Music sure to polarise opinion, Phil Minton’s free-form vocal work is at the deep end of the spectrum of avant-garde. An iconic figure within European free music, Minton has played with a stupefying range of collaborators including Peter Brotzmann, Lol Coxhill, John Butcher and Mike Westbrook. He has lent his rich baritone to readings of James Joyce, William Blake and Russian absurdist Daniil Kharms and even guested  on a suitably over-the-top tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Minton’s tireless commitment to creating new possibilities within sound, exhibited by his lengthy discography, is perhaps best realised in his ‘extended techniques’ for voice, which alarmingly include the ability to distort his vocal chords to produce two notes. To quote the FMP label: ‘Minton’s range runs from the sounds of a man choking on his own vomit to the sounds that grandpa makes when you finally decide to pull the plug on his respirator. He’s mastered the art of the multiple burp; he’s perfected the craft of goobering all over his finger and then running it over his lips while moaning. Minton forces us to ponder the musical qualities of noises that we’d rather not deal with and for that fact alone, makes his work important.’ Check him out here. It’s rare that Manchester plays host to something so utterly esoteric. Given that the show is donation only, there is absolutely no excuse not to indulge your curiosity. A cohesive bill of challenging and engaging music is rounded out by local experimenters Roases, Belied Gunaiko and SN IV BH. 

Wed 16 Jan, Kraak Gallery, 11 Stevenson Square, M1 1DB, 8pm, donation only,

Wed 16 Jan
David McLean
Published on:
Tue 15 Jan 2013