald Shannon Jackson, scompaginarono il mondo del free jazz non scevro da fremiti rock. Se vogliamo trovare dei riferimenti nella musica piů vicina a noi, possiamo citare il John Zorn degli anni novanta e poi le esperienze odierne del trio The Thing, dei nostrani Zu e del gruppo The Ex. Non si fanno prigionieri, non ci si ferma a guardare indietro. I tre continuano imperterriti ad attaccare lo spazio e il tempo, fanno la faccia feroce e nel mentre artigliano i loro strumenti per spremere ogni goccia di energia, cercando di sfuggire alle buone raccomandazioni che da sempre perseguono le nuove generazioni. Terrie Ex li ha giŕ definiti, su The Wire, la 'scoperta dell'anno.' Chissŕ se i tre terroristi musicali che si nascondono dietro la sigla Cactus Truck hanno vissuto anche questa come una raccomandazione di un maturo collega. - Maurizio Comandini

(Foxy Digitalis) With hindsight, the cross-pollination of reed instruments and high intensity guitar music, hardcore punk, metal and noise-rock particularly, seems incredibly natural. The saxophone’s capacity for harsh tones and staccato outbursts makes a potent contribution in terms of sheer volume and attack and the emphasis upon rhythm as framework that often accompanies jazz models, lends itself to the potential aggression of such forms. After the gradual deconstruction of jazz groups and reed improvisation by free jazz, fusion and non-idiomatic improvisers, the displacement and dispersal of techniques and forms, groups such as the Amsterdam-based ‘Cactus Truck’ seem concerned with a fearsomely rigid reconstitution; a return to tight, immediate performance propelled by a completely new set of principles derived from those high-intensity genres. The aim on Brand New for China is not abstraction, but a supremely aggressive and visceral selection of forward thinking shronk. The positions and expectations of the group mostly mirror that of the classical rock unit, with John Dikeman’s caustic soprano, tenor and baritone saxes, smeared across the tracks without respite, replacing lead guitar. But this is where such comparison ends. The frenzied reeds remain predominatly textural, endorsing force and immediacy over extended techniques, whilst still remaining technically satisfying. The shredded, burnt out tone recalls Peter Brötzmann or Mats Gustafsson, yet Dikeman still manages to squeeze out precise melodies and clearly voiced phrases and scales amidst the density. In fact the crux of the record is the strange meeting of abrasive, rolling saxophone riffs forced against leaden guitar chord repetition and slack-string bass thuds. Although the reeds are highest in the mix and, as with the solo section breaking the first track with rapid trills and gasps of air, occasionally allowed some space, the percussion and guitar are also particularly striking. They drive the constantly increasing tempo and brief sketches of volume and aggression that recalls bands like ‘Napalm Death’ and the ethos that the greatest results emerge from the fastest and most brutal performances. Chords are barely fingered leaving only string scrapes and distortion and rapid bass-lines topple over one another. The constant level of density and force within the playing and the rejection of dynamics or crescendo is best completely immersed in. Although the relentless combination of speed, feedback and controlled screech is overwhelming, in the greatest possible sense, it also becomes clear that ‘Cactus Truck’s’ cathartic expulsion of energy results from unusual counterpoints and very tight group dynamics somewhere between improvisation and composition. The original perception that each member is soloing in isolation gradually becomes replaced with a sense of interaction and cohesion. Not that this in any way reduces the crude effectiveness and energy of the project, whose relentless, invigorating and elusive snottiness should probably just be completely engaged, rather than dissected. - Chris Trowell

(Jazzin) Internacionalizam Amsterdama kao grada koji je zahvaljuju?i svojim pomorskim i zra?nim mrežama povezan s transatlantskim i pacifi?kim zemljama imao je velik utjecaj na razvoj subkulturne umjetni?ke scene. U prvom desetlje?u ovog stolje?a jedno od najzna?ajnijih mjesta grada bio je Kraakgeluiden, scena nove elektroakusti?ne improvizirane glazbe, sjecište raznih dinamika od suvremene skladateljske scene, preko ostataka alternative 1990-ih, do živu?e post-free-jazz scene okupljene oko kluba Bimhuis. Nakon putešestvija po Kairu i Budimpešti, i ameri?ki tenor-saksofonist John Dikeman koji se u domicilu formirao kroz radionice Jacka Wrighta, ovdje susre?e kompatibilne kolege, Onnoa Govaerta na bubnjevima i Jaspera Staudhousa na elektri?noj i bas-gitari, te osnivaju Cactus Truck. Ubrzo su snimili i CD „Brand New For China“, te ve? 12. XII. dovršavaju jednoipolmjese?nu ameri?ku turneju tijekom koje su snimili i material za idu?e albume. Osim u ovoj postavi, Govaert svira i u grupi Trialectics, dok Stadhouders sura?uje u improv-kombinacijama s glazbenicima iz Amsterdama, ?ije se suradnje mogu provjeriti preko soundcloud-profila. Bend je pokucao i zakucao temeljima i ruševinama ameri?kog NoWave zvuka, s energijskom ostavštinom free-jazza osamdesetih, gdje je rad Last Exita, škrt u registrima basa, o?ito ostavio jak utjecaj. Sam je Dikeman saksofonist koji ‘izdiše dušu’ i stoga svira jednu frazu po taktu. Zbog raspoznatljivosti vertikalne harmonijske strukture mogla bi se okarakterizirati kao sheets of sound, kad se u ‘plahtama’ ne bi tako jasno vidjeli šavovi… U invaziju se nadovezuje i Stadhouders s ‘akcijskom’ gitarom, dok je Govaertov pristup daleko tradicionalniji, iako zvuk benda više odlikuje tekstura i kontinuirani drone zida zvuka, nego li pozivnica kriti?aru u rukavicama „na dosljednu analizu“. Radi ovakvog koncepta zvuka, nije zanemariti ni stanoviti utjecaj Ab Baars Trija na autorski potpis Cactus Truck. Izdanje je izvorno objavljeno na vinilu, sa stranama „Tabitha“ i „Nikki“. T-stranu u cjelini je pojela „Aporia“, dok su na „Nikki“ ?ak ?etiri skladbe, me?u kojima i „Coitophobe“ i „Sweet Movie“, dvojni naklon opusu Makavejeva. U dodatku su skladbe „The snotgren sea, the scrotumtightening sea“, citat o?ito Joycea. I, tek negdje pri desetom slušanju u rasponu od osam mjeseci, raspoznat ?e se i skladbe suptilnije teksture, ohrabruju?i ipak ukupni dojam ovog prvijenca od svega 30 minuta. - Vid Jeraj

(Le Son Du Grisli) De cette sauvagerie extręme venue d’Amsterdam (John Dikeman : saxophones, Jasper Stadhouders : guitare et basse électriques, Onno Govaert : batterie), on notera la colčre exaucée, le déchaînement continu, l’étranglement convulsif, le paroxysme jamais abandonné, un chaos qui jamais ne se civilise, une basse enrhumée, un essorage de la matičre, des bruits sans fin… et aucune trace d’essoufflement. Belle performance, messieurs! - Luc Bouquet

(Downtown Music Gallery) Cactus Truck is John Dikeman on soprano, tenor & bari saxes, Jasper Stadhouders on guitar & bass and Onno Govaert on drums. Cactus Truck are a Netherlands-based trio who include former US-born saxist John Dikeman. Mr. Dikeman has worked with Jack Wright, Tatsuya Nakatani and Nate Wooley in the past. I can't say that I had heard of the other tow members of this trio before this disc. This disc is an intense, free trio CD-EP which last about 30 minutes. "Aporia" is tight, long (10 & 1/2 minutes) explosive piece for wailing tenor sax, electric bass and powerful drums. Bassist Stadhouders has a unique approach to his electric bass, bending and twisting his notes like tortured shrapnel about to erupt, keeping things off-balance at times. Cactus Truck are in town this week (third week of December, 2012) for a handful of gigs. I didn't get chance to see them live but this disc did knock my sox off! How can you go wrong with a song called "Coitophobe"? - Bruce Lee Gallanter

(Written in Music) Saaie taaie pling-plang-doedel-jazz is op dit schijfje van duizendachthonderd en zes seconden zeker niet te vinden … en dat deze schijf de in China alom klinkende trein-uitsmijters van Kenneth Gorelick zullen verdringen, is ook niet te verwachten. Misschien kunnen de lieden van Cactus Truck zich wel meten met de geluiden in de haven van Petropawlowskij op Kamchatka na een voorafgaand bad in de bergse zwafeldampvelden aldaar. Dus ga nooit in een bocht staan waar deze cactus truck in- en uit zou kunnen vliegen. Of alleen met stekelvrije vest. Ouderwets als Lp in kant A en kant B ingedeeld, stort als eerste het gerag van Aporia eruit. Aporia heeft veel weg van het geluid van een verzameling opgewonden vechtende walrussen. Twijfel zaaien, ja dat doet het. Full blast zoals dat heet. Rollend hels trommelvuur, zwaar grommend bas -geraas en krijsrijs saxdelirium, één grote blekkende massa, die ondanks heftige wilde bewegingen aan de grond blijft hangen. Ultrakort en middellang wisseleen elkaar vervolgens bij de resterende zes stukken af. Coitophobe – hoe bedenk je het – heeft hetzelfde massieve grondwerk als de opener maar deze keer ageert de sax bijna vloeiend tegen melodieus aan. Hier openen zich mogelijkheden van scherp en prikkelend contrastwerk. Het drietal is op weg er naar toe maar heeft nog wel wat te gaan. Sweet Movie wat erop volgt, is weer een geval van spervuur en hoge verdichting. En dat is haast nog moeilijker goed los te trekken dan contrastwerk. Je moet er voor honderd procent voor gaan maar of het omslagpunt waar het boven zichzelf uitstijgt ook daadwerkelijk bereikt word, is nog een tweede. Ook hier is het drietal goed op weg er naar toe – met drummer Onno Govaert als meest gearticuleerde drijfkracht. In de 28 seconden durende megaroffel Plork – een Naked-City-nazaat – bereiken ze dat wel. Bij de nog volgende bonus-tracks – haha bonus ponus – wisselen lang (The snotgreen sea …) en ultrakort (la la la la labia time) weer af. The Snotgreen Sea is een vitale, hortend-stotende affaire die vergeven is van contrastwerking, dynamiek en ruwe gearticuleerdheid, vervuld van het pijlsnelle elektrisch gitaarsnaarraaskrijs van Jasper Stadhouders, rake barikreunstoten en vervolgens wonderbaarlijk barizingende hymnes van John Dikeman die snel weer in een maelstroom van geluid meegesleurd worden en uiteindelijk gillend en gekweld ten ondergaan. Het afsluitende la la la la labia time is een kort maar heftig smorend verslikstuk. Het gerochel en de hoestaanval die daarvan waar- schijnlijk het gevolg zijn, krijgen we niet meer te horen. Gelukkig? Hoe dan ook de groep heeft inmiddels niet alleen een Young Talent Tour door heel Nederland heen gedaan. Ze heeft ook een volgroeide tour van zes weken door het VS-clubcircuit afgerond. Dat mag voor een jonge Nederlandse groep bijzonder heten en is zonder precedent. Én de group bestaat zelfs nog. Potentieel dus! In februari speelt de groep op het 12points Festival in Dublin en zal er geen groen gras over laten groeien. - Henning Bolte

(All About Jazz) John Dikeman is one of the most interesting saxophonists now operating in the Amsterdam scene. He is a charismatic player, well-versed in the legacy of modern and free jazz as his recent releases— Across the sky, with bassist Raoul Van Der Weide and drummer Klaus Kugel (Not Two, 2012); and Nihil is Now (Stone Floor, 2012), with the Universal Indians trio—testify. Still, it is the Cactus Truck trio that represents Dikeman at his best. This trio— with bassist/guitarist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert, has its roots in other power outfits like the electric groups of Peter Brötzmann ({Last Exit, Hairy Bones and Trio Roma), The Thing and Zu. Brutal, furious and uncompromising, but with punk aesthetics; meaning that this trio plays fast, with a dirty sound and often ridiculously short pieces. The sonic assault begins with the longest piece, "Aporia"— the A side, of the vinyl version of this album— ten minutes of explosive, skronky playing by all three musicians. Dikeman's dominant screams pierce the sky, Stadhouders' distorted and aggressive bass and guitar lines intensifies the sonic mayhem and Govaert's fractured, unpredictable rhythmic pattern keeps all on their edge. The B side begins with another super-fast sonic attack, the compact, 26-second "Search and Restore." The other pieces—"Coitophobe" and "Sweet Movie"—still continue in a similarly muscular, energetic vein, but with more open dynamics and room for solo articulations. 24 chaotic and noisy seconds of "Plork" seal the vinyl version. The bonus pieces on the CD version include the punkish "The snotgreen sea, the scrotumtightening sea," that sounds like it's as paying tribute to improvised dynamics of fellow Dutch bend The Ex (and The Ex's guitarist, Terrie Hessels, collaborated with the trio). The 23 seconds of explosive "La la la la labia time!" conclude this wild ride. Brand New For China! clocks at compact 30 minutes, but all offer noisy bliss. - Eyal Hareuveni

(Jazz World) Wyoming and Nebraska may be known for many things, but being the birthplace and childhood home of an intense post-Aylerian saxophonist isn’t one of them. Now an Amsterdam resident, Western U.S.-born and raised John Dikeman spits, squeals, swallows and sputters timbres from every part of his horn(s) –soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones on Brand New for China; tenor on Across the Sky – working out his own interpretation of what could be called the fortissimo Energy Music canon. Recorded within eight months of one another the CDs are particularly intriguing, because even within the boundaries of his rough-hewn attack you can hear the saxophonist forging a distinct approach. Across the Sky is by no means a conventional Jazz session. Yet the presence of German drummer Klaus Kugel, who has played with saxophonists such as Louie Belogenis and Charles Gayle, plus Netherlands-based Raoul van der Weide on bass, objects and crackle box, who gigged with pianist Burton Greene and multi-reedist Ab Baars, puts the CD firmly in the European Free Jazz continuum. Brand New for China on the other hand has Dikeman playing alongside younger Dutch musicians whose background is as much with Punk and Metal as Free Jazz. Although drummer Onno Govaert and guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders have worked with some of same stylists as van der Weide and Kugel, Cactus Truck’s CD defaults more towards super-noisy Rock allusions. Certainly with Govaert’s continuous door-smacking-like cross sticking and ruffs matched with Stadhouders’ brutal guitar down-strokes and staccato string scratching, the result is a rasping tonal assault. Here Dikeman’s reed output centres on expressive glossolalia and yelping split tones, only pausing to showcase more pronounced, pressurized and intense vibrato plus agitated timbral punctuation. Nonetheless, although Dikeman’s note choices and attack may appear consciously or not to intermittently reference R&B honkers like Big Jay McNeeley rather than the primitvist sophistication of New Thingers such as Albert Ayler, he pauses for sequences of reflective episodes among the sonic blitzkrieg. For instance the saxophonist puffs out chromatic runs alongside blunt bellicosity on “Coitiphobe”. That tune is also notable for the guitarist’s hand-tapping string distortion and crunching flanges that cascade against the drummer’s rattles, ruffs and ratamacues. Moreover, Dikeman’s strategy on “Sweet Movie” concerns itself as much with jiggling, stretching and mutation reed lines into unique patterns as it does with playing them. There are sequences reserved for altissimo screeching in fact, to counterbalance the guitarist’s harsh fuzz-tones. Taking a different tack, reflective crackle box static and/or distant bell clinks pulled from the percussionist’s bag-of-tricks are the scene-setters on the other CD. The result is that mid-range exploratory angling and trilling characterize Dikeman’s reed tessitura before he turns to husky squeals and intense vibratos here. Just as this less severe strategy is used by the saxophonist on tracks such as “A Screaming Comes” and the title tune, so Dikeman later responds in kind to an unexpected rhythm-section groove. As unpredictable as they can be elsewhere, at points van der Weide and Kugel are very capable of sourcing rhythmic bass thumps and shaded drum and cymbal beats to shape the performance. Maybe this is Free Jazz-Mainstream? Creating in counterpoint to one another, the bassist’s spectacular sul tasto slaps and flanged fills on the first track mean that Dikeman’s repeated gruff l slides become more shaded, grounded and cooperative. Furthermore Kugel’s conga drum-like pulses and slow rumbles shove the saxophonist’s strident vamps into a more connective context. Abstraction and textural exploration animate each man’s playing, but overall it’s the renal honks, staccato whorls and irregular phrasing which arise and dissipate during the saxophonist’s solos, that spark excitingly, but never burn out the trio’s musical symmetry. Reed stridency lacks the nihilistic tendencies that the other player brings to Cactus Truck. Yet precisely because of Kugel’s and van der Weide’s studied technical prowess the comprehensive program doesn’t suffer. Both of these powerful CDs offer up the sort of parallel yet creatively varied programs the saxophonist can continue to explore as his style ripens and is fully defined. - Ken Waxman

(Disaster Amnesiac) Very much playing yang to the yin of groups such as Music For Hard Times, Cactus Truck revel in thier highly energized Free Jazz blasting concept. Up in the frontal attack zone, reedsman John Dikeman blows with passion and abandon, his controlled tone often reminding Disaster Amnesiac of Archie Shepp. Dikeman gets all over his horns, going from low growls to high pitched yowls. Pushing the attack horns is the Jasper Stadhouders/Onnon Govaert rhythm section. The former gets any and all manner of Post Punk wailing and strumming from his electric guitar and bass, while the latter goes for the energetic multi-limbed freedom strut with his traps. These two play with such locked precision, it's pretty clear that they have spent a ton of time locked in rehearsal rooms together. We're talking extended slabs of deeply focused locked groove here, upon which the horns cry freedom and sex. Day suggested to me that this LP's title what supposed to say something else, which has a lot to do with randy musicians, ah, exploring as they road trip from town to town......... - Mark Pino


© 2014 Public Eyesore Records. All Rights Reserved.