Yoshihiro Hanno Meets Mick Karn — Liquid Glass
(Medium Productions MPCD8, 1998, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 1999-04-01Mick Karn's distinctive bass playing has found a number of homes over the years since the demise of Japan. Most notable for readers of this magazine have been his collaborations with David Torn and Terry Bozzio in Polytown and on his own solo albums. For these recordings dating from 1997, he teams up with Japanese electronic wizard Hanno for a varied set of impressionistic pieces ranging from quiet and reflective to upbeat and energetic. Hanno paints his soundscapes with mostly “real” sounds (whether natural or virtual): vibes, trumpet, electric piano, recorded voices and so on rather than the blatantly electronic tones of synthesizers. Drums are both played and programmed, and soprano sax features on two tracks. Atmosphere takes precedence over groove, so tracks sometimes drift into oblivion only to return with a different tempo. At its most up-tempo, I am reminded of Aphex Twin’s hyperactive rhythms sans squelchy blips and bleeps. While Hanno is the main architect of the sound, Karn’s contribution is up to his usual high standard, slinky and melodic, taking full advantage of the lack of frets on his bass to glissando, slide and wobble in ways no one else can. This is a strong entry in the ongoing saga of Life After Japan, not as essential as The Tooth Mother, perhaps, but in no way disappointing.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more