1/ Shyvamythscience (Laswell) 23.36 2/ Black Ice (Laswell) 24.37 Recorded and mixed at Orange Music Sound Studios, West Orange, New Jersey Engineering: Robert Musso Produced by Bill Laswell Mastered at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC by Michael FossenkemperBill Laswell: bass, keyboard, beats, sounds; Kadri Sriram, Arif Singh & Hassan Akber Ali: additional music, elements and sounds; Zakir Hussain & Badal Roy: tabla matrix, rhythm elements.
2000 - Sub Rosa/Quartermass (Belgium), SRV 150 (Vinyl) 2000 - Sub Rosa/Quartermass (Belgium), SR 150 (CD)
Pattering tabla rhythms merge with determined drum-and-bass stylings in shyvamythscience (23:36), behind which ambient textures swirl like incense smoke. Laswell's beyond-dub basslines wind through the proceedings, without overpowering the delicately hypnotic haze which unfurls like an exotic tapestry to be stitched by thousands of syncopated drumbeats. Rhythmic elements come and go, sometimes dropping out entirely to let the backdrop shine in a gorgeous state of ethnic-influenced ambiance, as in the several-minute-long closing passage.
A shimmering clouds of flutes and sultry ethno-beats warms up black ice (24:37) for the oncoming bass which thrums warmly. The Indian percussion melds seamlessly with the Western world's drum 'n' bass beats as both tirelessly pound on. More than midway through, the general atmosphere slows to a peaceful gathering of energized serenity. Eventually, the rhythms turn wispy, fading into a lovely twilight world of glowing resonance in a peaceful nightsky.
Cross-cultural pollenization has rarely sounded this good, but what do you expect from master bill laswell? A bit too muscular to qualify as "ambient" per se, but to miss the drummy, dreamy 9.1 textures of lo. def pressure would be a shame.
David J Opdyke (courtesy of the Ambient Entrance website)