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IRON KIM STYLE

Iron Kim Style

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Mostly improvised jazz rock fusion. The first track _Mean Streets of Pyongyang_ is very reminiscent of the live Miles Davis album DARK MAGUS. If you enjoy Miles Davis's fusion period from '70-'75(especially the extreme improvisational side) then this one is a no brainer. A lot of trumpet, but no keyboards. This is a great companion album to the amazing album by Moraine called MANIFEST DENSITY. Iron Kim Style features guitarist Dennis Rea from the band Moraine. Don't expect anything similar to Moraine other than guitar tone. As mentioned, this is entirely improvised but highly enjoyable. Fans of Sonny Sharrock, live Miles Davis, Weather Report (I Sing The Body Electric) and even mid-period Nucleus would enjoy. A great debut and recommended for the adventurous listener.

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Send comments to Gooner (BETA) | Report this review (#272351)
Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
js (Easy Money)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This album opens up with the syncopated drumbeat from Miles' 'Go Ahead John', which is soon joined by an ostinato bass line and echoed wah-wah trumpet. What is this, the second coming of 70s Miles Davis? Well sort of, but you get a lot more than straight up Miles derivations. Iron Kim Style also pulls influences from Terje Rypdal, Palle Mikkleborg, Don Cherry, Bill Laswell and all manner of avant-jazz and 70s psychedelic jazz fusion. This is one of the best jazz rock records I have heard in a while and although they sometimes recall the glory days of mid 70s fusion, Iron Kim also has enough modern European flavored nu jazz elements to not sound dated at all.

This is not easy listening, many cuts are abstract and noisy, but not in the all-out way in which 60s avant-jazzers would try to bring down the roof. Instead, Iron Kim can also be very mysterious and subtle in their approach. Although all of this music is improvised, Kim also moves beyond the standard modal jams and takes risks with improvised chord changes that make for very interesting accidental tonalities.

Stand out tracks include the somber Adrift where guest Izaak Mill's bass clarinet doubles the bass line and sounds like Bennie Maupin sitting in with Miles' Agharta ensemble with Dennis Rea providing the Pete Cosey styled double octaved reverb heavy guitar riffs. Jack out the Kims features a charging Last Exit styled rhythm section that is driven by Rea's modulating thrash chord progression that recalls Husker Du's Land Speed Record. While album closer Slouchin at the Savoy opens with Bill Jones best 60s Miles impersonation before the band lumbers onto something that sounds like Gene Krupa nodding out while still playing.

This is a good CD, and this band's potential and talent is through the roof, but I hope for their next outing they write some tunes. As good as they are at improvising, if they had some stronger material to work with they would be one of the top jazz acts happening today. Bill Jones is one of the most interesting and enjoyable trumpet players out there.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#273185)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars Testing question: When you want to capture essence of North Korea, what's the best way ? Probably to do Jazz album and if it will be done by Americans, it's only good. Sigh, this is really crazy, but not less interesting.

This is dark album, very pessimistic and somehow nostalgic. I've heard only two Davis Miles albums in my life, but I have to say that this reminds me them. Trumpet is howling like stray dog, roaming through rainy and dirty streets, seemingly endlessly. Last two tracks are pain in the ears, which is probably part of this N. Korea concept.

What can I say ? Two respected collabs already rated this album not so well and because I'm not expert, more like advocate of common people, not so touched by jazz, however, not as skilled as them. At first, I found this record too depressing, too common, but the more I was listening it, the more I was liking it. I always give album where I sense something good another try. Just out of curiosity what will happen.

And I like it, it's not dull or boring, it has soul (not Soul, like our language calls Seoul), so I'll rate higher. But not too high.

4(-) for the atmosphere.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#279014)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Iron Kim Style is a weird project with a weird subject.

Northern Korea is both a weird entity and a tragic hellhole which could had been on the dark side of the moon. That's where the music on this album, Iron Kim Style, can be found. Iron Kim Style is another Dennis Rea project and most of it is probably a product of his weird sense of humour. Both the subject and the music. The music is very much introvert jazz. It can be compared to what Miles Davis did with the many layers of trumpet and woodwinds. But Dennis Rea's guitar is also very much present. The music is also pretty close to the Canterbury Scene and Soft Machine too at their most jazzy period (six and seven). This is not easy listening music and very complex most of the time.

Quality wise, the music is very good. But I am getting the feeling that the musicians here is just settling in and is using this album to explore the avenues open to them. There is more Iron Kim Style albums brewing somewhere, thankfully. This album is just a glimpse into their world and like a rose not in full bloom. A very good and at times; fascinating album. But I would not describe it as a great album. But it is still worth exploring for Soft Machine and Miles Davis fans.

3.5 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#381302)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
2 stars Iron Kim Style is another Dennis Rea (he was part of the band Earthstar between late 70's and early 80's) project, and it looks that is one more of those projects that releases an album and die in the haze of time...

Iron Kim Style (2010) was released by Moonjune Records, knowing that and knowing the label you can expect some Jazz Fusion album or something in this field, and it is!

Iron Kim Style (2010) is full of different sounds and is quite experimental in a good part of the album and tracks like 'Gibberish Falter', 'Amber Waves Of Migraine' and 'Slouchin' At The Savoy'. We also have some good tracks like 'Adrift' and 'Jack Out Of The Kims' but that's it. In generall Jazz Fusion/Experimetal albums are hard to get to me, I just can't like or even listen more than once. That's why 2 stars.

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#482322)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Sometimes it takes you to be feeling your worst to be successfully immersed in an incredible musical experience that finally makes sense. Iron Kim Style's self-titled album is a hard and dark jazz fusion monster, comprised of fully improvised sinister moods, pessimistic dirty atmosphere and brooding menace. It's a frequently howling, tortured and oppressive instrumental album that weighs down on the listener, but with occasional reflective moments to offer some glimpses of hope. It often aims for mood over actual tangible tunes, but fans of hard edged 70's jazz-fusion, experimental Miles Davis and `Fifth' era Soft Machine will find much to appreciate here.

Spiraling trumpeting, mucky filthy bass and aggressive guitar stabs punch through the loose jazzy drumming of opener `Mean Streets Of Pyongyang'. Lots of heavy distortion and groaning reverb throughout, and the more sedate thoughtful middle with just a hint of danger rising is a nice touch as well. `Gibberish Falter' is a maddeningly funky and eerie experimental piece with harsh electronic buzzing and swallowing bass that really grates on your nerves and gets under your skin - in a good way!

In addition to some bellowing mammoth trumpeting, the guitar playing on `Po' Breef' almost gives you a hint at how the spiritual trio of albums from Santana `Caravanserai/Welcome/Borboletta' might have sounded if Carlos was devoted to the guy downstairs instead of the Lord above! `Don Quixotic' blends Anekdoten (circa `From Within'), mid-period `Recordings' era Porcupine Tree and rising-menace King Crimson improvs for a hypnotic spacey dirge.

`Adrift' is a jagged and serrated floating ambient piece - trust me, that will make sense when you hear it - with plenty of harsh distorted feedback-driven electric guitar and droning trumpet that drifts through the rainy weather. `Amber Waves Of Migraine' is a tiptoeing creeping nightmare, while `Pachinko Malice' is a manic fiery guitar/bass/wild drumming attack that reminds of the primal locked down aggression of Krautrock stunner `German Oak'.

The last three tracks all seem a little too short and underdeveloped, as good as they actually are, they could have been twice as long. `Dreams...' is a shuffling murky soundscape with chiming guitar and gentle percussion, the blustering and diabolical `Jack Out The Kims' is primal raging and maddening swirling King Crimson noise, while `Slouchin' At The Savoy' is an almost laid-back and naughty come-down to the gloom and oppression of the bulk of the album. All of these pieces hint at endless directions the band could next head in.

Once again, Moonjune Records has provided us with another top-quality jazz/progressive related work that keeps up their usual high standards of delivering intelligent, genre-blending releases from outstanding musicians.

`Iron Kim Style' is lonely, thought-provoking, deeply emotional and tormenting dark-jazz, for days when you've never felt more invisible and unhappy. How wonderful it is to have an album like this to help us through.

Four stars, and lets hope for a follow-up to this wonderful album soon, far too much potential and talent here!

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#915998)
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | Review Permalink

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