Mick Karn

Mick Karn — aka Andonis Michaelides (July 24, 1958 — Jan. 4, 2011) — was an English-Cypriot multi-instrumentalist and composer who rose to prominence as the bassist in the New Wave/art-pop band Japan, which released five studio albums between 1978 and 1981. Just as the band announced its breakup, Karn debuted as a solo artist with the album Titles on Virgin in 1982. The following year, he collaborated with Ultravox-frontman Midge Ure on the single “After a Fashion.” In 1984, Karn teamed with ex-Bauhaus singer Peter Murphy in the art-pop duo Dalis Car, which issued The Waking Hour on Paradox.

Karn resumed his solo career with the 1986 Virgin release Dreams of Reason Produce Monsters, recorded with input from fellow Japan-alumnus Steve Jansen. The Tin Drum-era lineup of the band would ultimately regroup in 1991 for an eponymous disc as Rain Tree Crow. The ensuing 19-year period yielded two albums apiece by Karn on the labels CMP Records, Medium Productions, and his initialed MK imprint.

In 1990, Karn collaborated with guitarist David Torn in the ethno-jazz quartet Lonely Universe. The pair subsequently teamed with drummer Terry Bozzio for the 1994 CMP disc Polytown.

Karn’s basswork is also heard on albums by Gary Numan (Dance, 1981), Lustans Lakejer, Masami Tsuchiya, Bill Nelson (Chimera, 1983), Yukihiro Takahashi, Mark Isham, Akiko Yano, and Kate Bush (The Sensual World, 1989).


  • Titles (1982)
  • Dreams of Reason Produce Monsters (1987)
  • Bestial Cluster (1993)
  • Polytown (1994 • David Torn, Mick Karn & Terry Bozzio)
  • The Tooth Mother (1995)

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