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Each Eye a Path

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Album Review

Mick Karn's fifth album keeps things basic, yet thanks to some accomplished technology, complex. After the travelogs of Japan and Latin America, and Arabesque and Greek treatments of past works, this is an English album — and very much a solo one (he never works with more than two people on the same track). Each Eye a Path examines both the funky elements of Tooth Mother and the simple bass, synth, and clarinet notepads of Titles and Dreams of Reason Produce Monsters. At first, "Up to Nil" sounds like an outtake from Jean Michel Jarre's Zoolook. "Nil" has some brilliant lyrics ("I must be vile with a girl-proof smile") but Karn mumbles them; he unintentionally sounds Bowie-sque. The most memorable pieces are the ones resembling art film soundtracks — "The Night We Never Met" and "The Forgotten Puppeteer" — the latter a beautiful piece of twinkling keys and clarinet. Among the slower tunes, there are a couple of contemporary grooves in "Angel's Got a Lotus," which adds a dash a cool amid drum programming and murmuring bass, and "Venus Monkey." Both "Latin Mastock" and "My Mrs. T" look to the electronics of Hector Zazou and the jazzier shades of Ryuichi Sakamoto. The washed-out "Serves You Rice" continues the Oriental iconographies of old. Good for a rainy day, in a good way.


Born: 24 July 1958 in Nicosia, Cyprus

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born July 24, 1958, Mick Karn first studied wood and wind instruments such as bassoon and clarinet. However, it is his highly distinctive fretless bass voice for which he is most renowned, an accolade placing him next to Jaco Pastorius. According to Karn, bass went unnoticed and his mission was to get it noticed. Even on early Japan recordings, his wiggly bass can be heard. By their swan song, Tin Drum in 1981, he was dubbed one of the best bass players in the world. He'd already supplied bass and...
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Each Eye a Path, Mick Karn
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