Dreams of Reason Produce Monsters is Mick Karn's second solo album and features him playing a variety of woodwinds and basses, as well as keyboards and drums. The songs are marked by plodding drum tracks colored with simple contrapuntal keyboard and woodwind figures: of the instrumental tracks, only "The Three Fates" escapes this martial treatment. The two tracks that feature lyrics and vocals (by David Sylvian, Karn's former bandmate in Japan) are the most memorable. They emphasize the interplay between Karn's sinuous fretless playing and Sylvian's sonorous voice to good effect.
Originally released on Medium Productions (Karn's joint venture with ex-Japan colleagues Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri), this uniquely adventurous and evocative selection of tracks written and arranged between 1995 and 1999 was finally released in 2001. Each Eye A Path reveals Karn at his most intimate and unfettered, Steve Jansen (who mixed the album) adds some typically tasteful drum and percussion parts.
Dali's Car was a duo project of bassist Mick Karn (formerly of Japan) and vocalist Peter Murphy (formerly of Bauhaus); it came into existence in the mid-'80s, produced one unsuccessful album, and then fell apart amid mutual rancor. But in 2011 Karn and Murphy tried it again. Karn was terminally ill, and they only came up with three new songs. (The five tracks on this EP include a cover of Jacques Brel's "If You Go Away" and an arrangement of a traditional Turkish song.)
The bass is really up front on this one. This is the most fully formed Mick Karn album, but still something seems to be missing. Or it's really that there should be more missing. Sometimes all the instrumentation gets a bit to busy. I could do without a lot of the guitar for instance. Although nothing here can obscure some of the greatest bass lines Karn's come up with. Songs like "Plaster the Magic Tongue" and a few others will amaze the bass crazed. There's lots of middle eastern and jazz fusion sounds to be found here. It's similar to Bestial Cluster just more consistently good, and sometimes darker or more middle eastern sounding. Mick Karn's best up to this point.
To coincide with the electronica revolution of the late '90s, Bill Laswell remixed a number of Bob Marley records as ambient dub for the Dreams of Freedom: Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub album. If these songs were remixed by any other producer, the results could have been disastrous, but Laswell is one of the masters of intellectual dub – he knows what to take out and what to add, creating a spacious, cavernous mix that is provocative without being extreme. Some longtime Marley fans will balk at the very idea of the album, but the results are undeniably impressive, even if it's a little too restrained and cerebral to qualify as first-rate ambient dub for clubs.