Phil Minton and Veryan Weston Ways Out East, Ways Out West

In between Veryan Weston’s piano and Phil Minton’s voice lays two bodies of text. Ways Out East is based on the life of Russian anarchist Nestor Makhno, while Ways Out West comes out of a book of American traditional songs, which is also to do with the worker’s struggle for fairness. This release follows a winding track of activist folk songs interspersed with interludes of vocal sound gymnastics and improvised piano. While on the surface this seems an unlikely match, Weston and Minton pull it off in a way that makes you wonder if the world of music can ever be categorised in convenient labels. This CD is a performance, not a series of songs or pieces. In some ways it’s as complete as any opera or suite and manages to take one back to a time when ideas and principles seemed clear, solid and worth the sacrifices. While it definitely sounds like a period piece in both text and music, its sheer power is as startlingly raw and immediate as listening to ancient Robert Johnson or Blind Willie Johnson records. Old, yes; boring never!! (Intakt)