Michael Renkel: acoustic guitar, zither, percussion
Burkhard Beins: percussion, zither
Phil Minton: voice
Vocalist Phil Minton's instinctive ability to pull something new from his throat has to be admired. In the company of guitarist Michael Renkel and percussionist Burkhard Beins (known collectively as Activity Center), Minton finds plenty of material within their music and noisemaking to wrap his vocal cords around, all of which allows his creative persona to fully unfurl as the session progresses. As part of Activity Center he opens up with an astonishing array of guttural squeaks, burps, groans and gasps: what sounds like his very soul is straining to burst free. Accompanied by Renkel's sensitively stroked acoustic guitar and zither and Beins's equally emotive percussion and occasional bowed cymbal, the six pieces here range from the humorous to the grotesque. On the elongated "RubbleRubble", all three musicians fuse together in a constantly shifting surge, punctuated throughout with barks, growls and excited pantings in the dark from Minton's seemingly endless store of vocal distortions. Chased around by Beins and Renkel's fractured instrumentation, the trio rock out to a scattered beat of madness, joy and sheer bedlam.
- Edwin Pouncy, The Wire -
2003 ACTIVITY CENTER & PHIL MINTON (rapidshare/mediafire)