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Naked City - Naked City CD (album) cover


Naked City



4.07 | 120 ratings

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5 stars "Mr. Zorn doesn't bother with transitions. While he and his musicians create every sudden textural shift themselves, without technological assistance, his guides are the splice, the jump cut, the video edit - not to mention the jack-in-the-box and its more sinister relatives in funhouses and horror movies. In his music, coherence is barely more than propinquity; one sound or style simply doesn't predict the next" - New York Times

My definition of a perfect album (together with The Grand Guignol, by Naked City. I already wrote about it here too). A technical paradise for avant-garde lovers. Naked City is my favorite project by the demented John Zorn. Well, I really love demented people. Actually, Naked City brings me lot of my beloved stuff altogether: Free Jazz, Post/Hard Bop, Classical, Rockabilly/Country, Grindcore, Fusion, Grindcore, Hammond focking Organ, noise, Avant-Prog and more. But the most important thing is the fast-change, the shapeshifter tendencies of the Naked City music, highly inspired by Carl Stalling, the composer for Warner Brothers cartoons. You know, there's a lot of shifts in tempo, theme, style and signature. It makes the album an interesting bag of surprises, with 26 tracks. One hour of pure madness. If you are a musician, believe me, you will not regret. The shortest songs are the heaviest ones, where Zorn screams with his sax and goddamn, he did the impossible with that instrument. The whole band is awesome, but Zorn as the head of this ecletic (maybe ecletic enough, sounding offensive to regular listeners) hell, is my favorite here, of course. My favorites are the most ecletic, experimental and texture-changing tracks, in my opinion: Snagglepuss, You Will be Shot, A Shot In The Dark (an incredible version for the soundtrack from the 1964 film) and N.Y. Flat Top Box. Some expert versions taken from big names like Ornette Coleman* and Johnny Mandel transformed into totally new tunes. The theme for Chinatown, James Bond, and The Sicilian Clan too.

Naked City's debut includes Maruo Suehiro illustrations. Suehiro is one of the most celebrated "ero-guro" mangakas: an underground sick humouristic, experimental and dark movement from the japanese comics area. The guro term came from the janpanese pronounce for grotesque. I was a great fan of this kind of material. And Zorn too. You will notice this. Just take a look at the Naked City themes and concept: shiit, blood, s/m... Without any lyrics, John Zorn makes me think about the darkest side of the humanity into short hardcore jazzy tracks. The album art and the name of the songs reflects the horror and bizarre reality -or surrealism, musical or conceptual, like Reanimator- into his music. To fully understand the Naked City theory, search for the notes of their album Grand Guignol, dedicated to the theater wich carried the same name.

Five Stars!

*John Zorn already covered Ornette Coleman in a hardcore way with the album Spy vs Spy.

VOTOMS | 5/5 |


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