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LIVE REVIEWS

Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn at The Stone

Read "Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn at The Stone" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Bill Laswell/Milford Graves/John Zorn The Stone New York, NY December 19, 2017 How do you fit a camel through the eye of a needle? On December 19, the music summoned by Bill Laswell, Milford Graves, and John Zorn answered that very question: By starting with a larger needle, of course. Indeed, what began on poster as a mere assembly of bass, drums, and alto saxophone ended up expanding the parameters of its ...

LIVE FROM NEW YORK

Hal Willner, Ex Eye, Bill Laswell, Zion 80 & Brandon Seabrook

Read "Hal Willner, Ex Eye, Bill Laswell, Zion 80 & Brandon Seabrook" reviewed by Martin Longley

Hal Willner The Stone June 14, 15, 17, 2016 Hal Willner spent six nights in residence at The Stone, presenting two sets each evening. This Philadelphian producer has immaculate taste, as illustrated by his greatest achievements: a series of conceptual albums that feature a host of carefully selected artists, assigned with the task of addressing the music of a chosen composing giant. There was That's The Way I Feel Now (Thelonious Monk), Lost In ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Masahiro Shimba & Bill Laswell: Dubopera

Read "Dubopera" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Recently, researchers with the Ligo Collaboration reported that they had detected gravitational waves (predicted by Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity 100 years ago) resulting from the collision between two black holes a billion years ago. Bassist and provocateur Bill Laswell has made a career of doting the same thing with musical genre, creating new and different forms with lasting consequences. Most notable has been Laswell's application of Dub, an electronic progeny of Reggae, to different styles of music ...

INTERVIEWS

Bill Laswell: No Boundaries

Read "Bill Laswell: No Boundaries" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

For some people music is a mere entertainment product, a pastime amusement. For others music is a powerful force and the act of its creation carries within itself a sense of discovery. Bill Laswell's music, production and remixes have always carried that sense of discovery and riskiness. Multifariously creative and independent, he has always been revered by avant-gardists, jazz and improv and electronic music fans with equal zeal.  In the last 30 years, this incontrovertibly cool producer has ...

REDISCOVERY

Material: Hallucination Engine

Read "Material: Hallucination Engine" reviewed by John Kelman

Material Hallucination EngineAxiom1994 Some albums come along without any real intention other than to be what the are yet, without any fanfare, completely change the possible ways music can be perceived, felt and created by those lucky enough to hear them. Today's Rediscovery is one such album, a record that wasn't just ahead of its time when it was released in 1994; it seems still ahead of its time today, more than twenty years later. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Praxis: Tennessee 2004

Read "Tennessee 2004" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Praxis is the operative name of an experimental jazz/rock/funk/dub quartet led by bassist Bill Laswell with drummer Brain (Les Claypool's Primus), guitarist Buckethead and keyboardist Bernie Worrell (wizard of synthesized funk for P-Funk, Talking Head, etc...). They first came to Frankenstein-like life in 1993: because like that mad doctor, Laswell stitched Praxis together from disparate parts of the contemporary music corpse and then animated it into a sometimes powerful, and sometimes hideous, life-form.

In 2004, Praxis hit the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Laswell/Various Artists: Subharmonic In Dub

Read "Subharmonic In Dub" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Bill Laswell has composed, performed, and produced just about every style of music known to man--and a few more, too. In the early 1990s, in tandem with producer John Matarazzo (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Tito Puente, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti, Sly & Robbie), Laswell co-founded Axiom Records.

Through Axiom and its subsidiaries (including Subharmonic and Strata Records), Laswell has explored modern electronic music, including ambient, dub, and funk. This extensive and kaleidoscopic two-CD overview of Laswell's work through ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Laswell: Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission

Read "Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission" reviewed by John Kelman

Sometimes music is meant to engage the mind; other times it is meant purely to involve the body. Some would argue that the best music does both, and there may be some truth to that belief, but the reality is that there is room for both as distinct and separate entities. While much of Bill Laswell's work over the past thirty years has been of a more physical nature, there's no denying that a lot of thought and effort goes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Laswell: Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission

Read "Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Bassist, composer, and producer Laswell here reconvenes with several co-conspirators from previous dub and other world-beat projects: Keyboardist Bernie Worrell, drummer/percussionist Abdou Mboup, percussionist Karsh Kale (who served with Laswell in Tabla Beat Science and in the rhythm section for Herbie Hancock's acclaimed Future 2 Future set), and bassist Jah Wobble.

I get Laswell's dub, or at least I think I do. It's Miles Dewey Davis dub: No musical instrument, rhythm, style, or sound is out of bounds ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Bill Laswell - The Musician Becomes The Music

Read "Bill Laswell - The Musician Becomes The Music" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

New Age. World Beat. World Music. What have we here? Are these terms that the psychoanalysts may write in a prescription to heal the music industry sociopath? Are they what some of today’s musicians would throw as a sop to the industry? A musical cop out by accidental artists who believe that they are creating something new? It is more likely to be the industry’s way of allowing music that is beyond comfortable category to see the light of day, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Laswell: Operazone: The Redesign

Read "Operazone: The Redesign" reviewed by AAJ Staff

No one ever accused Bill Laswell of closed-mindedness. He's done production work with artists from Herbie Hancock to Public Image Limited. His own groups have explored the territory from subsonic dub to all-out thrash metal. Laswell's remix record Panthalassa reassembled the electric fusion of Miles Davis into an authentic, accessible form. On Operazone, he works with Alan Douglas and Karl Berger to revisit and revamp some of the “greatest hits" of opera, using a Third Stream approach.

I never thought ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Laswell and Sacred System: Imaginary Cuba: Deconstructing Havana

Read "Imaginary Cuba: Deconstructing Havana" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This is “piecemeal” music, spliced together in a studio by Bill Laswell to present a sound–picture of modern–day Havana, Cuba. It’s world music, not Jazz, and how well the enterprise succeeds is, we presume, in the ear of the beholder. Laswell has been called (by Billboard magazine) “way ahead of his time.” He may be well ahead of mine too. Laswell painted his Cuban portrait by organizing a series of location recordings in the studios, streets and back rooms of ...


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