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David Torn - Polytown (with Mick Karn and Terry Bozzio) CD (album) cover

POLYTOWN (WITH MICK KARN AND TERRY BOZZIO)

David Torn

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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thesilentman@
4 stars What happens when you take Zappa alum Terry Bozzio, former Japan bassist Mick Karn, and avante-god David Torn? A wild sonic ride through something that has pieces of jazz, pan-ethnic fusion, and instrumental prowess that few can touch. The compositions are sharp and well produced, with ample space to hear Karns fluid Middle Eastern style fretless work, as well as Bozzio doing some phenomenal orchestration for percussion.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#32022)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sick, dark and dangerous... This disc can give you nightmares, good ones that you will want to have over and over.... for me at least. This is one of my favorite Bozzio discs. His drumming is very crisp and original. A lot of dry sounding toms that offset Karn's slinky wet sounding fretless bass. David Torn's guitar has a psychotic strangled tone of an unearthly beast wailing for release from the clutches of a tar pit. Eerie and hypnotic.

This disc requires some very close listening, the main melodies are actually carried by the bass. Torn and Bozzio seem to solo over, under and through the melodies. Torn has this Frippian vibe to his playing, but more controlled and menacing. He rarely plays fast, more ambient and restrained, make that painfully restrained. The album sounds like something KC should have created with Bruford and Levin.

Honey Sweating is a great opener and introduces you the players and their strengths immediately. You'll also get the idea right away that this is something unusual and special. Snail Hair Dune is the longest track and sounds like the title, slow and dry with an Eastern vibe. This is the Abduction scene is pure King Crimson fury with Karn's bass growling through the effects. Bozzio lays down a heartbeat ostinato on the Red Sleep, which reminds me of a Poe's Tell Tale Heart. Creepy. Warrior Horsemen of the Spirit Thundering Over the Hills of Doubt to a Place of Hope wins the most imaginative song title award for 1994.

Polytown predates Black Light Syndrome by three years and really is more experimental and gives off a completely different effect. Don't confuse the two. Polytown = Dark and Scary / Black Light Syndrome = Adventurous and Fun. Either way, you win!

Recorded over a 15 day stretch, this disc is a great addition to any collection and should be played on rainy nights, when you are home alone and just finished watching Eraserhead.

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Send comments to Dan Bobrowski (BETA) | Report this review (#32023)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars If there exists a genre that Polytown would fit into, it should be named "dark jazz". Polytown was recorded in 1993 and still sounds incredibly fresh 11 years later. The music throughout the whole record is claustrophobic, dark and sinister. Tempos are moderately slow and instrumentation sparse, but Bozzio, Karn and Torn know how to fill up the space in clever ways without sounding self-indulgent. Karn's fretless bass mostly carries the main melody while Bozzio and Torn solo over, creating a haunting and menacing atmosphere. Polytown is remarkable for it's consistency. The group manages to maintain a very unique sound throughout the entire album without being repetitive or boring. What Torn, Karn and Bozzio created in Polytown sounds like futuristic jazz-rock from desert climates. Even the album cover alludes to exotic locations. While this album will sound unique at first listen, it may take a while to reveal its genius to most listeners. All in all, this is a very convincing and engaging album that enables mind to travel to places that body may never visit.

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Send comments to silentman (BETA) | Report this review (#32024)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
robmeyer87@wa
5 stars All three musicians on Polytown are pioneers as well on their instruments as in the entire musical field. Especially Mick Karn's contribution to the bass is unique and outstanding original. The way this product was recorded is very exploring and exciting and demands an extremily strong developed sense of listening and reacting to fellow-musicians. I find this album should be listened to by much more people so the uniqueness of the music will be discovered by a greater audience.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#38691)
Posted Wednesday, July 06, 2005 | Review Permalink
Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The person who is gripping a target key of some music character for this album might be Mick Karn. The member's activity since it acted about Japan that dissolved in the 80's expanded the range for very a variety of music characters.

Especially, David Sylvian and other members' frictions exactly extend to many fields with the difference of the directionality of music and have extended. Each musician and was ..Music.. opposite from all directions.

It might have been a place of a certain kind of expression for the musician to whom the existence of CMPRecords of Germany that had shown the index in their musician's activity at this time as directionality also expressed experimental music as an avant-garde like them.

If the activity at this time of them is seen, it will be clarified to connect "Cloud About Mercury" of the name of David Torn announced from ECM in 1987 with this Polytown. Torn originally requested the recording of Bass to Karn that went away from the activity of music a little in "Cloud About Mercury" though the line of Bruford-Isham-Levin participated in the recording. After all, it was not achieved. However, Torn at this and Karn have come in contact. Karn gradually showed the activity of music in various districts. And, the chemical reaction that was called this Polytown with Bozzio was caused.

It is ..composition of the tune that gives darkness and a heavy impression consistently.. finished in this album. It is evidence that the chemical reaction that they caused at the same time is splendidly expressed. The fact that offers the listener indeed high-quality ensemble though it had only for the period of a little rehearsal might be proof whose they are genuine musicians.

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Send comments to Kazuhiro (BETA) | Report this review (#229458)
Posted Saturday, August 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Advanced power trio with unorthodox sound. David Torn has his roots in fusion and jazz both, but he always adapts new technologies in his music. Terry Bozzio is well known drummer, but you will be surprised how great he is here on this album! Usually he is more on the back almost in all his participated projects,but there Torn gave him enough space to show his abilities, and it works!

Fretless bassist Mick Karn is known by his synth-pop band Japan, but later he had some experience working with David Torn as well. In all music there is slow to mid-tempo complex often liquid sound with rhythm breakages, electronic loops, ascetic guitar, aerial and very concentrated at the same time.

Always staying in the frames of jazz rock,trio explore genre's and new technologies' possibilities till the borders. Great thing is even if compositions are complex, you will hardly find complexity in the name of complexity on this album. Intelligent, inventive and tasty - its a best compliments I could say about this release.

Recommended for every modern jazz rock fan, bored from classical fusion power trios repetitive releases.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#313048)
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars Apologies to David Torn and Terry Bozzio, but this is the type of album I had always wanted Mick Karn to do. For some time, it seemed like the only place you could hear Karns slithering fretless bass was behind moody, moaning new wave singers like David Sylvian, Peter Murphy and such. And the previous Torn album, "Door X", on which Karn appears, was marred by some ill advised vocal tracks.

But here we just have three extraordinary musicians playing some excellent onorthodox sounding fusion. Karn, of course plays his Middle Eastern influence fretless bass style, along with some eerie bass clarinet, while Torn plays some of his best off-kilter guitar lines. And Bozzio sounds as good as he did when he almost outplayed Jeff Beck on the "Guitar Shop" tour.

Along with "Cloud About Mercury", this is where to discover the music of David Torn.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#516916)
Posted Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | Review Permalink

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