Playing in a Room with People

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This CD features live versions of some of these musicians' '90s output -- four of them Karn's, three from Jansen and Barbieri's Stories Across Borders, one from Rain Tree Crow, and two new. Barbieri's "Walkabout" is an Aboriginal trance. For "Types of Ambiguity," Jansen employs a simple piano motif, fusing it with crowd and synth sounds. Ironically, the meatier tracks -- "Big Wheels in Shanty Town," "Saday Maday," and "Bestial Cluster" -- lose some of their bite live, and it's the quieter ones, which at first glance seem an odd choice, that steal the show. There's a lovely retake on "When Things Dream" and "Long Tales, Tall Shadows" (aka "Flame," minus the Tim Bowness vocal).

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