Poire_Z + Phil Minton Q


Free improv can be a messy, rough and tumble affair. Ideas get trampled in the rush to be heard, in the effort to make presence felt. So Q stands out as a triumph of collective hearing, sensitive and perceptive group interplay, disciplined restraint and a generous willingness to abandon the self for the sake of the music. Having seen the charismatic, larger-than-life Phil Minton in action live, I was expecting a tour de force exhibition of his vocalese. Instead, Minton holds his fire until the spider web of hums, whirs and clicks of Poire_Z (Gunter Müller, Norbert Möslang, ErikM and Andy Guhl on an assortment of electronic gizmos) has woven a sonic landscape of ephemeral delicacy. When he does make his entrance, it is by injecting pianissimo curves of pitch and whispers of his own language of the ineffable. There are but two tracks on the live CD, which were stunningly well recorded by François Dietz. The minutest high frequencies to the near sub-sonic rumble are all clearly audible, making Q a peak headphone listening experience. Neither loud nor skronky, Q makes its impact where it counts — in your mind. (For4Ears)