Black Box :
Torture Garden / Leng Tch'e

Naked City's Black Box is a reissue of two out-of-print Naked City albums that originally provoked controversy because of their cover art. The art, as well as the reprinted CD's, are available in Naked City's "Black Box", which Zorn issued on his Tzadik label. The set contains some of Naked City's most challenging and dark material: included on one disc is the complete Torture Garden (which appeared in seperate parts on Grand Guignol and Naked City), a series of forty-two short blasts of styles that features the Boredoms' Yamatsuka Eye with Naked City. The second disc is Leng Tch'e, which features Eye with Naked City on a half hour track inspired by a form of extended Chinese torture.

Torture Garden and Leng Tch'e were written at a time in the late 80's when Zorn was involved in the Tokyo S&M scene. Not only does much of the controversial cover art included inside come from Japanese S&M films, the music itself explores a pleasure/pain dichotomy. The appeal of Torture Garden comes from its eternal dislocation, the constant assault of new musical locations, the music never pausing to rest anywhere. Just when the band hits a pattern or a nice groove, it is broken up in a blast of nattering screams or screeching saxophone. Leng Tch'e, on the other hand, revels in its repetition, in the rise and gradual decay of distortion laden power chords. By the time Yamatsuka Eye enters, about halfway into the half-hour piece, the effect has become almost transcendant. I first listened to Leng Tch'e after a really shitty day, alone in my apartment, with a bottle of cheap wine and a book of Rimbaud poetry, at about one in the morning. This is real your-girlfriend-just-broke-up-with-you music, when you want to enjoy revelling in some self pity for a while.

John Zorn / Bill Frisell \ Fred Frith / Wayne Horvitz \ Joey Baron / Yamatsuka Eye

Home // Naked City // Masada // Tributes // Filmworks // Classical // Various