BILL LASWELL

SACRED SYSTEM CHAPTER 2

  1/  Thunupa                                    (Laswell)                     13.32
  2/  Anubis                                     (Laswell)                     12.34
  3/  Purana                                     (Laswell)                     13.16
  4/  Akapana                                    (Laswell)                     11.35

          Recorded and mixed at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineering and recording: Robert Musso
          Produced by Bill Laswell
          Roots Control: SKZa
          Material Inc./Design: John Brown
          AXIOM: Bill Murphy
          Luma: Janet Rienstra
          Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone, New York City
Graham Haynes: flugelhorn, cornet, EFX; Nicky Skopelitis: coral sitar, 6 and 12 string guitars; Bill Laswell: Fender bass, EFX; Bill Buchen: tablas, long drum, parabolic gamelan, water drums; Style Scott: additional beats.

          1997 - ROIR (USA), RUSLP8233 (Vinyl)
          1997 - ROIR (USA), RUSCD8233 (CD)


REVIEWS :

...Laswell on bass, [...] laying down booming, sub-bass neo-reggae lines, Haynes now leading the way on horn, Skopelitis offering atmospheric guitar lines and exotic "coral sitar" parts (sounds like a sitar), Bill Buchen playing some tabla here and there, a drum machine supplying exotic beats and loops. The Indian tint comes out a bit stronger than the Jamaican, the overall effect reminiscent of Don Cherry's neo-psychedelic "Brown Rice" of 1975. Graham Haynes, who proved in recordings with Ed Blackwell that he can imitate Cherry's Ornette Coleman years, shows he's also a fan of Cherry's '70s work, plugging his horn in, working the reverb and wah-wah pedal, even quoting the title song from "Brown Rice" at one point (and alluding to Miles' "In a Silent Way" later in the same cut). This album lacks the highlights of "Arc", but has Cherry-like charm and lots of ambient ear candy. A chocolate-covered Graham cracker, if you will. (slightly edited - visit The American Reporter's website for the full text - SW)

Martin Wiskol (courtesy of the American Reporter )

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This album is a very cool world title: a fusion of electronic dub, Middle Eastern and East Indian sensibilities, and smooth acoustic jazz, hip and rhythmic, but very flowing in an ambient sort of way. The reggae/dub influence is primary, but the sound is electronic jazz-based. All this really tells you very little until you listen to it. Billboard says in its front page article on Laswell, "There are a sizable amount of people who immediately snap up anything that Bill Laswell is involved in," which is a sizable number of projects. He created this midi-wizardry after remixing Bob Marley for Island and completing a similar task on a Miles Davis release for Sony. Here he brings together Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn, and digital effects (EFX), Nicky Skopelitis on sitar and guitar, Bill Buchen regaling us with his astounding abilities on world percussive instruments, and Style Scott, legendary reggae drummer, doing what only he can do. Laswell holds down the whole shebang on bass and employs his engineering prowess as digital effects loop guru and producer to pull it together. I love it when distinct genres merge in the mind of a genius to produce such an original and exciting new sound. This five-star production will dazzle a wide range of listeners from lovers of reggae to jazz to ambient to world to percussion to techno. Iím certainly going to be among those folks who "snap up anything that Bill Laswell is involved in" from here on out!

PJR (review courtesy of the Napra website)