Minimal Man

  • Minimal Man
  • The Shroud Of (Subterranean) 1981 
  • Safari (CD Presents) 1984 
  • Minimal Man EP (Fundamental Music) 1985 
  • Sex with God (Ger. Dossier) 1986 
  • Slave Lullabyes (Fundamental Music) 1986 
  • Mock Honeymoon EP (Bel. Play It Again Sam) 1987 
  • Hunger Is All She's Ever Known (Bel. Play It Again Sam) 1988 

This San Francisco anti-music group is the brainchild of Patrick Miller, who screams largely incomprehensible lyrics over plodding instrumentals punctuated by wild, dissonant screeches that bleat painfully at varying intervals. On The Shroud Of, Minimal Man is a trio (drummer, bassist doubling on sax and flute, Miller on synths and vocals) plus seven guest instrumentalists who increase the chaos and noise level, making it a veritable nightmare in wax.

For the relatively restrained Safari, Miller relies on three sidemen to create a well-organized ominous roar of bass, drums and guitar; his own vocals and keyboards are intense and unsettling, but much more listenable. Minimal Man may not provide much in the way of routine entertainment, but Miller is nonetheless a challenging artist of dark talent and vision.

According to a January 2004 article in The New York Times, Miller—a longtime narcotics user—died of hepatitis C in December 2003.

[Ira Robbins]