|Armed with some up-to-date technology for the time (1987), Dave wrote to Bill Bruford (after seeing him play with King Crimson) and asked him if he'd like to try recording, thankfully, the answer was YES! Before long, Tony Levin came into the picture with his Chapman Stick and so did trumper player Mark Isham.
Improvisation plays a major role in this outing although there are some more composed segments, like the brilliant, "3 Minutes of Pure Entertainment" which in reality is several minutes of fiery brilliance punctuated by a snaky unison melodic figure from Torn and Isham.
Torn alone commands a huge tonal palette utilizing a Steinberger guitar and all manner of digital looping and delay implements, plus an improvised koto-like instrument made out of a junky old guitar (used on the opening cut "Suyafhu Skin/Snapping The Hollow Reed", which also features some very unique percolating melodic figues generated by Bill Bruford on electronic drums. Dave lets loose with grand soaring melodies here before charging into an apocolyptic conclusion. "Mercury Grid", another one of the more structured pieces shines brightly as Mark Isham's trumpet is featured heavily here as Dave unleashes and extrudes other-worldly and ghostly chordal swells underneath.
From "The Previous Man" onwards, the pieces are more loose and improvisational with each musician contributing equally, no-one dominating the proceedings. Dave really puts his looping skills to the test here as well as unleashing searing melodies and angry fusillades of noise at times. The disc however does end on a quiet meditative note.
People who had heard his earlier playing (for example with Everyman Band in the early 80's) sometimes compared him to Allan Holdsworth, NOT SO HERE!!! Dave really found his own style and sounds. Listen to this and have your mind expanded!