Industrial Culture Handbook: Monte Cazazza (RE/Search #6/7)

[PARTIAL BIO, 1972-'82]:
In 1977 Monte entered the studios of Industrial Records to record 'Plastic Surgery,' 'Busted Kneecaps,' 'Fistfuckers of America', 'Hate', and 'To Mom on Mother's Day.' His first 45 is out of print. A film was made with Throbbing Gristle where Monte and a 14-year-old were electrocuted. He plays also in the film "Decadence" by Kerry Colonna with razor blades. 

  • TO MOM ON MOTHER'S DAY (45, Industrial Records, IR 005, 1979)
  • SOMETHING FOR NOBODY (EP, Industrial Records, IR 0010, 1980)
  • MONTE CAZAZZA LIVE (C60 cassette, Industrial Records, IRC 28, 1980)
  • CALIFORNIA BABYLON (LP, in collaboration with FACTRIX; Subterranean Records, Sub 26, 1982)
  • STAIRWAY TO HELL (SS 45-007, special package with 45, from Sordide Sentimental, France; 1982)

  • Videotape of performances at the SCALA CINEMA and Live at OUNDLE SCHOOL
  • NIGHT OF THE SUCCUBUS (produced in collaboration with Factrix, 1981)

  • Large display titled "Defend Yourself" featured board with knives stuck in it (free for the taking). Mannikins dressed as winos and bag people left in alleys with hidden cheap cassette recorders playing tape loops of screams and ranting and raving. Spring 1972. Oakland, CA USA.
  • FUTURIST SINTESI. Galeria 591. Sex-religious show; giant statue of Jesus got chain sawed and gang-raped into oblivion. Dec. 21, 1975. San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • RADIO AD TV ASSEMBLAGE AND DANCE. Shattuck Ave Studios. Giant wall construction of televisions and radios playing for 3 days (& nights) straight. June 25, 1976. Berkeley, CA, USA.
  • MANIC MOVEMENT. Collaboration with Kimberly Rae. Berkeley Square. Kim tied up on spring-mounted platform; Monte appears squirming on floor in black body bag, cuts self out, cuts Kim loose, then destroys toys and props with hatchet to loud Romper Room record. Ended in fire. Jan 30, 1981. Berkeley CA USA.

  • KEZAR PAVILION Performance spectacular with Mark Pauline and Factrix. First time working with Mark. War machines; spinning swastika with Monte inside; Scott & Beth B. films; also showing of "Behind The Iron Curtain" by Monte. Dec 6, 1980. San Francisco, CA USA.
  • BERKELEY SQUARE. Guest appearance with Factrix. All music, more sedate show. Dec. 12, 1980. Berkeley, CA
  • ED MOCK DANCE STUDIO. "Night of the Succubus" in collaboration with Factrix. Films, slides, organic robots, dance by Kimberly Rae, dart gun used for the first time by Monte, electro-shock, dental surgery on dead animal-machine. Member of audience angrily attacked 'robot' with chair, shouting that it wasn't 'erotic'. Video available. June 6, 1981. San Francisco. CA USA. p. 8



Patrick Miller, avant-garde leader of underground 'antimusic' ensemble Minimal Man, was born in Glendale, California, on 2 January 1952 and studied art at Sonoma State University, where he concentrated chiefly on silk-screening.

After moving to San Francisco in 1979 he immediately began to experiment with music and film. Minimal Man began as a vehicle to produce soundtracks for these films, with the realization that anyone could do so given access to the tools. Miller also began to collaborate with a wide variety of punk, new wave and industrial musicians, including Tuxedomoon, and by October Minimal Man were performing at the legendary Deaf Club venue, and elsewhere.

Minimal Man became one of a select handful of influential groups from this era to bridge punk and industrial music with aggressive blasts of noise and electronic effects. As the core of Minimal Man, Miller sang (and screamed), played keyboards and manipulated tapes to create their dissonant, unsettling, experimental sound. One critic described the result simply as 'antimusic.'

The band name was inspired by people who lived in the low income Fillmore district of San Francisco. Though often without basic needs, these were people creative in adapting to life on the street. Miller's conception of Minimal Man was a character with 'everything against him.'

The debut Minimal Man album The Shroud Of was originally released by Berkeley label Subterranean Records in 1981, when the core band comprised a trio of Miller with Andrew Baumer and Lliam Hart. Guest musicians included Tuxedomoon members Steven Brown and Michael Belfer (Sleepers), along with several others who reflect a revolving door policy with regard to personnel that Miller actively encouraged. Bond Bergland and Cole Palme also played in Minimal Man prior to founding Factrix.

The cover of The Shroud Of features one of Miller's signature paintings. Writer Neil Strauss recalls: 'They were all variations on one image: a featureless head or mask, usually wrapped in strips of bandages that were peeling off to reveal a discoloured, decomposed face. It was a self-portrait. It wasn't even a mask; it was what lay beneath the mask (at least in his darkest moments) - a paranoid, dark, disturbed shell of a human being."

In January 1983 Minimal Man recorded a second album, Safari, a more conventional set than the debut, with Miller and Baumer now joined by a guitarist and drummer. In 1985 Miller relocated to Europe, settling in Brussels alongside Tuxedomoon, and recorded Sex With God (1985), Slave Lullabyes (1986), Hunger Is All She Has Ever Known (1988) and Pure (also 1988). The European albums range in scope from hardcore EBM (so-called electronic body music) to more ambient instrumental tracks, while Pure revisits earlier recordings made in San Francisco. Live shows from this period usually saw Miller backed by various Tuxedomoon members including Steven Brown, Peter Principle, Luc van Lieshout and Bruce Geduldig.

At the beginning of the 1990's Miller returned to the United States, first to New York and then back to California. Regrettably no further Minimal Man records appeared, and instead Miller worked in the movie business as a set dresser. Sometimes there were difficulties: "I invented Minimal Man as this wild person, and then I actualized it and took all kinds of drugs and stuff, because I felt guilty for not living up to this fiction."

Patrick Miller was an artist of considerable talent, as a musician, as a painter, as a visual artist. His art was his life, and his life was his art. Passionate, empathetic and volatile, he died at his home in Eagle Rock, California on 14 December 2003.... His passing was marked not by one but two articles in the New York Times.

James Nice
October 2004

Go to Minimal Man catalog

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Angus MacLise - "Astral Collapse" CD (review)

Smothered Under Astral Collapse

For those of you who like Throbbing Gristle, Coil, William S. Burroughs, Aleister Crowley, magick and experimental electronics, this is right up your alley.

Angus Maclise was a composer, master percussionist, poet, mystic, calligrapher, occultist and former Velvet Underground member. His music runs the gamut of the experimental realm: drone, electronics & noise, tape cut-ups, spoken word, minimalism. Though he created a vast body of work from the 60's to 70's, it went unreleased, the master tapes sitting in a box in someone's closet. Only recently has his music been seeing the light of day via several releases on the Quakebasket label. The latest, Astral Collapse, compiles his more electronic/noise workouts:

Smothered Under Astral Collapse - Angus recites his Tibetan Buddhist poetry over prepared tape cut-ups. His source material for the prepared tapes is Tibetan chanting and some odd drum loops. The way he manipulates it gives it a really churning, eerie feeling.

6th Face Of The Angel - Pure droning. 17+ minutes of transcendant, tape-delayed organ with little intricate change ups in oscillation and resonance.

Beelzebub - This is the only percussion piece on the album. The way he plays the drums and then sonically treats the mix creates a feeling musique concrete or early electronic pulse music. it's very glitchy.

Cloud Watching - a beautifully sinister piece. it's a murky blend of organic instruments that just twinkle and drone along in a hazy impressionistic cloud.

Dracula - Trial by noise. Angus rips apart the air with an ARP modular synthesizer. This kind of destruction wouldn't be heard again until Coil's Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil.

Dawn Chorus - several layers of prepared tapes cut up into a collage of white noise, eastern drone and field recordings from the East. Angus leads us back into more Tibetan poetry before letting us go.

You can really hear the sound that
COIL would take on and expand. It foreshadows the concepts of Moon's Milk: Spring Equinox or Under an Unquiet Skull, Astral Disaster (they are eerily similar in more than just name) and Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil....to quote Jhonn Balance, Angus was a "liminal genius".

~Reviewed by: Philippe Landry (2/24/05)


**For more info, read an earlier post focusing on the history of Drones and on the genre's creator, LaMonte Young (teacher/mentor to John Cale & Angus Maclise), and LaMonte's "The Eternal Theater", etc.