Classic Day – Lessons In Disintegration


Watching eras of post-punk and styles of early experimental electronic music forming in waves of Minimal Man’s extended skeletal hands, their 1984 record Safari is exciting through the guise of progression and formations.

Released nearly 40 years ago at the time of writing, Safari is a lesson in disintegration and how to format an instrumental pattern that essentially melts in the hands. Opening with “Show Time,” Minimal Man has transitional fragments where the harsh synths and building string sections reflect to be hopeful.

The vocals, keyboards, and electronics played by Patrick Miller are immediately one of the gripping factors on Safari, forming a stage for the other instrumentalists to coincide. Andrew Braumer performs on the bass and works alongside Blaze Smith to be less of a constricting method of work.

Percussion becomes vital through John Serell and on “Show Time,” there are these punches of cymbals that splash through against the grain of shouted vocals and repeating choruses.

“You! You!” is the first glimpse into the moments of harsh experimentalism where the production incorporates these mid-80s hi-hat runs and turns as synths crush against the audience. In a live setting, Safari would have read perfectly as a three-act play with a flamboyant curtain pull to reveal this story-building element from Minimal man.

The beauty of Safari comes almost directly from the influences of Talking Heads, Bauhaus, and other conglomerations of sounds at that time. The post-punk era couldn’t have come at a more interesting time especially surrounding Minimal Man as they begin to thrive within the chaos of sound.

“Stop Running” becomes the most layered track on Safari even if the sporadic nature does not carry over. With vocal shouts and overlays coming from Miller, there is enough of an impact on each line to become almost drowned out in the sampled authoritarian voice that towers over the listener.

Describing mostly through scat-styled narration, the chase gives way to “Stop Running” to bleed into eventually “Pull Back The Bolt.” The chord progressions here are tones of uplifting and fear absolution even if the lyrics are the complete opposite.

Narration from Miller illustrates, “Pull the bolt back, fire a full clip into the ones who own the guns. Click off the safety, squeeze off a quick round into the brother who betrayed you.” As the somber notions continue, Minimal Man opts to become a fast-tracking hellscape.

They continue on, “Check you out on the runway, turn your good side to the camera and read your manifesto to the world. Lights, camera, action.” The sounds of plane engines and pleads for mercy come in the form of an instrumental to follow until finally, this deafening silence appears to take the audience away.

While it never appeared as the peak for sound, Safari is an engaging bleed into the corners and first moments of electronic performances in sound. The grace and finesse comes later after Minimal Man stomps and burns through the barriers on performance.

Listen To Safari Here!!! – Spotify/iTunes

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