Plus Instruments' existence spans over the last 3 decades. Established in 1978 by Truus de Groot in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, she tinkered with toy and electronic instruments in her flat - amidst the explosion of Punk Rock. Even though Truus was very active in that genre and “New Wave” as well, the more experimental side gradually took over and the concept of Plus Instruments was born. (their first Bio pictured right)
Plus Instruments released their first e.p. single in 1979 on Dutch label Plurex with a duet called “BandT-Plus Instruments” (the B stands for "Bregt" and T is Truus). Playing odd electronic instruments, Bass and vocals, most of their performances were improvised.
They teamed up with Michel Waisvisz, the inventor of the Crackle Synthesizer in numerous performances where they peddled their strange single. At the same time she was also the lead singer in the popular Dutch New Wave Band “Nasmak”. In 1980 they released an album also on the Dutch label Plurex.
That album was entitled Nasmak Plus Instruments, Instruments Plus Nasmak, indicating that the experimental side of Plus Instruments had already vastly infused Nasmak. After hundreds of performances all through Europe Truus was looking for more challenges and in 1980 that became a possibility after she went to see Rhys Chatham play in her hometown of Eindhoven she struck up a friendship with the drummer, David Linton. He extended an invitation to her for a NYC visit. In 1981 she got on a plane to NYC never to call the Netherlands her home again.
Armed with background tapes of electronic percussion she reformed Plus Instruments with Lee Ranaldo (now in Sonic Youth) on guitar and David Linton on Drums, while Truus played Bass and sang Lead Vocals.
They quickly recorded and released an album "February - April 1981" on the Dutch Kremlin label. With this line-up they hit the New York club scene, released an Album and on to a European Tour.
After returning to the US, David and Lee went their own way and Truus reformed the band with a variety of NY musicians (Jonathan Schneider, Craig Kafton) , always very active on the club scene both in NY and Europe. They recorded another album that was never released and is sitting in the vaults.
Eventually one EP was released in 1982 with two cuts by Plus Instruments and Nasmak on the other side, on the German label Zick Zack. Truus in turn briefly toured Europe under the name Plus Instruments with James Sclavunos, Annene Kay and Marula Verbeek.
In 1983 Truus took a U-turn from the Electronic experimental Euro-Beat and temporarily moved to Memphis to start Trigger & the Thrill Kings with Jim Duckworth (Gun Club) playing a very raunchy Blues, country rockabilly mix. Again they toured throughout Europe and the US and released various records with various line-ups. From that point Plus Instruments went into hibernation.
Truus concentrated on various solo projects. The 90’s were a time of reflection and a move to Seattle, but late 90’s Truus released the first of 3 Exotica themed albums. Not your run-of-the-mill exotica, no attempt to imitate Martin Denny, rather a unique take on the genre.
2011 is the year Plus Instruments came out with a brand new CD, entitled "Dance with me" under the name Truus Plus Instruments. The full length CD features mostly Truus with select guest performances and an overall selection of songs with driving beats, grinding synthesizer grooves and haunting vocals much in the same tradition of the earlier Plus Instruments creations. Production by James Sclavunos & Peter Mavrogeorgis.
Summer 2012: 31 Years after the release of the Plus Instruments Album “ Februari-April 81” on the Dutch Kremlin label it is re-issued on Poutre Apparente (France). A limited edition vinyl pressing of 500 of this timeless work with the line-up of Truus de Groot, David Linton and Lee Ranaldo sounds as fresh now as it did then. Another color edition was released 2 years later.
2013: New Plus Instruments album "Trancesonics" was released in July on CD on Dewclaw Ditties also Vinyl on Blowpipe Records. Featuring guest appearances by Jimmy Virani.
2013: "Excile in Paradise" a collection of never before released tracks dating back to 1982 / 83 on the German Label VOD-Records. Released on Vinyl, limited edition.
2015: Truus collaborated with Cold Void, a project of internet Visual artist Rafael Rozendaal and Film maker/ musician Luuk Bouwman. The result is the album Cold Void / Plus Instruments. Digital release only.
2016 Plus Instruments debuts “Signal through the Waves” featuring, James Sclavunos on Drums and Paulo Beto on synths. Avaialble in CD format and digital.
2017 a collaboration between Intige Taluure and Plus Instruments. A full length album out on ltd edition cassette.
2019 Aim For The Center - Plus Instruments (Dewclaw Ditties) Album CD
2020 Plus Instruments (1979) Bandt + Instruments (Dewclaw Ditties) Album Digital
Former & Current Collaborators include: Brecht Camphuijzen (NL), Rik van Iersel (NL), Toon Bressers (NL), Theo Van Rock (NL), David Linton (US), Lee Ranaldo (US), Craig Kafton (US), Jonathan Schneider (US), James Sclavunos (US), Jim Duckworth (US), Annene Kaye (US), Marula Verbeek (NL), Younes Raid (NL), Solex (NL), Jimmy Virani (FR), Paulo Beto (BR), Miguel Barella (BR), Intige Taluure (BEL) and many more!