80s HITS: Plus Instruments


Here it is, our 200th entry in the series focusing on weird but great music from the 1980s. Plus Instruments, what a legendary musical project – primarily the brainchild of Dutch musician Truus de Groot. She started making music in 1979 with various line-ups. The debut cassette, billed to Truss Plus Instruments, was distributed with copies of the Alien Brains fanzine in 1980.

Truus has continued making music over the years with a long catalogue of releases. Last year 79/80 was reissued by Dead Mind Records with an additional 7 tracks from the same time period. Another reissue that came out a year earlier focuses on her period in New York, playing together with Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) and  David Linton.

Truus with Lee Ranaldo and  David Linton

The 8 tracks that make up Februari – April 81′ were originally released as an LP in 1981, via a label called Kremlin. It was run out of Eindhoven by Carlos van Hijfte who was to become Sonic Youth’s manager. The reissue was remastered by Lee Ranaldo and also came with two live bonus tracks (digital only).

Truus collaborated with many underground musicians, including Jim Sclavunos (of Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and later in Nick Cave’s band). This is how she describes her music on her website:

My career started at the beginning of the Punk Rock craze in 1976 in The Netherlands. I started out as a vocalist and lyric writer. Experimental Electronic instruments also became part of my passion. Eventually it led me to design my own instruments today.

Truus with Jim Sclavunos and  Annene Kaye

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