1/  Outland Exploration                        (Laswell,Namlook)             10.45
  2/  An Intelligent Force                       (Laswell,Namlook)             6.34
  3/  Object Approaching                         (Laswell,Namlook)             8.51
  4/  n-Dimensional                              (Laswell,Namlook)             17.44
  5/  The Origin                                 (Laswell,Namlook)             13.35

          Recorded at Orange Music, West Orange, NJ and Klanglabor Hodeshof, Germany
          Engineer at Orange Music: Robert Musso
          Assistant Engineer: James Dellatacoma
          Produced by Peter Kuhlmann
          Graphics: sansserifgrafik (Andre Ruello)
Pete Namlook: keyboards, sounds; Bill Laswell: bass, sounds.

          2007 - FAX +49-69/450464 (Germany), PW 51 (CD+DVD) 
Note: This release is limited to 500 copies, and contains one audio CD and one 5.1 audio DVD.


Outland reaches a fifth state, proving that its main ideas are consequent, fulfilling and aphasiac. A fifth album is already just as much as the work on Psychonavigation resulted in. Perhaps the hope in all this music being plotted under a special essence is the one making the engine run so deep and the challenge to be so weighty, as things aren't really far from that. Spicier, the Outland project has never denied the feeling that Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell care a lot on focusing their talents, their authentic drive, and making their collaboration bloom onwards, in more and more electronics shapes; the fact that the Outland and Psychonavigation, or the Namlook-Laswell tandem itself, has long become a corpulent industry of art, albums, figures and experiments, though highly obvious, is worth less discussing.

Namlook's modern music (in this case tooled together with Bill Laswell, a true avant-gardist of music by his nature) can many times have something special inside its cluster of a concept, so a fifth Outland album is not at all late as to not impress anymore, nor really dim as to succumb the entire project into worthless emotions and efforts. On the safe side, there is a faithful style (or a fuller bowl of essences) that has kept on going throughout the entire cycles and chapters of Outland, plus there are a couple of glitches, predictable of course, that keep in mind the weaker spots of this performance, this tasteful act or this electronic vroom. Up a first sentence which to describe this fifth mark of the Outland project, it's quite natural to state the obvious, meaning to mention Namlook's and Laswell's absurdly profound, mischievous and darkly entertaining ideas, putting on one side what counts as electronic technique and on another side what's part of the electronic sensations and mirages. To a surprise, the atmosphere of Outland 5 is nervous, flange, black and techno, but also lounges into an interesting art or a deep surround; which marks the work as strong and characteristic, and also points a recovery from a skinny, abstract-pop Outland 4.

There's a radical choice for a dark-developing electro-sonnet style in Outland 5, propelling ambiances and charismatic deep essences into a cumulous arrangement of sounds, electric melodies, thunderous energies or cloudy brushes. Namlook and Laswell work through a lot of sounds and scales, on a low-spotted variety of emotions, plus on a gale of abstract smokes and morphs, elementary and modern, but significant and bright. The album is made out of heavy techno-tones, vertebrating a contemporary taste for electronic sequences or dances, but there's a great figure of speech when saying Outland 5 is "frighteningly strong" and "imposingly clutching". Soundscapes (uncommon, in a way), vocal samples, smidges of effects or (neo-)electro-waves break into the mind of the listener, the beats of the sound reflecting the beats of the heart. This electronic experiment has an outlandish character, without forgetting though its torrentially technical or discretely emotive pulse. Corseted inside a very good to hear technique and sense of arrangement, this product is beyond expectations - or just ghastly exciting.

In all, there's a superior pleasure in finding Outland 5 's attractive essence, impressive mystery and good qualities. Plus there's a relief of seeing that the entire project isn't going down the drain, as far as the electronic art is concerned. If not necessarily an album of ambient lust, shockingly dark music or clever effects, it is in any case fine, munificent, neurotic.

4 out of 5 stars

Ricochet (courtesy of the Prog Archives website)


At first, I didn't really like this one: too fussy, too unrelaxed. But after a few plays it grows on you. I still prefer the beatless tracks, particularly The Origin, to the others but there's a lot to discover here.

Outland Exploration starts out calmly, with vocal samples reminiscent of Subharmonic Interference and some live bass playing by Laswell. Object Approaching and n-Dimensional are the ones that put me off first. But they do have something, coming across like scifi-movie soundtracks overlaid with a treated drumbeat. The first track ends with a few sombre bass notes, giving it even more of a scifi feel. My only gripe is that they sound too much the same, and therefore take up too much of this disc. After 25 minutes of this, The Origin comes as a welcome breather. It starts with treated muezzin voices (I guess) and turns into a beautiful tune, a floating synth-organ bathed in echo. The last track combines (untreated) drum beat, muezzin voices and live bass playing -- upping the tempo from the previous track but retaining the relaxed atmosphere.

Autonomy (courtesy of the website)