The music on this album was recorded between late 1982 and mid-1983 and first released as an (a)R(t) NOISE cassette in 1983 under the title Arthritis. Hand duplicated, it received very little circulation. This remastered reissue is titled Arthritis Minus because it includes only seven of the original ten pieces. At the time, brothers Paul and Thomas Gaudynski (keyboards and guitars, respectively) were part of the contemporary/improv trio DG&G with Diana David. The two solo pieces ("Paul Solo" and "Thomas Solo") were recorded in December 1982 for Wisconsin Public Radio as part of a feature on the trio. They provide a chance to scrutinize their individual approaches. Each of them has access to many instruments simultaneously. Paul plays piano, harpsichord, pump organ, and an amplified zither, often using these instruments in unconventional ways which include playing directly on the strings. Thomas manipulates effects, prerecorded tapes, and cheap electronics (including a shortwave radio) while playing the electric guitar. In these solo tracks, each of them turns into a one-man band. Things get even busier when they play together, but they rarely spiral out of hand (one exception: the chaotic middle section of "Rheumatoid Arthritis"). A highlight is reached in "Myositis," where Paul scratches strings in an oddly alluring way. Arthritis Minus is not a dusted-down gem of free improvisation, but it provides an honest, challenging listen and a peek at what was happening deep underground in early-'80s Wisconsin.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture