Exposé Online banner

Glenn Branca — The Ascension
(Acute ACT 002, 1980/2003, CD)

by Dean Suzuki, Published 1996-03-01

The Ascension Cover art

This is a long overdue re-issue of Branca's first LP, before the days of the army of guitars, but well past his punk days. On this album, Branca was joined by three other guitarists, a bassist, and longtime drummer Stephan Wischerth. This record crystalizes the primary influences of punk rock and the minimalist composers, especially Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Thus he combines the raw energy, reckless abandon, and mind-numbing volume found in punk, and the relentless repetitive structures of minimal music. The results are devastating and exhilarating. Unlike Branca's later symphonies, the shorter tracks found on this album are more rock oriented, direct and perhaps less high falutin'. For example, "Structure," which clocks in at a mere three minutes, makes one basic gesture which builds and builds to a skull rattling climax. It may be simple and to the point, but is it ever effective. If you know Branca's symphonies, whether for electric guitars or conventional orchestra, you must experience this album to put his work in its proper perspective.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 9, 2003 releases, 1980 recordings

Related artist(s): Glenn Branca

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blocco Mentale - POA – Here's an Italian band from 1973 that, instead of taking their cue from the keyboard driven sound of ELP, have more in common with the sound of Jethro Tull, early PFM, maybe Blodwyn Pig, and perhaps...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues