Bill Laswell
  1/  Bass Terror - Tetragrammaton               (Laswell)                     15.16
      - First Method: Oath of the Abyss
      - Second Method: Deceptions of the Devil
      - Third Method: Evaporate
 Nicholas James Bullen
  2/  Nocturnal Crawl                            (Bullen)                      18.38
  3/  Again and Again                            (Bullen)                      18.27

          Track 1 created at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York, 1994
          Tracks 2 and 3 recorded 'In Limbo', England, Mid-Winter 1994
          Track 1 produced and designed by Bill Laswell
          Tracks 2 and 3 produced by N.J. Bullen
          Edited by Guy Marc Hinant
          Mastered by Manuel Mohino
Bill Laswell (1): bass, sounds; Nicholas James Bullen (2,3): bass, prepared bass, electronics; Neil Griffiths (3): prepared bass.

          1995 - Sub Rosa (Belgium), SR82 (Split CD)
          2018 - Sub Rosa (Belgium), SRLP82 (split 12")
          2018 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)
Note: The vinyl re-release only contains tracks 1 and 2.


Sub rosa is a label i'm rapidly beginning to like in an unhealthy way - i've got a few of their CDs so far and there's not one i don't like. So i guess this is going to be a good review. Oh well, there, i just blew the whole thing. Anyways...

"Bass Terror" is apparently the second in the subsonic series (what's the first one?! mickey hart and f.m. einheit?), and it's got (sooprise) lots and lots of bass and low-end drums. Jehovah Laswell starts us off with a nice dark-space-ambient bleepy piece of ambience that then leads headlong into one of his techno-ish dub tracks; i'm normally not a big fan of his dub stuff (unless he's working with other people) but this track doesn't make me want to vomit or anything. As the track continues it melts into heavy-bass dubbishness with less drums and everything sort of fades in and out as the bass sound gets more and more synth-farty; the three sections ("methods") don't seem to be very distinct. But the bass dominates everything, which is what you want, right?

And from the father-on-high of bass-dub we come to his newly begotten (and possibly now forgotten) son: Mr. Bullen treats us to some _nice_ dark ambience with shimmering, insectoid buzzes and tablas (an immediate hit with me); "nocturnal crawl" then stutters to life with a fractured sample of a beat that comes and goes for a bit and then it DROPS... and the track becomes an amazing ambient/dub/hop/thingy along the lines of Scorn (surprise) but in my opinion much better. The track goes back and forth between dub and ambient and ends up with a nice, isolationist feel.

Scorn was never what i'd call the most urgent of bands, but i think Bullen's tracks here are long enough that they breathe and evolve in a way that Scorn's never did (and seem less likely to, now). "Again and again" is a bit more hip- hoppish in a sense, more up-beat with a cleaner drum sound. The drones are less overall sinister in this track, while still retaining a kind of melancholy feel. This one also ends with a nice, cold ambient segment mixing bass with droning electronics. Nice, nice. Definitely something to look for if you want something that "has a beat but doesn't suck," as sarada says.

grievous (courtesy of the Noise From the Spleen of Space website)