Dali's Car by Peter Murphy and Mick Karn

  6Pmfglne Ta Sdcwnzd-Yii Aaaaaaaaafk H 8R2Ulclqm S320 Dalis+Car+-+The+Waking+Hour This is the 1984 video for "The Judgement is the Mirror" by Dali's Car, the band formed by post-Bauhaus Peter Murphy and post-Japan Mick Karn, along with Paul Vincent Lawford. Most of Dali's Car was a snail mail collaboration in which Murphy and Karn posted tapes back and forth before assembling the final album, titled The Waking Hour. I hadn't listened to the album in more than a decade until recently and I still find it quite lovely, moody, and enchanting. Of the style, Karn once said, "Middle Eastern music, predominantly Turkish, has been a big influence on my writing. My mother listened to it a lot when I was young, not a popular choice for a Greek Cypriot, and often in secret, so I grew up believing there was something mysterious about it. It's clearly there in every solo project, together with my other two great musical loves, classical and funk/soul music." I hadn't realized that last year, Murphy announced that he and Karn were restarting Dali's Car. Sadly though, Karn died in January. According to Karn's Web site, he and Murphy had completed four new tracks that will be released later this year.


    1. Agreed! In the context of the more “mainstream” alternative music culture of the 1980s, Japan’s albums of that era were rather experimental! Now I may have to dust off some of those old vinyl grooves.

  1. I had this album! I think I might still have it somewhere in the deepest, darkest corners of my iTunes library.

    1. I don’t trust other people’s servers so I never got rid of my CDs. I still have this disk, though, I haven’t listened to it in quite some time and it’s not in my portible player.

      Might be time to give it a fresh spin.

  2. I still listen to Japan’s “Tin Drum” album, and it still sounds fresh and exciting to me.

    I’m sorry to hear of Karn’s passing. R.I.P.

  3. Wow, this video is horrible, but Mr. Murphy’s cheekbones are particularly stellar here, so it all evens out.

  4. I love this album. Thanks to the love of my life in introducing me to it. We even have the Parrish print in our livingroom. Karn became one of my influences on fretless bass. So sad. R.I.P

  5. Sounds a lot like The Fixx to me. I love that they are using a laserdisc as a mirror in the video – classic! The record cover is a Maxwell Parrish painting; they obviously have great taste in art.

  6. This album fell far enough outside of musical trends at the time to remain fairly fresh – my biggest complaint was always that it is a very short album. Karn was melodic an nuanced, and Murphy a little under-utilized. It would be great to compare the more recent compositions, even if there can be no more.

    I believe that most of Murphy’s somewhat uneven solo work came after this album – he definitely benefits from a solid ‘band.’

  7. Karn’s death really devastated me. He was just such an amazing player.

    Dali’s Carwas always kinda aiiight to me. But I can’t wait to hear the new tracks!

  8. OH m’GAWD!

    I owned this album and this is probably the first time I heard this song in over 20 years. You’re right this is a beautiful album. Sad to hear about Mick Karn. Waaaaaa! I’m old.

    I enjoyed all Bauhaus spin offs. My friend and I were so smug that we sourced a few of their lyrics to “Brave New World”.

    Ahhhh, the 80’s.

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