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 MussoBill 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.
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)