Monday 12 March 2018, 7.30pm
“It’s easy to see why The Ex’s Terrie Hessels described Cactus Truck as the discovery of the year... 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.” – The Wire
Cactus Truck is teaming up once again with guitar wizard Ava Mendoza to tour Europe this March. Ava brings a unique dirty virtuosity to the band that helps flesh out different aspects of the Cactus canon. As Vice said: “It’s… Ava Mendoza’s deconstructing of blues and punk into brutal shredfests that’s causing a ruckus in NYC’s DIY hubs”.
AVA MENDOZA is a Brooklyn-based guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. Born in 1983, she started performing her own music, and as a sidewoman and collaborator in many different projects, as soon as she was old enough to get into 18+ venues. As a guitarist, Mendoza has received acclaim for her technique and viscerality. Her most ongoing work is as leader of experimental rock band Unnatural Ways, and as a solo performer on guitar/voice. In any context she is committed to bringing expressivity, energy and a wide sonic range to the music. Mendoza has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe and recorded or performed with musicians including Carla Bozulich, Fred Frith, Mick Barr, Nels Cline, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Mike Watt, Matana Roberts, Ikue Mori, Matt Mitchell, Jon Irabagon, members of Caroliner, Tune-yards, the Violent Femmes, and more.
Recordings are available on labels Tzadik, Weird Forest, Clean Feed, NotTwo, Resipiscent, and New Atlantis. Friendly critics have quoted: “It’s... Ava Mendoza’s deconstructing of blues and punk into brutal shredfests that’s causing a ruckus in NYC’s DIY hubs” (Brad Cohan, Noisey.Vice). She was featured as one of Guitar World‘s “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know”.
Cactus Truck creates startlingly intense music. Through complete physical and psychological surrender, they pull raw and pure emotions out of their instruments. In each performance, they push themselves beyond their limits through improvisation, resulting in a quick-paced music of very high energy, often genre defying. The band formed in Amsterdam in April 2010 and has since played over a 100 concerts all over Europe and the USA. Cactus Truck frequently collaborates with a wide variety of like-minded artists, including Terrie Ex, Jeb Bishop, Nicolas Field, Peter Jacquemyn, Ab Baars, Kevin Shea, Roy Campbell and Wally Shoup. Their first official album entitled “Brand New For China!” (PE119) was released in March 2012 on Public Eyesore Records (www.publiceyesore.com) and has been well received by critics world wide, describing the music with mere superlatives and landing on many “Best of 2012” lists. Their latest album was released in March 2013, recorded during their epic 2012 USA tour entitled “Cactus Truck Live in USA with Jeb Bishop and Roy Campbell” on Tractata Records and Eh? Records (Tractata #01, eh?72).
Christian Meaas Svendsen is a Norwegian bass player playing in constellations such as Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, Momentum and Duplex. He is also leading his own ensemble Nakama as well as being initiator of the collective label Nakama Records. At the age of 28 he has participated on over 20 records in a combination of player/composer/producer/designer. He is aiming towards becoming a distinctive yet flexible musician, and can be summed up as a challenging and innovative bass player. Although he is a firm believer that any creative output stands strong on its own terms, he also feels that music is a powerful tool to make a change in this world. His concept of music is not defined by genre, and he aims towards connecting the classical, contemporary and the free, rhythmic music tradition and to reach beyond the various imaginative borders created by human society and modern culture.
Christian Meaas Svendsen’s solo music can be boiled down to three words: Bass, Body, Bow. Within that seemingly small framework there is an entire universe of sound to explore. Sound and music is, on so many levels, relations. Playing an instrument, especially the double bass, is a very physical thing. Christian questions the cemented view of relating to his instrument physically, and challenges the body’s capacities in order to find new ways to approach the sonic treasures hidden within the body of the bass. His music implies that sound and movement is one and the same and at the same time embedded in each other. This musical universe is one of energy, one of utilizing all of one’s capacities and one of treating hearing and seeing as an incorporated experience.