Disc one :
  1/  Digitaria                                  (Laswell,Ninj)                6.21
  2/  Faktura                                    (Laswell)                     6.11
  3/  Dislocation                                (Laswell)                     8.00
  4/  Extinguisher                               (Musso)                       7.49
  5/  Third Stage Navigator                      (Laswell)                     9.00
  6/  Wird                                       (Laswell)                     8.30
  7/  Oscillations Remix - Nico (No-U-Turn)      (Laswell)                     8.20
  8/  Digital Cut-Up - Atom Heart                (Laswell)                     6.07
  9/  Milky Mix - DJ Grazhoppa                   (Laswell)                     4.56
  10/ Répercussions - Spectre                    (Laswell)                     4.50

 Disc two :
  1/  Virus                                      (Laswell)                     7.36
  2/  Autopia                                    (Laswell)                     8.24
  3/  El Hombre Invisible                        (Laswell)                     16.09
      for William S. Burroughs
  4/  Red Night                                  (Laswell)                     16.12
  5/  Very Optimistic Dog Mix - Ui               (Laswell)                     6.50
  6/  Live Pop Mix - Vedic                       (Laswell)                     5.58
  7/  Low Membrane Mix - Scanner                 (Laswell)                     5.10

          Disc one, tracks 1-6 recorded at Greenpoint Studios, Brooklyn, NY 1996
          Disc two, tracks 1-4 recorded at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineered by Robert Musso
          Produced by Bill Laswell
          Disc one, track 3 produced by Robert Musso
Bill Laswell (except disc one, track 3): bass, beats, sounds; Ninj (disc one, track 1): beats, sounds; Robert Musso (disc one, track 3): beats, sounds.

          2003 - Quatermass (Belgium), QS137lp (2x12")
          2003 - Quatermass (Belgium), QS137 (2CD)
Note: The vinyl contains only tracks 2,3,4,5,7,8,9 and 10 from disc one and tracks 1,2,3 and 5 from disc 2.


It is more true to say Bill Laswell has done just about everything than it is to say it about almost any other jamoke in the music business. The beret-wearin' stalwart on New York's underground scene has played bass for Mick Jagger, co-produced Herbie Hancock's '80s crossover hit "Rockit" and has credits on literally hundreds of other records. So it is no surprise that the adventurous Laswell tackled drum 'n' bass in the mid '90s, during which time Sub Rosa released his Oscillations, Oscillations, Vol. 2: Advanced Drum N Bass and a couple discs of remixes. Final Oscillations compiles the first two releases, selected cuts from the remix discs and a brand-new remix.

The original tracks sound almost quaintly stereotypical of the drum 'n' bass genre, lacing together e'd-up breakbeats and warm, buttery dub bass. The real excitement is in the remixes. The glitch beats of Atom Heart's "Digital Cut-Up" are the first thing that really jumps out of the speakers and grabs you by the lapels. DJ Grazhoppa's hip-hopified and bumping "Milky RMX" sounds surprisingly contemporary considering it is five years old. The tabla beats on Vedic's "Live Pop Mix" will make you mad that tabla isn't more widely used in western music.

The music warehouses a sort of rogues' gallery of Laswell's myriad influences. The opening gloom of "Faktura" hints at Laswell's aptitude for constructing illbient soundscapes, and the jazzy flutes and buried brass that ride into the mix in the second minute underscore Laswell's affection for world music. The flatulent bass of "3rd Stage Navigator" is a reminder that Laswell is an accomplished bass player as well as an uber-producer.

Still, the music is often only compelling in the moment, and despite this two-disc set's length and the many times I listened to it, the biggest impression left is that, overall, the production is superlative. But let's be honest: Two hours and 20 minutes of drum 'n' bass is a lot to take in all at once, even if you are a fan. And, ultimately, to the casual listener, this record won't seem any better or any worse than other drum 'n' bass efforts. Laswell junkies, of course, will find this indispensable, assuming they didn't buy the records the first time around.

Jay Breitling (courtesy of the JUNKMEDIA website)