Mick Karn's "Each Eye a Path" is a very different album, having spent the past several years immersed in collaborative efforts, Karn had been putting together material on his own without a substantial supporting cast-- Steve Jansen joins on a few tracks and there's a couple scant contributions by someone named Maya and Apache 61, but other than that, its largely a effort.
I should not that four several years I barely ever listened to this one, but either my tastes changed or my perception of this change, as its now my favorite of Mick Karn's solo records.
The piece has the feel of being very much meticulously assembled in the studio-- its a dark, mysterious record, take opener "Up to Nil", one of the only vocal pieces on the record with its croaked vocal and churning bassline, weird electronic noises in the background and a driving implied rhythm, even for Karn, its unusual.
This consistently dark mood contrasts pretty heavily against Karn's last solo effort (1995's "The Tooth Mother", which was full of energy and up-front bass), but while the last one had the best bass playing by Karn, this one's got the best songwriting-- the two vocal tracks are both superb, the compulsive rhythms of "Up to Nil" contrasts against the dark churn of "Latin Mastock" (the latter features a beautiful lead bass over piano lengthy first movement/introduction). Ditto for clarinet and keys piece "The Forgotten Puppeteer"-- coming back to the idea from 1987's "Dreams of Reason" of Mick Karn as a composer not just a bassist-- this one features no bass, but a beautiful piano passage over which delicate clarinet lines arise and recede. In fact, compositional strength is high on this one with pieces like "Serves You Rice" (an organ/bass duet) and "The Night We Never Met" being totally effecting. But for bass, check out the jaw dropping "Angel's Got a Lotus", which reminds us just how brilliant of a player he is-- its both aggressive and up front and subtle at the same time.
This album is really quite uncanny and stunning, and its full of subtlety and takes time to grow on you, but its definitely worth the journey. Recommended.