• Cactus Truck
  • Cactus Truck
  • Cactus Truck

John Dikeman – saxophone
Jasper Stadhouders – guitar and bass
Onno Govaert – drums

“Concerts of the year: Cactus Truck at Zebulon, NYC, 1 November 2012.”

Andrey Henkin’s Best Of 2012, New York City Jazz Record

“Discovery of the year: Cactus Truck. Young, Dutch improvisers (about time!). Sparky and real.”

Terrie Ex, recollections of 2011, The Wire


Based in Amsterdam, this fire-breathing improvisational trio is comprised of bassist/guitarist Jasper Stadhouders, drummer Onno Govaert, and American-born saxophonist John Dikeman. The band plays a take-no-prisoners, high-energy brand of free jazz strongly influenced by the likes of Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann at their most intense (they also claim that their music includes elements of Delta blues, Japanese noise, and no wave). Cactus Truck self-released an eponymous CD-R in 2011 and followed that up with a 2012 cassette release (featuring Terrie Ex from the Ex) entitled Macho Sex; their first “official” album, Brand New for China!, arrived in March of 2012 on the Public Eyesore label. In late October through mid-December of that year, Cactus Truck stormed the United States with a massive 37-date tour that saw the trio tearing it up across the country, up the East Coast from Atlanta to Boston, across the Midwest and West, down the West Coast from Seattle to Los Angeles, and finally wending their way back east for three final dates in New York City. Selections from the tour (recorded at Squidco Records in Wilmington, Delaware with guest trombonist Jeb Bishop; Astro Black Records in Louisville, Kentucky; and the final show at JACK in N.Y.C. with guest trumpeter Roy Campbell) were featured on the Live in USA album, released in March 2013 by the band’s Tractata Records imprint in collaboration with the eh? label.

Dave Lynch, AllMusic


“It becomes apparent that the furious combination of free jazz and improv punk has been perfected.”

“It just might be that “Brand New For China!” reaches legendary status in the history of Dutch improvised music.”

Herman te Loo, JazzFlits

“It’s easy to see why The Ex’s Terrie Hessels described Cactus Truck as the discovery of the year in The Wire’s 2011 Rewind a few months back. His idea of a friendly greeting is a hard punch to the solar plexus, and that’s what Amsterdam based American saxophonist John Dikeman and Dutch sparring partners guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert deliver on Brand New For China!, three of whose seven excitingly raw tracks clock in at just 20 seconds, for anyone nostalgic for grindcore. But there’s a lingering aftertaste of vintage free jazz in Dikeman’s rough, rubbery saxophone playing and Stadhouders’s wild, wiry guitar.”

Dan Warburton, The Wire

“Cactus Truck has grown into being one of the most thrilling and exciting live bands of these regions. In any genre whatsoever.”

“It’s been proven that Cactus Truck has long surpassed the stage of a beginning noise band. Here was a band of three concert junkies who are extraordinarily virtuoso and well connected to one another, who’ve explored the boundaries of their abilities for so long, that they know perfectly how far (and how long) they can ride the wave. During the two longs sets, you were treated to many moments which made your mouth fall open. Sparkling, explosive, almost unbearably intense.”

“Cactus Truck and their guests played an impressive concert and offered pretty much everything that one could expect: dare, openness, trust and pure, uncontrollable lust. Cactus Truck; that’s vitalism and primal force, it sways and rattles. It exceeds limits and is alive. The necessary kick in the ass that every jazz fan (whether rusty or not) can use every now and again. What a band.”

“Cactus Truck opts for the monumental approach, the Grand Gesture, the Fucking Statement. Nietzsche would have found all this excessive courage great. … A welcome kick in the jazz balls.”

“Cactus Truck … in all likelihood the most exciting thing that overcame the Dutch improv scene in the last couple of years.”

Guy Peters, Goddeau/Enola