Minimal Compact – “Returning wheel”

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26 Mar, 2004 Share

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The last years have been characterised by the return of a great number of bands that were doing pretty well in the 80’s. Some of these comebacks have been rather pathetic and unfortunate while others were simply brilliant and challenging… This time it’s up to Minimal Compact to break the ice of silence and return with a 3CD box set on Crammed Discs entitled “Returning Wheel”. (By Seba Dolimont)

Fronted by vocalist Samy Birnbach (aka DJ Morpheus), Minimal Compact were one of the most inspirational bands of the '80s new wave movement. They blended funky rock rhythms and incisive guitars with flavours from their native Middle East. The band was very active from 1981 to 1988, and released some 6 studio albums plus a live album. They had a large and fanatic following all across Europe and the USA, where some of their tracks became underground club favourites.

Anno 2004, it's happening all over again, as several leading DJs are raving about the now classic Minimal Compact tunes like 'Next One Is Real', 'Statik Dancin' and other favourites. Fifteen years after the band's split, they are getting together again to play a series of concerts, with their full original line-up including lead vocalist Samy Birnbach, guitarists/vocalists Berry Sakharof & Rami Fortis, bass player/vocalist Malka Spigel and drummer Max Franken. The few first reunion concerts brought them to Brussels’ prestigious Botanique (L’Orangerie), and the cult French festival “Les Transmusicales” in Rennes.

The main trigger that brought the band together is according to frontman, Samy Birnbach, “the documentary film by Nathan Mandelboum entitled "raging souls" about Minimal Compact that was released about 10 months ago in Israel…”. Add to this the intention of the Belgian label Crammed Discs to issue a luxury 3CD box… and we can only agree that “the time was just right...” for their comeback.

What I find amazing is that after so many years and having been doing numerous different other projects in between, the Minimal Compact planet did not demand too much energy and efforts to its human satellites to reconnect and recover the unique magic touch that made the force and reputation of Minimal Compact. “By the second week of rehearsing everything fell into place....”, adds Birnbach. “We did 3 concerts before performing in Europe again, in Tel-Aviv and the magic was there on, right away. The same happened for the Brussels and Rennes concerts. We were very nervous of course at first, but everything was working out pretty well at the end.”

(…)

To read the complete interview, be sure to buy Side-Line issue 46!

image Side-Line issue 46 at Side-Line shop

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