Mick Karn – The Tooth Mother (1994)

The other day I listened to Mick Karn’s The Tooth Mother and realized that this type of music – he called it Feta Funk – will not be created any more. For two reasons this is a shame. Firstly, Mick Karn has died recently due to cancer. That, in it self is very sad. Secondly, the music was unique. Two important factors plays a role in this. One is Mick Karn’s exceptional bass playing. A self-taught bass player, making his name in the band Japan,  he ended up with a style that has no comparison and no following in the world. His sliding notes on the fret-less bass gave his style some ethnic edge. He also played the bass clarinet, which featured his music frequently. The other characteristic of his music wa the frequent participation by David Torn.

This CD is feta funky for sure. If CDs could smell this would smell gorgeous, like a Mediterranean dish. The opening track Thundergirl Mutation clearly presents what this music is about: funk, prominent bass, experimental guitar tracks. The second track -Plaster the Magic Tongue- introduces bass clarinet and vocals. The vocals are not that OK, to be honest.

But the best has yet to come. Well basically the rest of the tracks are very good, maybe a bit inaccessible. But hey, who said that listening to music should be easy?