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Dali's Car: In Glad Aloneness

Album Review

Poignant swansong from late, great bassist Mick Karn.

Best known as the enterprising fretless bassist of pioneering art-rock band Japan, Mick Karn formed the post-punk experimental unit Dali’s Car with Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy. Their lone album, The Waking Hour was released in 1984, with a cover based on Maxfield Parrish’s painting Daybreak, uncannily similar to that used by The Moody Blues for The Present two years earlier.

Sadly, Karn died of cancer last year, but his final work was, at Murphy’s behest, a reuniting of the project from which comes this five-track EP. 

In Glad Aloneness is a fitting tribute to a great talent. Murphy’s Bowie-esque croon and Karn’s faultless bass lines are augmented by appearances from Fripp/Crimson alumni Theo Travis and Jakko Jacsyzk, and Japan’s own Steve Jansen. The album quietly builds through King Cloud and Artemis Rise to the ethnic bombast of Subhanallah, before a markedly poignant take on Brel’s If You Go Away – Karn’s favourite song – draws things to an emotional close. 

Planned as a full album, this was tragically curtailed by Karn’s illness, which only emphasises how sad a loss the bassist’s passing was to the music world.

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