Musicians have been paying tribute to influential no wave guitarist and avant-garde composer Glenn Branca, who died this week of throat cancer aged 69.
After founding key no wave group Theoretical Girls in 1976, Branca forged a singular career writing and performing cacophonous, minimalist guitar symphonies and other rigorous, uncompromising works.
He played a crucial role in the formation of Sonic Youth, introducing Thurston Moore to Lee Ranaldo and putting out their first two albums on his own label. David Bowie named Branca’s 1981 album The Ascension as one of his favourite records of all-time.
Writing on Instagram, Ranaldo said: “The beginning of my time in New York, 1979-1980, would have been nothing without the genius work that Glenn Branca was doing at that time. The most radical, intelligent response to punk and the avant garde I’d ever seen.”
Actor and Lounge Lizards leader John Lurie added that seeing Theoretical Girls in 1979 “changed my life”.
Thurston Moore tweeted simply: “The Ascension”
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The beginning of my time in New York, 1979-1980, would have been nothing without the genius work that Glenn Branca was doing at that time. The most radical, intelligent response to punk and the avant garde I’d ever seen. Sad to hear of his passing today. First pic, the ‘Ascension band’ when I joined: myself, Glenn, Ned Sublette, David Rosenbloom and Jeffrey Glenn. Drummer Stephan Wischerth not pictured. Second pic: me playing Glenn’s ‘Harmonical ‘ (2×4 w nodal bridges and multiple pickups) circa 1981 or 82.
RIP The great Glenn Branca. I first saw him in London in about 1981 I think. It was so loud that when they stopped playing I almost fell over. Glorious transcendent clouds of overtones and dissonance, it had a big impact on me. https://t.co/OUBEo9vmyi
— JG Thirlwell (@jgthirlwell) May 15, 2018
RIP MR GLENN BRANCA. KIDS- PUT HIS REKKIDS ON. CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!
— Ryley walker (@ryleywalker) May 14, 2018
Oh Jesus, Glenn Branca. That's a tough one. Godspeed you emperor of the thunderous and electric.
— Kavus Torabi (@Knifeworld) May 14, 2018
— Thurston Moore (@nowjazznow) May 15, 2018
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