Iron Kim Style – Selftitled

A mixture of contemporary jazz, fusion and ambient music. That is probably a decent description of Iron Kim’s “Style”. This new project is led by renowned guitarist Dennis Rea, also known from his other projects and collaborations such as Moraine. It’s obvious why the name of this project is Iron Kim Style, as it is meant to subtly mock the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il.

Guitars, trumpet, bass and drums with the addition of bass clarinet are the instruments IKS is made up of, and there’s a feeling of absolute unity between these instruments, as none of them get a leading role. Everything is pretty balanced, and I always get the impression of equilibrium in the band’s sound. The entire atmosphere that rules the album is calm, gained mostly by the somewhat atmospheric trumpets and I would say “blurry virtuous” guitar solos, with distorted bass lines and “clocky” drumwork, here and there. The aforementioned clarinet is presented in the leading track “Mean Streets of Pyongyang”, as well as in “Adrift”, which are coincidentally or not among my favorite pieces of the album. If you look carefully the band photo inside the CD sleeve, you’ll probably notice two things. First one is Mr. Kim itself, stepping in the room, bringing probably the discipline and firmness, and at the other side, the rest of band seems pretty much relaxed, drinking beer and stuff, which shows the general impression about the music that IKS proudly presents. I have given a name to this concept: “disciplined relaxation”. The advantage of this album is that with tons of its listening it will not become boring,  this album is gonna make you more and more interested and with repeated listens you will begin to become almost hypnotized as you hear it.

At the end I would say that this album could possibly be included in the best albums of 2010. Either way, if you’re in search of some great jazz fusion, then Iron Kim Style would do right for you.


Mean Streets of Pyongyang

Gibberish Falter

Po’ Beef

Don Quixotic


Amber Waves of Migraine

Pachinko Malice

Dreams from Our Dear Leader

Jack Out the Kims

Slouchin’ at the Savoy


Dennis Rea – 6-string guitar

Bill Jones – trumpet

Jay Jaskot – drums

Thaddaeus Brophy – 12-string guitar

Ruan Berg – bass


Izaak Mills – bass clarinet on Mean Streets of Pyongyang and Adrift


Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.
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