Originally released in 1982 on the India Navigation label, this essential avant-garde minimalist record was salvaged from obscurity by Jim O'Rourke, who issued the first-ever CD version on his Dexter's Cigar label in 1998. Arnold Dreyblatt came out of the same stream of American minimalism that spawned the groundbreaking work of Steve Reich, La Monte Young, and Philip Glass. While Dreyblatt's work was equally influential as his peers in the minimalist movement, his name remained an obscure footnote in the genre up until the '90s, when his work was given a higher degree of exposure due to an extraordinary album released on John Zorn's Tzadik label. The 1996 album entitled Animal Magnetism is a logical progression on the work presented here, where repetition and rhythm are explored to fastidious degrees. Nodal Excitation could be said to be a quintessential study in minimalism with a small ensemble performing on Dreyblatt's modified string instruments, which are hammered in art-brut fashion, resulting in a deep and complex array of overtones and harmonics. Nodal Excitation is a vital recording, essential to listeners with both passing and in-depth interests in minimalist and avant-garde music. The eight untitled tracks form a deeply hypnotic suite over a total length of 38 minutes and result in a piece that is overall as strong as his other recorded works, such as The Sound of One String and Animal Magnetism.
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AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane