1/ Temporary Power Surge (Laswell) 1.06 (Warning Introduction) 2/ Reanimation (Laswell,Swift) 4.05 featuring DJ Rob Swift 3/ 3D-Cut Transmission (Laswell,DXT,Wobble) 5.53 Material featuring DXT, Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell and Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey 4/ Shin-Ki-Row (Krush) 4.10 DJ Krush 5/ Black Hole Universe (Laswell,DXT,Worrell) 2.09 featuring DXT 6/ If 9 Was 6 (Prince Paul) 2.00 Prince Paul Instrumental Mix 7/ If 666 Was '96 (DXT) 4.15 DXT Mix 8/ Ancient Style (Laswell,Swift,Sola) 6.06 featuring DJ Rob Swift and Liu Sola 9/ Invasion of the Octopus People (ISP) 4.53 Invisible Scratch Pickles (DJ Q-Bert, DJ Disk, Shortkut and Mixmaster Mike) 10/ Embryo (DXT) 4.30 DXT 11/ Return of the Black Falcon (Furlow,Laws,Harding) 3.40 New Kingdom 12/ One-Legged Centipede (Quitevis) 3.28 Invisible Scratch Pickles featuring DJ Q-Bert 13/ Black Wax (Laswell) 4.39 Valis 14/ Dust To Dust (Spectre) 4.43 Spectre 15/ If 6 Minutes Was 9 Minutes (Hendrix) 7.20 DXT featuring Shorty Black, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell and Greg Fritz Studios: Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York, Show-On Studio, Tokyo and Paul's Coffee Shop, Long Island, New York Engineers: Robert Musso, Oz Fritz, Jean-Pierre Sluys, DXT, Prince Paul, Koichi, "Oppenheimer" Matsuki and Scott Harding Track 4 programmed, produced and mixed by DJ Krush Track 6 remixed, engineered and destroyed by Prince Paul Tracks 7 and 15 produced and mixed by DXT Track 11 produced by Scott Harding and New Kingdom Track 14 reduced and jinxed by Spectre Generated by Bill Laswell Compiled and mastered at Greenpoint Studio by Robert Musso & Anton FierBootsy Collins: Space bass (6,7,15), vocal (6,7,15); Shorty Black: lyrical flow (15); Bernie Worrell & Greg Fritz: back-ground vocals (15).
Tracks 6,7 and 15 contain exerpts from "If 6 Was 9", by Jimi Hendrix.
1996 - Axiom/Island (USA), 162-531 046-1 (Vinyl) 1996 - Axiom/Island (USA), 162-531 046-2 (CD) 1996 - Axiom/Island (Europe), ???-524 253-2 (CD) 2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)Note: On the vinyl release, tracks 1,3,7,8,11 and 14 are edited.
Dan Foley (courtesy of the Ambience For the Masses website)
More Bill Laswell! Seems like everything i pick up now has his fingerprints on it, you know? This disc delves more into his interest in abstract hip-hop stuff and particularly the actual DJs who assemble tracks out of disassembled culture and deconstructed muzack.
"Altered beats" kind of keeps to the more mainstream sounds of hip hop with bits of jazz, ambient, trip hop, etc, thrown in. There are plenty of solid, thumbing beats and lots of throbbing bass and also a lot of scratching. You know, scratching? The stuff you used to hear all the time in rap that seems to be disappearing slowly but surely? Yeah, that. I'm only going to discuss fully the really stand-out tracks because there are a few tracks that just don't hold up (the variations on "if 6 was 9" and dj krush's track, particularly). So.
"Ancient Style" combines Liu Sola's amazing voice with a solid beat, jazz-ic bassline and some nice sampled chimes and violins (i think). What makes the track is Rob Swift's scratching in of martial arts movie dialog; he speaks with his hands, truly. Invisible Scratch Pickles cut up some old early- rap records and beats in an echo chamber and plug in some fucked-up keyboard samples and demonstrate their mastery of scratching; the whole track manages to seem laid-back and edgy at the same time. "Embryo," by DXT (aka DST) mixes another great beat with some somber samples and vibes; the thing that makes the track in this case is the wonderful anti-UN paranoia-rant sampled vocals. New Kingdom has what i would say is the bad-ass track of the lot, combining dubby bass and echoes with a slow hip-hop beat and some synth-out-of-control noises; this song just exudes attitude. Spectre contributes "dust to dust" which is a nice, grim piece reminiscent of the stuff he did on "Valis I."
grievous (courtesy of the Noise From the Spleen of Space website)
A rare fusion of Turntablism & Experimental music.....
Bill Laswell is probably one of the most prolific (and accomplished) producer/performers of the last 20 years. His influence and productions have touched upon: World Music, Jazz, Rock, Dub, Experimental, Ambient, Electronica & Fusion. He's probably best known for this music involving Dub music (his true love), but this project is different. What Bill Laswell has done in effect, is assemble a collective of some of Hip-Hop greatest Turntablists, and constructed a project that although heavily indebted to Hip-Hop is a fusionistic sound of sorts. Whereby Hip-Hop production skills & approaches are coupled with Worldbeat sampling, Spoken Word Dialogue and music that touches upon & covers: metal, rock, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and are all seamlessly blended together by a group of turntablists that are arguably amongst the finest artists in their field. "Rob Swift, DJ Krush, Prince Paul, DJ Q-Bert, Invisibl Scratch Piklz (incorrectly & amusingly spelt "Invisible Scratch Pickles" on the back of the CD Case). Although this stunning album features Turntablists, It isn't purely a turntable practitioners album, as various artists from the field of Experimental, Worldbeat (& the axiom Label), all contribute to produce something based around 'Fusion' (albeit one, with a heavy emphasis on scratching & Mixing). But the inclusion of experimental rock/ Avant-garde musicians give the project a completely new slant (Bootsy Collins, Jah Wobble, Liu Sola, New Kingdom, Laswell).
"Reanimation" sees 'Rob Swift' cutting up samples and sounds usually found in World music to stunning effect, with heavy bass sounds twisted and warped to sound like electronically produced worldbeat.
"3D - Cut Transmission" finds Jah Wobble on Bass Guitar duties with Percussion & effects courtesy of Bill Laswell & Jerome Brailey, with 'DXT' (who features on several tracks here), handling the subtle turntable trickery sonics. Its a sound not a million miles away from the experimental Dub Albums that both Wobble & Laswell are famous for, and remains a engaging different sound with DXT's deft mixing.
"Shin-Ki-Row" introduces japan's favourite turntablist "'DJ Krush' onto the decks, and his slow brooding style of instrumental Trip-Hop is a agreeably welcome change of pace. With Hypnotic grooves and thick, layered breaks, almost ambient in texture, his subtle scratching also manages to push all the right buttons. 'DXT's' similarly styled "Black Hole Universe", although not quite as much a journey into the excursions of hip-hop avant-garde, as DJ Krush's effort, it's still a massively realised track of mid- to slow-tempo grooves and breaks, with varying low bass tones, that prove DXT to be a truly versatile DJ.
"If 9 was 6" finds 'Prince Paul' providing a more uptempo, Hip-Hop instrumental, that any turntable compilation would be more to happy to include, but it's true potential is realised with the next track, which takes his instrumental blueprint and adds 'Bootsy Collins' on Bass & Vocal (with some re-editing from DXT), and suddenly the track evolves into a full blown slightly P-funk derived track (think if... "Funkadelic / Paraliment", did Hip-Hop).
"Ancient Style" is a glorious slow-burning, almost soul-inflicted tempo, with Rob deftly shunning thudding beats, in favour of something far more melodic and considered, with vocalist 'Liu Sola' (a Chinese Multicultural vocalist), whose incorporates Chinese opera, free jazz, funk, blues, and even Japanese theatre in her performances....but here she textures the grooves with harmonies and soft melodies, that although not quite Avant-garde, is certainly unlike most tracks on the majority of turntable-inspired records, and yet feels utterly unique & compelling.
"Invasion of the Octopus People" & "One Legged Centipede" are two tracks later on in the album, that are produced and performed by 'Invisibl Skratch Piklz", and their energetic turntable acrobatics, finds a welcome home here, as the fractured and freewheeling music aesthetic that they are renowned for, is fully in evidence here, and the hybrid of furious scratching & a Unified montage of abstract beats and dialogue that is broken down into their simplest elements, and using their highly skilled level of ability...cutting, scratching, and beat juggling everything until it's unrecognisable and sounds as something completely new. And almost as if to show that Hip-Hop isn't all about head-Nodding beats...
"Valis'" introduces the intitally unassuming dreamy electronic psychedelia of "Black Wax", with it's ambient tones and downtempo mood, it's more Trip-Hop than it is Hip-Hop, but it's Cerebral, Organic & Ethereal tones, are perfectly in keeping with some of Laswells modern Creative/ Dark Ambient work.
If you can find this Cd (good luck and its long since been deleted), and you have even a remote passing interest in the dynamics of turntable-derived music, this really is required purchasing....because as well as being technically as accomplished, as other leading turntable albums, this has the added benefit of (thanks to Bill Laswell producing the album), pushing the album into new territory, think of this album as a sort of Avant-garde turntablisim record, and your halfway to understanding how utterly essential this record is.
5 stars out of 5
fetish 2000 (courtesy of the Amazon.com website)