The words loud and aggressive only begin to scratch the surface of this proto-punk free jazz band; Borbetomagus sets forth a sonic squall that obliterates, and woe to the listener who comes to one of their concerts not knowing what to expect.

While participants on the downtown New York free improv scene have long thrived on chaos and extremes in volume and timbre, none of them got there before this upstate New York ensemble. Borbetomagus has been pursuing their noisy muse since the late '70.

Saxophonists Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich were childhood friends; after meeting and sitting in with guitarist Donald Miller's band in New York City, the three formed Borbetomagus. Throughout the '80s and a good part of the '90s, the group issued dozens of recordings on their own and other labels.

Avant-rocker Thurston Moore is a fan/collaborator; he substitutes for Miller on one release. In the 2000s, the band still performs, though infrequently.