NAKED CITY

Avant-garde Metal / Metal Related / Drone Metal • United States
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Naked City was formed in 1988 by NYC Downtown sax player John Zorn as a vehicle to explore the boundaries of compositional & improvisational music with a traditional rock set up. Joining him in this endeavor was Fred Frith (Henry Cow, Massacre), Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Joey Baron, & occasionally Yamatsuka Eye (Boredoms) & Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle), the latter only contributing for live performances during the Grand Guignol & reunion eras.

Naked City released their self-titled debut on Elektra Nonesuch Records in 1989 which featured a photo of a dead gangster borrowed from Weegee's book Naked City. After running into trouble with Elektra on account of the controversial S&M bondage pictures Zorn intended to use as the cover for their sophomore effort Torture Garden, Zorn turned to Shimmy Disc & his own labels Tzadik & Avant to harbor Naked City.

Naked City continued to be prolific up until 1993 when Zorn
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Black Box - 20th Anniversary Edition: Torture Garden / Leng Tch'eBlack Box - 20th Anniversary Edition: Torture Garden / Leng Tch'e
Reissued
Tzadik 1997
$14.49
$16.25 (used)
Complete Studio RecordingsComplete Studio Recordings
Box set
Tzadik 2005
$97.16
$59.99 (used)
Torture GardenTorture Garden
Shimmy Disc 1993
$4.72 (used)
Live - Volume OneLive - Volume One
Tzadik 2002
$11.88
$9.99 (used)
Leng Tch'eLeng Tch'e
Toys Factory
$19.99 (used)
Grand GuignolGrand Guignol
Avant Japan 2002
$179.02
$19.99 (used)
Live In Quebec 88Live In Quebec 88
CODE 7 - AIR CUTS 2017
$364.97 (used)
AbsintheAbsinthe
Avant Japan 1997
$91.06 (used)
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NAKED CITY Discography

NAKED CITY albums / top albums

NAKED CITY Naked City album cover 3.41 | 7 ratings
Naked City
Avant-garde Metal 1989
NAKED CITY Torture Garden album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Torture Garden
Avant-garde Metal 1989
NAKED CITY Grand Guignol album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
Grand Guignol
Avant-garde Metal 1992
NAKED CITY Leng Tch'e album cover 4.36 | 5 ratings
Leng Tch'e
Drone Metal 1992
NAKED CITY Heretic album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Heretic
Metal Related 1992
NAKED CITY Radio album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Radio
Avant-garde Metal 1993
NAKED CITY Absinthe album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Absinthe
Metal Related 1993

NAKED CITY EPs & splits

NAKED CITY live albums

NAKED CITY Naked City Live, Vol. 1: The Knitting Factory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Naked City Live, Vol. 1: The Knitting Factory
Avant-garde Metal 2002

NAKED CITY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

NAKED CITY re-issues & compilations

NAKED CITY Black Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Box
Avant-garde Metal 1997
NAKED CITY Naked City: The Complete Studio Recordings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Naked City: The Complete Studio Recordings
Avant-garde Metal 2005

NAKED CITY singles (0)

NAKED CITY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

NAKED CITY Reviews

NAKED CITY Naked City

Album · 1989 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
This is essentially what happens when a jazz band decides to play avant-garde rock and roll, with basically straight-ahead rockabilly numbers made weird with odd little solos and outbursts here and there. The overall sonic effect isn't too dissimilar from the wilder moments of Mr. Bungle - indeed, John Zorn and Trey Spruance would end up working together from time to time in future - though with a slightly more consistent "anchor" in early garage rock.

It's all very impressive, but I'd add a couple of caveats. The first is that if you are interested in this album because of thw participants' jazz work, you should keep in mind that this doesn't sound even slightly like jazz. The second is that I sneakily kind of think the garage rock side of the band is just fine and all that weird soloing just makes the album odd for odd's sake. This is a sentiment which, if course, is entirely antithetical to the experiment here, but I just feel like the experiment just isn't quite my cup of tea.

NAKED CITY Leng Tch'e

Album · 1992 · Drone Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
renkls
Painful, abrasive stuff here. A musical companion to the torture by a thousand knives that is a notorious blemish on Chinese history, and the pain that Naked City associates with it in this 'song' is extreme. Beginning as a drone doom piece that evolves with some dynamic drum work, with feedback driven guitar and bass lines - which run through the whole 31 minute piece, then leading at its exact middle point to screams, of pain and agony, which depending on how solid your appreciations for avant-grade are, are either in a league of their own, or the reason to turn the song off right then and there and abandon the CD to the dusty corner. It's first and foremost an endurance test, which for some, myself partially included makes it lose some of its potential. It's also quite a simplistic idea, and indeed if it had been any longer I doubt I would treat it with the positivity I do. But be warned, it is not enjoyable, but it is original. So if you're looking for something extreme that you don't intend to play often, but occasionally will indulge in the challenge, this may be for you. If not, stay away.

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