Friday, March 3, 2023

The mystery of Minóy's "PBK" personas, by Phillip B. Klingler

In 2013, when I was sent the Minóy archive, I didn't know what to expect, cassette tapes certainly, but I couldn't believe my eyes when the boxes arrived containing almost 300 of them! The first thing I did was make a list of the entire contents in those boxes, creating a new discography for Minóy consisting largely of unheard works. As I went through listing them one-by-one I noticed that, starting in 1990, he began composing under a variety of pseudonyms: Andy Warhol's Mother; Balance Of Terror; Eve Kline; Lesbians Of Color; Lucio Morandi; Lucy Godard; Projectionist; The Unknown Artist; and more. Yet none of these pseudonyms were known to the public.

Minóy, the dedicated dadaist, was very interested in artistic pranks, so creating works under different names would have appealed to him. By anonymously provoking the cultural public he might, by some stroke of luck, expand his critical support, break through to a larger audience, something we would think of now as 'going viral'. From my own experience with him, once our anonymous collaboration, Disco Splendor, began to get good press reviews and radio airplay he soon updated our collaboration name to "Minóy/PBK", not wishing to stay anonymous for too long.

One of the remarkable things about the works he created under different names is how little the sound approach deviated from his normal methods. A Minóy composition could contain all manner of harsh noise, drones, loops, keyboard arpeggios, radio broadcasts/transmissions, recorded conversations, vocal laments, moaning, screaming, and each of those elements are present at different points in the pseudonymous works. Though there are distinctions, If listened to carefully, it can be argued that Minoy's signature sounds are easy enough to detect.

To me, the most curious of his pseudonyms were the tapes he created between 1991-93 under the monikers of PawBone Kisser and Penelope Bertolt Klonopin. Both names can be extracted to "PBK" as an acronym. Not only are these so-called "PBK" works the heaviest and most oppressive noise things he ever did, but a closer look at the titles and I'm certain they were directed with contempt at me. But these are completely unknown within the cassette network, Minóy not releasing them is a puzzle.

The question is... why? Was he considering releasing these anonymously as a prank? None of the "PBK" works, or any of the others, were ever released during his lifetime, so did he make them only for himself? If so, this is truly a unique glimpse into the composer's mind, a rare example of an artist using their work as self-exorcism, an extremely personal diary that probably wasn't ever meant to be released or even heard by anyone else. But they are brilliant works, and even as personal as they are (and regretfully, directed at me with vitriol), as his archivist I'm still proud to make available these amazing never-before-heard releases!

Most anonymously, and perhaps fittingly, the last pseudonym Minóy used was "The Unknown Artist" and then he disappeared.

1 comment:

Vaykorus said...