Minimal Man – The Shroud Of


B.F.E. Records, a small Spanish imprint, trades in some newer artists (Bronze, Umberto) but where they tend to soar is in finding the kind of small batch secrets from the post-punk hangover and bringing them back to life. With Minimal Man’s The Shroud Of, they dust off an undersung nugget of noise and post-punk fury. Headed by Patrick Miller, and eventually joined by members of Tuxedomoon, the band evolved into a kind of scraping, seething byproduct of the Throbbing Gristle influence, though they easily sit alongside releases from Flipper, Chrome or DNA on the shelf. The record succeeds mainly on Miller’s intense delivery, fully committing himself to the frenzy of the noise grinding below. Miller put a focus on a rotating lineup over the years and he remained the only real constant in Minimal Man’s tenure.

After the release of the debut, which he recorded as a core trio with flute/sax/bass player Andrew Baumer and drummer Liliam Hart and several others rotating out of the Tuxedomoon stable, he relocated to Europe to continue Minimal Man’s existence there. Minimal Man, the name, was actually a character that Miller chaneled his vision though, a sort of pathetic person that wouldn’t face problems head on, but rather made up excuses and delusions to get through the day. The ideal fit the angry output that Miller created, feeling a bit like an indictment of the weakness he perceived around him. He’d record four more albums after The Shroud Of and eventually return to the states to fight a battle with drug addiction before his death in 2003. The debut still stands as a beacon of weirdness and a biting worldview all these years later. Good on B.F.E. to keep the anger alive.

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