Since first hitting (almost literally) the New York City new music scene in 1979, Borbetomagus remains an important precursor to what has long been known as the “Noise” genre. This is widely acknowledged among important artists associated with that scene: Merzbow, Sonic Youth, and Boredoms are long-time fans, and they have done “supergroups” with AMM, Voice Crack, The Shaking Rays and Hijokaidan. And they are given a significant place in “The Noise Primer” that appeared in The Wire some years ago, along such artists as Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle. That said, They did not begin as “noisicians” and are in fact all trained musicians drawing from very deep musical traditions (free jazz, contemporary classical, early electronic music, European free improv, gonzo rock’n’roll). THIS is the key difference between them and many of their descendants. Take the most peaked-out saxophone climaxes of Coltrane, Brœtzmann, Ayler and Pharoah Sanders, bring in the maximum feedback of Hendrix and Lou Reed, but with formal conception of Stockhausen, Xenakis and John Cage, and you will start getting a sonic-picture of it….
Dietrich and Sauter currently live outside of New York City. Miller moved from NYC to New Orleans in 2001. There most recent releases include “The Rape of Atlanta” (LP, private bootleg series), the CD reissue of their 1984 classic “Zurich”, and “Trente belles annees”, recorded live at Instants Chavires, Paris, in 2009 both on their own label Agaric Records.