1/  Raag Sohni                                 (Khan,Buchen)                 5.55
  2/  Black Lotus                                (Laswell)                     10.13
  3/  X-Zibit-i                                  (Laswell,Haynes)              7.45
  4/  Derive                                     (Laswell,Lancaster)           5.24
  5/  Saiya Nikasegaye                           (Khan,Buchen)                 6.11
  6/  Driftwork                                  (Laswell,Wobble,Bell)         8.53
  7/  Aab Yaad Kar Tu                            (Khan,Buchen)                 7.38

          Recorded and mixed at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineering: Robert Musso
          Produced by Bill Laswell for Innerhythmic Foundation
          Material Inc./Design: John Brown
          Axiom: Bill Murphy
          Meta: Janet Rienstra
          Orange: Amy Hersenhoren
          Executive Producer for Wicklow Records: Paddy Moloney
          Wicklow: Ian Menzies
          Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC
Gulam Mohamed Khan: harmonium, voice; Susan Deyhim: voice; Dave Liebman & Byard Lancaster: soprano saxophone; Graham Haynes: coronet; Craig Harris: trombone; Clive Bell: khene, shakuhachi; Nicky Skopelitis: 6 and 12 string guitars; Bernie Worrell: organ, electric piano; Bill Laswell: bass, keyboard, percussion; Jah Wobble: bass; Zakir Hussain: tabla, voice; Bill Buchen: tabals, ektar, log drum, percussion; Hamid Drake: drums, frame drum; Aiyb Dieng: chatan, bells.

Tracks 1,5 and 8 arranged by Bill Buchen & Gulam Mohamed Khan

          1998 - Wicklow/BMG (USA), 09026-63263-2 (CD)
          2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital only)


A hybrid sound, from rock to jazz to funk to world/ ethnic music. Heavy duty Indian raga meets funk bass, uptempo rhythms, frantic tablas, mellow sensual sax. Shades of electro funk Miles Davis. This is spiritual funk, a sort of spiritual Material. Big names, an all star line up which includes Dave Liebman, Graham Haynes, Bernie Worrell, Jah Wobble, Sussan Deyhim, Zakhir Hussain, Laswell and much more. Great production, wonderfully dark at times. Laswell plays some killer bass at times (X Zibit i) . Qawalist Gulam Mohamed Khan does a fine job supplying the vocals, perfect for on a sultry summer night, the drone of the harmonium accompanying him at all times. Atmospherically ambient, almost what we have come to expect of anything Bill Laswell has been involved in with. Black Lotus has some great organ / drum/ bass interplay. What drives this album are the eastern rhythms merging with jazz ideas. I hear my own ghosts crop up- Shakti, McLaughlin / Santana, Oregon but this recording plunges far far deeper into some sort of heart of darkness. Hussain's tabla playing is reminiscent of the work he did on City Of Lights. First rate. I love this album. I haven't heard the others two projects by this outfit but I'm on the lookout for them. Don't hesitate just pursue a copy.

Hans Stoeve (courtesy of the Nadabrahma website)


Back in 1995 (September 29th to be exact) I attended a concert (with Jim Rose of all people) featuring Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and remembered thinking how cool it would be to add electronically created sound effects, hi-fidelity drum loops and various other goodies to accompany his wonderful voice.

This was actually done, to some extent, that same year when he and Eddie Vedder (who actually got me and Jim into the concert....okay that's enough) appeared together on a track produced for the film Dead Man Walking.

Now, here I am three years later (as of 1998) listening to Bill Laswell do the very thing I was thinking about that night back in the Moore Theatre, Seattle. The only difference is that the unique tones produced by Mr. Khan are nowhere to be heard, instead replaced by a slightly less intense or expressive vocal style, but getting the point across all the same.

Yet this isn't by any means what the album is all about, with much more of a "western" feel introduced by the second track, due in part to the straight fours drum track throughout. Again the distinctive singing style is present, but it's complimented by a Cairo lounge style melody line.

From there Nagual Site goes in any direction it feels compelled to go in, but remains somehow balanced throughout. Even the dreamy jazz stylings of Derive are countered by the strangely compelling frenetic shuffle of Upbeat, making this the most well rounded and the most recent offering from the ever popular Bill Laswell and Sacred System.

Rating - 814,502 (out of a possible 1,000,000)

Courtesy of


Maybe, looking at the overwhelming presence of the highly prized name of Bill Laswell in recent discographic productions (as a producer, arranger, band leader, composer, or just plain bass player), someone will call the genial American musician a real onmipresent ingredient of the music of the end of the millennium. And this is sure.

But another sure thing is also the extraordinary mental rapidity with which mister Laswell composes hisalbums, and assembles them, and makes them sound complete, brilliant, marvellously trendy. And henever misses a beat!

Let's take for instance this "Nagual site", which is very emblematic in regards to building a bridge between East and West. Here, the deep musical soil is clearly Indian, just as three of the protagonists are Indian: the tablas wizard Zakir Hussain and the vocalists Gulam Mohamed Khan and Sussan Dehyim.

But, beside them, there are also some Western stars - the sax player Dave Liebman, the pianist Bernie Worrell, and most of all the bass player Jah Wobble - clearly struck on the way to Bombay. And it's just through this unique mix that the six tracks filling the CD sound so deliciously enchanting. So ancient and so modern at the same time.

Roberto Gatti (courtesy of the Music For the Soul website)