The Skronk-Lord himself Mats Gustafsson, captured here on record alongside guitarist John Russell and wild gibbering vocalist Phil Minton! Prime free improvisation from some experienced players, performing together for the first time that I am aware of…? A Duo(S) is released on tasty translucent pink vinyl by the Polish label Bocian.
- LP £13.99
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- BCLO / Ltd translucent pink coloured vinyl LP on Bocian, Pink vinyls limited to 100 copies only!
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- A Duo(S) by Mats Gustafsson With John Russell & Phil Minton
5/10 Robin Staff review, 24 February 2015
I am listening to this record, and I am not hyperventilating, which is a start. Here are some things that are happening: I am typing; Mats Gustafsson is doing some things with reeds; John Russell is occasionally making strange noises with his guitar, which he does not realise is a guitar; I am laughing, nervously; Phil Minton is speaking gibberish; Phil Minton is sighing gibberish; Phil Minton is method acting Lord of the Ring’s Gollum; Phil Minton is huffing and puffing; Phil Minton is licking his lips as close to a microphone as possible.
Phil Minton is scary. Much like John Zorn scat singing into empty space, he attempts to unnerve the listener through a pastiche of vocal sounds that you would be told off by your parents for performing at a dinner table, or in public, or in your sleep. His yelps and hurls are unmusical in the sense they are never expected to appear in music, let alone performance art -- here they create a suffocating atmosphere where all we are presented with is this man and his voice, his eyes meeting our exact line of sight. It is terrifying.
Avant-garde collaborators John Russell and Mats Gustafsson only make the work more skeletal, offering hints of instrumentation that die out rather than get birthed. Russell’s guitar comes on quietly and impossibly, disappearing before it can temper Minton. Basically, there’s no respite from this very man-made tension. Also recommended: the Beach Boys shred.
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