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The Mick Karn Collector's Edition

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Album Review

Back in '93 I paid about $20 to get in and hear the last few songs by a group called Polytown. I had heard none of their music, but knowledge of the lineup allowed me to make such a spontaneous decision. The Polytowntrio was Terry Bozzio (drums), David Torn (guitar) and on bass, Mick Karn (Japan). I never missed that twenty spot. Two of its tracks, "Bandaged By Dreams" and "Red Sleep" are presented in this compilation of Mick Karn studio material. Four other recording sessions are sampled. One, is a previously unreleased piece entitled "Drawings We Have Lived." This is left over from the Tooth Mother creation. There are two alternate versions from the Bestial Cluster sessions. They are the title track and "Liver and Lungs." Also brought into play is Andy Rinehart's Jason's Chord and the Lonely Universe album from Michael White and Michel Lambert. Both recordings featured Karn prominently. The two common denominators here are multi-instrumentalists Karn himself (bass, vocals, bass clarinet, alto sax, keyboards and more) and Torn(guitars, mandolin, koto, electric sitar, Hammon B-3 and more). Sixteen other musicians contribute to the aggregate material, including keyboardist Richard Barbieri (Japan, Porcupine Tree), vocalist Natacha Atlas and more. In Karn's hands the bass is a fluid, melodic instrument of depth and extensive vocabulary. The material here is rich in intricate arrangements and diverse presentation. Any serious fan of progressive world music, experimental rock or the further possibilities of bass-led rock owes it to themselves to acquire this collection.

Biography

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, 1981's Tin Drum, he was dubbed one of the best bass players in the world. He'd already supplied bass and...
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The Mick Karn Collector's Edition, Mick Karn
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