Ex-Japan members: David Sylvian or Mick Karn (Mick Karn RIP)

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So, after Japan breaks up, the band's two leaders -- Sylvian and Karn -- go make solo albums.

Each have a bunch now to their credit.

Who makes the best solo albums?

I say, Karn. That fretless bass of Karn's is a signature.

sw

Steven Ward, Wednesday, 13 October 2004 13:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Mick Karn made an album with Peter Murphy, (Dali's Car) so I'm going with him.

Danger Whore (kate), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 13:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Um, no.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 14:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

naive teen OTM

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 15:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I used to really like that Sylvian/Fripp album. 'The First Day', I think?

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 15:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the only really good mick karn solo album was good because sylvian sang on two songs. all of sylvian's albums are good to excellent. sylvian wins.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 15:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Wrong, Kyle. That album 'Dreams of Reason' is probably his worst. Yes, the two with Sylvian are the best tracks, but that's because he also plays bass on them (and doesn't play bass on the majority of the tracks). Karn is my favorite bass player and favorite musician, so I'm going with him. 'Blemish' is a joke...come on. I liked Sylvian's voice in Japan, but it can get pretty unbearable at times on his solo stuff. You know he missed Karn's bass playing...that's why he gets fretless/upright players to play on his solo albums.

I agree that Dali's Car is probably the best Karn project. Karn's best stuff is with Japan though, or when he guests on other artist's stuff.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 18:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

karn's bass is unique. david sylvian's drawling voice is unbearable. karn wins easily.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 19:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

After a Fashion, anyone?

Guymauve (Guymauve), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 19:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Also, the Rain Tree Crow album sucked because Sylvian took over.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 20:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'Blemish' is a joke...come on.

I see we come from different sides of the universe. Nice to meet you!

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 20:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hello. Yeah, I mean the main reason I loved Japan was because of their unusual rhythm section. "Ghosts" is one of my least favorite songs of theirs. Most of Sylvian's solo albums have some value (I really like 'Secrets of the Beehive' and enjoy 'Brilliant Trees'), but 'Blemish' just makes me angry.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 21:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

putting in a nice word for the original version of Jansen & Barbieri's 'Worlds in a Small Room'.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 21:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, this is a three horse race between Karn, Slyvian and the Dolphin Brothers. I vote for Karn cos he's weird.

the music mole (colin s barrow), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 21:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Karn wins for weird but I never completely took to the music. How are those dolphin brothers records?

(Jon L), Wednesday, 13 October 2004 21:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I would say Sylvian wins. But I still want Japan back, as none of them has been close to the quality of those wonderful albums Japan used to release.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 14 October 2004 01:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Patrick, I think there's a fair argument to be made that maybe you just don't "get" Blemish -- yet, at least. It took me a while to get into myself. I mean, it's kind of willfully difficult.

As for the larger question, whatever you think of them, one is an accomplished auteur of sorts and the other...well, he's a really great bass player. The premise of this thread is kind of silly.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 14 October 2004 02:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I adored Blemish, after listening to it some two or three times. I think David Sylvian could release an album of him reading the phone book and I'd love it. Mmm, warm, sensuous, fluidy liquidy voice.

OTOH -- how can you diss the Karnster? Mick Karn is one of the greatest bassists EVAH. His fretless bass work was the icing on the delicious Japan sonic cake and I feel that it is the only truly unique bass sound out there.

So HOW CAN YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN DAVID SYLVIAN AND MICK KARN?!?! Better to try to choose your favorite bite of a saucy, cheesy, ooey, gooey, spicy, yummy piece of pizza. And having Japan back for a proper reunion (including Rob Dean and not under a different moniker) would be like having a whole delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza, i.e. HEAVEN TIMES A BILLION.

Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Thursday, 14 October 2004 03:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

But if they don't want to do it, they don't have to do it. I'd be perfectly happy with Sylvian and his solo work and the whole Medium Productions massive and their own works. (Also, I think it's awesome that Steven Jansen has a singing voice almost as warm, sensuous, fluidy and liquidy as his brother's. Um, yeah, they're brothers and all, but they could have had different vocal styles and qualities and abilities, you know. ;))

(Also: Now I'm hungry for pizza and cake.)

Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Thursday, 14 October 2004 04:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Steven Jansen

STEVEN Jansen? Um, STEVE Jansen, thanks. Many apologies. Am too hyped up to really do a good job with the names here.

Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Thursday, 14 October 2004 04:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dee's right of course. However, there has already been a low key Japan reunion - Rain Tree Crow. Anyone heard it?

the music mole (colin s barrow), Thursday, 14 October 2004 06:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the rain tree crow album is much better than it's given credit as being.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 14 October 2004 12:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, it's quite grand. "Blackwater," the single, is a particular winner.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 14 October 2004 13:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The other bassist from the era who had a truly unique sound was Percy Jones. Actually, both bassists played on Masami Tsuchiya's 'Rice Music', one of my favorite albums.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 14 October 2004 13:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Rain Tree Crow didn't sound like Japan at all, which, I guess, is the reason why it wasn't released under the Japan monicker.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 14 October 2004 13:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This is like a Bizarro world Japan Appreciation Society.

To get the correct answer, reverse everything everyone has said on this thread.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 14 October 2004 14:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dee's right of course. However, there has already been a low key Japan reunion - Rain Tree Crow. Anyone heard it?

Um, yeah, I've totally heard Rain Tree Crow. I wasn't talking about that, though. As grand as it was, it WOULD be bested by a FULL Japan reunion, including Rob Dean (because Dean wasn't in RTC) and released AS Japan. Mind you, I'm saying this because I know there's a snowman's chance in hell that that would ever happen, but... hey, you never know. But yeah, RTC were GREAT. "Every Colour You Are" is one of the best songs ever released by any individual or group associated with the band Japan IMHO.

Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Friday, 15 October 2004 03:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And Marcello, I'm sorry but I totally disagree with you there.

Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Friday, 15 October 2004 03:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sylvian, Sylvian. I mean "Bamboo Houses", "Orpheus" and Forbidden Colours" alone put him waaay ahead of Karn on godlike beauty alone. And that song on the Fennesz album.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 15 October 2004 04:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Did I use "alone" enough inthat last post? Thank you, Ginger Martinis.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 15 October 2004 04:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Blemish is too spare, I think. Secrets of The Beehive and Gone To Earth both had some mighty tasty instrumental bits to help them along, and subsequently gave the impression they didn't need the help in the first place.

After a Fashion is the exact point where Karn (much as most of us love his style) went JUST PLAIN TOO DAMN FAR.

This is also the point at which I realize how much of ILM is resurrecting bands/artists we've already talked about 7 billion times before. Hey, I'm not complaining, I just don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself!

Bimble (bimble), Friday, 15 October 2004 04:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

> To get the correct answer, reverse everything everyone has said on this thread.

Git.

Palomino (Palomino), Friday, 15 October 2004 15:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

After a Fashion is the exact point where Karn (much as most of us love his style) went JUST PLAIN TOO DAMN FAR.

Oh, you're forgetting Polytown w/ David Torn and (gulp) Terry Bozzio, a record I recall sucking pretty hard.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 16 October 2004 02:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It all went wrong for Karn when he lost his eyebrows.

Er, OK. Well, Sylvian, obviously. I can't sit through a whole Mick Karn album, although the ones I've heard do have superb moments on them. I *can*, however, sit through a whole Sylvian album - and, with some of them, that's time and time again (Beehive, Brilliant Trees especially).

Both of them, however, are guilty of dreadfully losing their way at times throughout the 80s and 90s. Despite the Sylvian control tendencies, they definitely sound like a group of musicians who work best when working together (as on the sublime Rain Tree Crow album, which I thought was wonderful).

But what's with all the Rob Dean hero worship? I don't get it.

Vaughan, Saturday, 16 October 2004 21:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I admire 'Blemish'. I had to adjust to Derek Bailey's guitar playing, but I think its scrappiness offsets Syvian's 'coffetable' mannerism very well. And I love getting my ears stretched. Bailey makes other guitarists -- Fripp, for instance -- sound like a dollop of treacle. First listen to 'Blemish' I thought 'Where are the tunes?' But now I can't get 'Late Night Shopping' out of my head.

Momus (Momus), Sunday, 17 October 2004 01:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Fripp is many things--not all good--but "treacly" is not one of them. Not even by comparison to Bailey.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Sunday, 17 October 2004 02:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Karn isn't really a songwriter, but first and foremost a weirdo (I fondly remember his poem/bass recitals with Angie Bowie and miss his eyebrow-less days, too) and excellent instrumentalist, maybe too much so. That explains why his more recent solo stuff steers into less commercial and frequently dull jazz fusion territory. I only really like the quiet serenity of "Dreams of Reasons", maybe because he doesn't show off his muso skills too much. Of his collaborations, the Dali's Car album is clearly the winner. I agree with some other points made on this thread - Sylvian's solo work, especially the hastily recorded and umambitious "Blemish", would have benefited from some much-needed Karnal punch.

Ludesse (ludesse), Sunday, 17 October 2004 12:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"After a Fashion" was a great single. Best thing Karn has ever done post-Japan!

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Sunday, 17 October 2004 14:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I prefer the Egypt-set video with Karn and Ure in sheikh costumes - see also video for Dali's Car's "The Judgement Is The Mirror".

Ludesse (ludesse), Sunday, 17 October 2004 18:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

Mick Karn has been diagnosed with cancer

http://www.mickkarn.net/

StanM, Sunday, 13 June 2010 17:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Apologies, has been posted on another thread already. I hadn't found it at first. ( Fretless bass playing + Japan/Mick Karn/Percy Jones/Ippu-Do/Masami Tsuchiya/YMO/Ryuichi Sakomoto/Bill Nelson )

StanM, Sunday, 13 June 2010 17:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Mick Karn made an album with Peter Murphy, (Dali's Car) so I'm going with him.

And guess what:

http://twitter.com/petermurphyinfo/status/22551651474

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 August 2010 20:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

Word of a fundraiser/tribute album:

http://councilpartners.com/atributetomickkarn/index.html

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 17:44 (eight years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

RIP

nate woolls, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

He was one of the best, RIP.

Stop Non-Erotic Cabaret (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Aaah man. Even though everything I read about this said it was really bad I was still hoping the guy would pull through. RIP, who now is as good and distinctive a musician as Karn was? Not many.

Pashmina, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ah crap. So sad he lost the fight.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Can instantly recognize him in any recording he's on, and I know nothing about bass players. RIP.

=(^ • ‿‿ • ^)= (corey), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhC8LnFd2LE

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

His one off album appearance with Gary Numan on Dance had plenty of keepers -- this one pretty much predicted Dalis Car:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5UVIiXM_HY

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

"visions of china" was the first thing that came to mind when i heard. RIP

thomas l. sassy (donna rouge), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 21:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh man, very sad about this. One of my all-time favourite bass players, such a shame he didn't pull through. RIP Mick.

Satantango! (Matt #2), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

so sad. F U Cancer!!!

RIP.

jed_, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP (even though I only know his Japan stuff, never knew what was worth checking out after that)

StanM, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

Really sad news... Such a distinctive bass player...

RIP...

Night Nurse with Wound (Jack Battery-Pack), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

StanM - the Dalis Car album is worth a listen

=(^ • ‿‿ • ^)= (corey), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

actually that undersells it, it's a good album

=(^ • ‿‿ • ^)= (corey), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thank you for the tip, will listen.

StanM, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

In fact a lot of his later solo stuff is excellent, esp if you like noodly kinds of work.

This is devastating news for me, for many very personal reasons this man was my greatest hero and inspiration. He visited me in a vivid dream once and taught me how to find my inner creativity (srsly) and if affected me for months. I'm shattered by the loss.

Ex Loin Tamer (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

That is intense, Trayce!

Stop Non-Erotic Cabaret (Abbbottt), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

It was! He came up to me, in a gallery surrounded by his own sculptures, laid a hand on my head and looked me in the eye with this... energy.

Later in the dream he showed me he was able to turn into a bird. When I asked him how would I know which bird he was among all the others, when I needed him, he said "I will come and tap on the glass of your window, and you will know it is me. You'll just know".

It.... changed me. It was very weird. I'd not thought at all about him for years til that happened.

Ex Loin Tamer (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 22:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Wow.

Satantango! (Matt #2), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

So as you can imagine I'm deeply affected by this sad loss :( Such a brilliant man.

Ex Loin Tamer (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

One could put together an excellent sampler from his solo work, but I never bought into the multi-tracked woodwinds playing lugubrious chords that he was fond of. His (like Jansen and Barbieri) drifted into the neo-prog world by the mid 90s, and the only original album from that era I really loved (I owned most) was his drum n'bass collaboration with with Yoshihiro Hanno from 1998 entitled Liquid Glass.

Pauper Management Improved (Sanpaku), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

booooo fuk u mortality

sleeve, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP

sleeve, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

I liked "Each Eye a Path", especially "Venus Monkey" which is a really evocative track. Some stuff on "Bestial Cluster" also good - it is indeed neo-prog and noodly in places though.

Ex Loin Tamer (Trayce), Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

Heigh ho, he weared it well....

Mark G, Tuesday, 4 January 2011 23:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Horrible news. RIP :(

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 5 January 2011 00:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35trBS-LWok

Jesus, so sad....Van Vliet/Gerry Rafferty/Mick Karn. Let's hope it stops at a horrid three
BTW, Did Sylvian gip the other band mates out of $? Said that in the you tube comments, that would make me even more sad.

Iago Galdston, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 00:48 (eight years ago) Permalink

it's odd because I woke up this morning with two songs knocking around my head, Moonchild and the Art of Parties. Hopefully that doesn't mean Fripp is going to kick off today too.

This is sad, I know Karn's fretless bass went out of style there for a while but it is a sound I adore.

akm, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 02:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

dreams of reason produce monsters was a good record.

akm, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 02:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

(well except for that one song)

akm, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 02:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

His best work outside of Japan was Dalis Car (which is fantastic, not merely good), Rain Tree Crow (the Japan reunion in all but name), "Beginning To Melt" and the "Seed" EP with Jansen & Barbieri and his solo albums "Dreams Of Reason Produce Monsters" and "Bestial Cluster". I've heard much of his other material and collaborations and it's all fine but not as immediate or lasting as the things I just listed.

I hesitate to say we'll never hear another like him but it doesn't seem like a fretless bass revival is upcoming.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 02:45 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ah yes, "Beginning to Melt" is fabulous, that got me back into his work actually. I had a vinyl copy of "Titles" when it came out too but lost it/gave it away and I greatly regret that now.

Ex Loin Tamer (Trayce), Wednesday, 5 January 2011 02:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

RIP ;_;

I wonder if anything of this will see the light of day

petermurphyinfo Peter Murphy
I wil be working with Mick Karn on our second Dali's Car Albumin september. It a pleasure to announce
30 Aug Favorite Retweet Reply

onimo, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 12:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

I hesitate to say we'll never hear another like him but it doesn't seem like a fretless bass revival is upcoming.

And the other master of the fretless bass is already gone.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 5 January 2011 13:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

do you mean Jaco Pastorius?

StanM, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 13:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Pino is still alive, so I guess he does mean Jaco.

Mark G, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 13:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

Blasted this really loud in the car yesterday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Gqqb3IPmU

Probably not his most strikingly er archetypal (?) playing, but a great number nevertheless and one of my favourites.

apart from the guy's great fretless-styings, his timing was great, he was a rock.

I remember the slating that the Dali's Car album got when it came out, oh no it's "pretentious", "arch", w/e. Took me a few years to catch up with it and realise it was great. Screw those guys, fucking yahoos.

Pashmina, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 14:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Just heard about this, really sad news. If I ever want to hear incredible bass lines I always go for Chic or Japan.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 5 January 2011 18:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

I feel like this one is missing in this thread. Perhaps Mick Karn's best ever moment as an instrumentalist, at least during his Japan years:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxQoB7vEvYU

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 6 January 2011 01:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

good one, Geir--you're right on there

Iago Galdston, Thursday, 6 January 2011 02:35 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

so the second Dali's Car record is going to be released as InGladAloneness. I do not know how I feel about this, but I feel obliged to listen to it for the Karn. I just wish it weren't called InGladAloneness.

plee help i am lookin for (crüt), Saturday, 11 February 2012 09:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

Why? Afraid it won't be a fitting finale for his career? I'm quite looking forward to it.

I love when he randomly appears in something I'm listening to, like some Bill Nelson stuff recently. Immediately recognizable.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 11 February 2012 17:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

This is a one-off track from the collaboration, reworking "Artemis" from The Waking Hour, and not AFAIK on the EP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6mxBvPn99M

All proceeds for this and the EP go to Karn's wife and child. Wish I liked this more.

Sanpaku, Saturday, 11 February 2012 23:02 (seven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

I had previously dismissed his solo debut, "Titles". No idea why because it's damn good. "Weather The Windmill" is particularly stunning.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 24 October 2016 20:58 (two years ago) Permalink

'Tribal Dawn' is one of the finest basslines he ever composed, IMO! So uniquely Karn.

pen pineapple apple pen (Turrican), Monday, 24 October 2016 22:29 (two years ago) Permalink

I'll rep for "Dreams Of Reason" and "Bestial Cluster" but haven't been taken with subsequent solo albums.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 26 October 2016 02:34 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I often find myself going through phases where Karn's squiggly, boingy bass is all I wanna listen to.

He woulda been 61 this year.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 5 April 2019 00:43 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Is there anyone going who sounds even remotely like Mick?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 5 April 2019 19:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Many fretless players have tried, but none have come close. Karn is to bass what John Bonham is to drums - just a singular talent that can't be replicated.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 5 April 2019 19:58 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I adore Mick Karn and it's ironic how his birthday is on the very month and day my dad died (Dad died on Karn's 45th birthday), and how both succumbed to cancer. As for the thread title's query: I belong to the Team Mick Karn FB group and his death hit me like a fleet of freight trucks, but I refuse to choose between him and David Sylvian. I love both of them about equally, as I do any of the former members of Japan.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Saturday, 6 April 2019 22:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I adored Blemish, after listening to it some two or three times. I think David Sylvian could release an album of him reading the phone book and I'd love it. Mmm, warm, sensuous, fluidy liquidy voice.
OTOH -- how can you diss the Karnster? Mick Karn is one of the greatest bassists EVAH. His fretless bass work was the icing on the delicious Japan sonic cake and I feel that it is the only truly unique bass sound out there.

So HOW CAN YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN DAVID SYLVIAN AND MICK KARN?!?! Better to try to choose your favorite bite of a saucy, cheesy, ooey, gooey, spicy, yummy piece of pizza. And having Japan back for a proper reunion (including Rob Dean and not under a different moniker) would be like having a whole delicious Chicago-style deep dish pizza, i.e. HEAVEN TIMES A BILLION.

― Many Coloured Halo (Dee the Lurker), Wednesday, October 13, 2004 10:59 PM (fourteen years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

LMAO, I said the exact same thing ^^ fourteen years ago! Except in a much more enthusiastic manner, as per my online personality at the time. Anyway, I had no idea that was Derek Bailey on Blemish! I'd always assumed that was Burnt Friedman or some other frequent DS collaborator. Oh wow, so I HAVE listened to something before by that guy, AND I loved it! I'm glad Julio DeSouza isn't around here anymore because that might terrify him.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Sunday, 7 April 2019 15:16 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I love both of them about equally, as I do any of the former members of Japan.

I'd say that Rob Dean was the most under-appreciated member of Japan. I don't know how much of that has to do with him leaving/being let go for Tin Drum (he wasn't invited back for the Rain Tree Crow project), but the guy contributed to every other Japan album and also (it's seldom pointed out) played on Gary Numan's Dance as well as Karn. I know the band are on record as saying that they had begun to feel that they didn't require his playing circa Gentlemen Take Polaroids, but if you watch the OGWT performance of 'Swing', he's contributing some neat playing that blends into the mix rather well.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 00:02 (one week ago) Permalink

Rob Dean is definitely the most accessible former member of Japan; I've seen him involved in the FB fan community and he's friends with at least one fellow member of Team Mick Karn, my friend Angie. He seems to be living a happy, satisfying life in Costa Rica these days, but I still wish he'd been involved with the Rain Tree Crow project. And I have definitely seen that performance of "Swing" and agree with you wholeheartedly about Dean's guitar playing in that.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 20:01 (one week ago) Permalink

Costa Rica, eh!? What a poor, tortured soul! :D

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 20:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Is there anyone going who sounds even remotely like Mick?

*checking to see if Percy Jones is still alive*

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 20:36 (one week ago) Permalink

Percy Jones was an influence on Karn's playing, true, but even Jones himself admits that Karn took those influences and created something of his own from it.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 21:12 (one week ago) Permalink

Q: I want to go in another direction, and bring up a few other names. When I think of somebody that might sound sort of similar to you, I think of Mick Karn. Do you know Mick?

Percy Jones: Yeah, I met him in Japan some years ago. He and Richard Barbieri were in Japan (the band) together. Yeah, I can hear some similarities. He even came out and said I was an influence on him, which was very flattering. But what he's done is taken something and turned it into a whole thing of his own. He's distinctive. I mean everybody takes something, influences from other people. I was influenced by Mingus and took things from him. You use other people for inspiration, and they're usually a bit older than you. You tend to go through that in your younger years. You take in all this stuff, and turn it into something that is more "you", and I think that's what he's done. I like a lot of his work, what I've heard.

There was a Japan record called "Tin Drum", which was pretty much pop music, but it was good work; different. I thought the rhythm section stuff was interesting, and Richard Barbieri's sonic approach was interesting. Very advanced at the time, which was 20 years ago. I also heard a track from one of Mick Karn's solo records, just in passing, somebody played it for me. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I liked it. I think it might've been from "Dali's Car".

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 21:14 (one week ago) Permalink


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