Disc one:
  1/  Pharoah's Dance                            (Zawinul)                     20.32
  2/  Bitches Brew                               (Davis)                       13.03
  3/  John McLaughlin                            (Davis)                       8.27
  4/  Miles Runs the Voodoo Down                 (Davis)                       11.33
  5/  Spanish Key                                (Davis)                       11.04
  6/  Sanctuary                                  (Shorter)                     9.42

 Disc two:
  1/  Pharoah's Dance                            (Zawinul)                     11.34
        Bill Laswell Son of Panthalassa Remix
  2/  Bitches Brew Dub                           (Davis)                       4.52
        DJ Logic & Grant Phabao Remix
  3/  John McLaughlin                            (Davis)                       8.01
        Youth Middle Class Riot Remix
  4/  Miles Runs the Voodoo Down                 (Davis)                       6.53
        Gaudi Remix
  5/  Spanish Key                                (Davis)                       6.14
        Fanu Lightless Remix
  6/  Sanctuary                                  (Shorter)                     11.53
        Joe Claussell Hidden Recealed Version                                  

          Originally recorded live at Merkin Hall, New York City on December 6, 2006
          Disc one 3D60 mixed by Mike Brady
          Disc one 3D60 process production by Mike Brady & Ian Thompson
          Disc two track, track one engineered by James Dellatacoma at Orange Music
          Disc two track, track one produced by Bill Laswell
          Disc two track, track two produced by DJ Logic & Grant Phabao in Paris
          Disc two track, track three produced by Martin Glover
          Disc two track, track four produced by Gaudi at Metatron Studio
          Disc two track, track five produced by Janne Hatula
          Disc two track, track six engineered by Fran Cathcart at East Side Sounds
          Disc two track, track six produced by Joaquin Joe Claussell
          Original recordings produced by Bob Belden and Robert Abel
Tim Hagens: trumpet; Bob Belden: soprano sax; Scott Kinsey: keyboards; Matt Garrison: bass; DJ Logic: turntable; Guy Licata: drums; (disc two, track 6): Bennett Paster: keyboards, bass; Fran Cathcart: rhythm guitars; Joaquin Joe Claussell: drum programming, voices, keyboard bass, mono tribe, sound efx.

          2011 - RareNoise Records (UK), RNR018 (2CD)


One of the more intriguing albums issued in the first half of 2011, Animation's Asiento (RareNoise, 2011), has now begotten one of the best sets of the latter part of the year.

Asiento was a live reimagining of trumpeter Miles Davis' seminal Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970), recorded live in December 2006 as part of the Reissue: Classic Recordings Live series, at Merkin Hall in Manhattan.

Agemo is itself a reimaging. This two-CD set is made up of the same six tracks that appeared on its predecessor, but only as a jumping off point.

Disc One is Asiento in a "3D60 Headphone Mix." Leave any cynicism for remix albums at the door—but do bring your headphones. You see, "3D60" refers to a technology (and company) that seeks to deliver something of a wide-panned, "surround" experience through traditional stereo playback. Perhaps the most well-known use of this process was on the collaboration between The Orb and David Gilmour, Metallic Spheres (Columbia, 2010). As utilized here, it is no gimmick. The airy, psychedelic music of Animation is ideally suited for this space-bending approach. The sonic acrobatics are always placed at the service of the music and are true enhancements. It's trippy stuff. To bring the point home, the liner notes state, "TO BE LISTENED WITH HEADPHONES!" Do as you are told and you will not regret it.

Disc Two is once again given over to the same six tracks but this time in completely new forms. An all- star line-up of producers and remixers slice, dice, edit, dub and transform the program, each bringing exactly the touch and flavors they are known for without reverting to cliché. Bill Laswell is spooky and ambient, where DJ Logic and Phabao layer in the dub. Youth is in all of his trance glory for "John McLaughlin," Fanu's got his breakbeats, and Joe Claussell applies his ambient house to a nearly twelve-minute take on "Sanctuary." All of this music fits squarely within the spirit of Bitches Brew on so many levels. At its most literal, trumpeter Tim Hagans and producer/saxophonist Bob Belden conjure the 1970 Miles Davis sound with reverb, wah and other processing. Bassist Matt Garrison is the son of John Coltrane alum Jimmy Garrison, and he provides a dynastic link to the innovations of the 1960s. The use of technology and other African- inspired musical forms, especially on the remixes, are a reminder of Davis' electric era. Most cogently, though, is the spirit of fearless adventure all of the participants bring. The confidence and skill they contribute to the proceedings make this more than a tribute record. It is an acknowledgement of, and a show of respect to, a kindred group of artists, from another era, communicated across time and space.

Lawrence Peryer (courtesy of the All About Jazz website)


Conceptually, this is a pretty strange release. It consists of two discs: the first documents a concert by saxophonist Bob Belden's group Animation. The concert was itself a reinterpretation of the classic Miles Davis album Bitches Brew; working with a standard jazz combo and turntablist DJ Logic, Belden created new versions of the tracks from that landmark jazz-fusion record, versions that ranged in style (sometimes in the course of a single tune) from ambient through funk all the way to jungle and drum'n'bass. This first disc adds another layer of interpretation, however, by presenting these tracks in "3D60" mixes. 3D60 promises to both increase the dynamic range and provide a "fully immersive, three-dimensional 360-degree headphone listening experience…with sounds coming from all around the listener -- in front, behind, at different heights and even from overhead or below." The sonic reality is a bit less dramatic than that; the mix itself is spacious and attractive, but the promised experience of hearing sounds coming from above and below (in addition to left-right and front-back) never really materializes. (It comes closest during the intro to "Pharaoh's Dance," which seems to circle in a tight oval around the head at ear level.) But wait, there's more: a second disc in the package puts yet another layer of interpretation on the listening experience by presenting remixes of the live tracks by the likes of Bill Laswell, Grant Phabao, Youth, and Gaudi (among others). Anyone who finds the original performances a bit too shapeless and discursive will surely enjoy the more structurally disciplined remixes, but both discs offer plenty of interest and pleasure.

Rick Anderson (courtesy of the All Music website)


I know that I usually don't review this sort of thing, reissues and such, but the premise for this release just seemed really interesting and cool to me. The idea to get together a group of musicians and sort of reinterpret Miles Davis' classic album Bitches Brew and then have a handful of electronic producers and such remix that album just seemed too good to pass up on. In addition to that, the whole thing was mastered to give the album a sort of 3D effect when listening, which just sounded awesome to me.

I don't think that debating that Bitches Brew by Miles Davis is a hands down classic album of all time, a stone cold album for the ages. The first of the two discs on here is a group of musicians coming together and basically interpreting it in their own way. Obviously, if you come into this believing that it will even touch the originality and master craftsmanship of the original, you'd be fooling yourself, so the only real way to come into this, at least for myself, was to view it as a completely different recording. So, based on that train of thought the only thing I can really say about this album is that it's an honest and well performed reenactment (if you want to call it that). But, as for the production, which is meant to give the whole thing a sort of 3D kind of stereo effect that makes this an ideal listen on headphones, does indeed make the entire record listening experience all the better. Musically, it's fine and there really isn't anything wrong with it if you're into jazz, but the production aspect really gives it an almost electronic kind of vibe. You'll get all sorts of different effects playing out in the background that just pan around your head throughout the entire album. I hate to compare a reinterpretation of a classic album to another group but the title-track, Bitches Brew, manages to channel a very dark ambient feel that definitely made me think of Bohren & Der Club of Gore's classic Black Earth album. It's very ambient during its softer moments and can feel like you're sitting in a hazy jazz club late at night, ala David Lynch's Blue Velvet, and when it gets intense it's like a free for all and is nearly impossible to grab onto a single player.

The remixes were the first of the two discs I listened to and pretty much acted as my introduction to the first disc. I won't claim to know who any of these guys are who remixed these tracks, people like DJ Logic & Grant Phabao or Gaudi, but I have to say that on the sheer strength of this album alone, this would have been guaranteed a good score. I'm not one for remixes, usually, only because I don't need to hear a metal or a rock song messed with to fit into a club scene, and I do feel relatively the same about remixes for jazz, but these six remixes aren't so, stereotypical or, how should I say, obnoxious. While there are obvious thing done to change the songs into different forms, whether it be more electronic, or even hip-hop-esque one could say, it really isn't the type of shift that would make me, or I believe anyone else, cringe when listening to them. They are very tasteful and happen to keep rather faithful to the original reinterpretation by adding more background textures than club beats or sampled vocals. I mean, no matter how you look at it, this disc is going to be the one that is easier to digest and get into if only because they've been changed to include a bit more of a driving quality to them that kind of propels them forward instead of the jazz idea, or improvisational jazz idea really, of having everyone do whatever they want.

Overall, I really enjoyed both albums very much. My only complaint is that they are quite long, both, though that's more of a problem with the original as well, but I do think that even though both discs are considerably shorter than the original, it still feels like a long listen. They're both very entertaining, and if you have even the slightest interest in jazz music, whether it be the traditional and classics, or through someone like Squarepusher, you'll find something in here to like.

Overall Score: 8.5

maskofgojira (courtesy of the Don't Count On it Reviews blog)