Minimal Man – Safari
|Minimal Man||Safari||CD Presents, Ltd.|
One of the wonders of sites like Discogs and eBay is that you have access to pretty much anything. You can go out for the night, hear a tune that you like, wave your phone at it and ping, it’s saved, catalogued and easily listed for you to locate a perfect copy, online, from around the world. The story of how this record was found is a bit different.
Some of you may know of Nardwaur. The bizarrely dressed dwarf-like Canadian and possibly the best musical interviewer of his generation. If you are unaware of him, his style is to stalk his interviewees past with a fine-tooth comb and confront them with trinkets, records and mementoes of their past. This often opens them up in a way a straightforward interview would not. The joy of Nardwaur is even if he’s interviewing a wazzock, he’ll turn it into gold. A fine example of this is his interview with the often unlikeable Tyler the Creator. In this, there’s a moment where Tyler loses his shit when given a record by San Francisco post-punk band, Minimal Band. He moshes back and forth and shouts ‘ Pull back the bolt!” pointing at the record to his crew and talking about how he was played this song by a friend and couldn’t find the LP anywhere. This is a prime example of the joy that Nardwaur can bring.
See here https://youtu.be/WNrrzQ6_zh0?t=1094
This outburst caught my eyes and ears and once I’d YouTubed the hell out of this song a good 15 times, the image of the cover and the song itself was permanently lodged into my brain. Skip a good two years forward. I was doing my rounds of the local charity shops on a Saturday. It had been fairly unsuccessful and I had low hopes when I visited my final shop, Slate. Slate is a house clearance store in Leeds that will have huge piles of battered Andy Williams and Mrs Mills records for you to cut your fingers on. It was my last shop of the day. Usually, when flicking through record piles you get a sense of where or who the records come from. You rarely find just one gem as often they have come from someone who’s cleared a house or from a deceased family member or people just decided to get rid. This find was a fantastic exception. In the middle of what can only be described as charity shop shite was the Minimal Man album “Safari” with said, “Pull back the bolt”. 15p (always a fan of the shops with bizarre pricing).
The record itself is amazing. For a west coast record, it has a real New York sound. It’s a post-punk album with a dark soul. Don’t let the ’80s synths and the silky production job fool you, this is clearly music made by a very troubled chap – Minimal Man brainchild, Patrick Miller. I think he liked the drugs. For older readers, this album sounds like Death from Above but actually good. Its difficult echoey warehouse sound is a great counterpoint to its catchy lyrics and often danceable grooves.
The main reason I wanted to write about this album though isn’t the album itself, it’s the journey that people go on to find music. Finding a record in a record shop or a boot fair will make you love that record more than any mass re-press, online order ever will. Each time I play it I relive the youtube wormhole and the joy of finding this diamond in the ruff that mass ordering records online just doesn’t give you. So, obviously, you can do what you want but next time you want to find some tune that you need, try looking for it a little harder.
Is this record lost? NO!! it’s on Spotify, Jack sent us the piece but didn’t realise what we classed as lost (ie not on Spotify or Apple). His writing was so wonderful we couldn’t knock it back. : )
Author: Jack Wilkins
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