1/ Black Light (Laswell,Shorter) 7.33 2/ Mantra (Shankar,Caroline,Laswell) 8.44 3/ Ruins (Submutation Dub) (Laswell) 8.54 4/ Eternal Drift (Laswell,Skopelitis) 7.35 5/ Words of Advice (Laswell,Burroughs) 3.58 6/ Cucumber Slumber (Fluxus Mix) (Zawinul,Johnson) 7.30 7/ The Hidden Garden/Naima (BL,Shaheen,NS/Coltrane) 13.00 8/ Shadows of Paradise (Laswell,Shankar,Skopelitis) 9.45 Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York, Platinum Island, NYC, Krypton Studio, NYC, Media Arts, Madras, India Engineers: Robert Musso, Oz Fritz and Martin Bisi Mixed at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York Engineer: Robert Musso Track 2 engineered by Oz Fritz Assistant: Imad Mansour Produced by Bill Laswell Mastered at Masterdisk by Howie Weinberg Administration for Material Inc.: Tracy McKnight Axiom: Peter WetherbeeBill Laswell: basses, beats, loops, samples, etc.; Wayne Shorter: soprano and tenor saxophones; William S. Burroughs (5): voice; Liu Sola: voice; Simon Shaheen: violin, oud; Nicky Skopelitis: acoustic and electric six and twelve string guitars, coral sitar, baglama, Fairlight; Bernie Worrell: electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ; Bootsy Collins: space bass; Shankar: electric violin; Sly Dunbar: drum kit; Jeff Bova: synthesizers; Jihad Racy: ney; Jonas Hellborg: acoustic bass, fretless electric bass; Zakir Hussain: tabla; Trilok Gurtu: tabla; Vikku Vinayakram: ghatam; Fahim Dandan: voice; George Basil: qanoun; Michael Baklouk: daff, tambourine; Aiyb Dieng: chatan, congas, percussion.
1994 - Axiom/Island (UK), 518 351-1 (Vinyl) 1994 - Axiom/Island (Germany), 74321 18190 2 (Vinyl) 1994 - Axiom/Island (USA), 314-518 351-2 (CD) 2012 - Music on Vinyl (Europe), MOVLP541 (Vinyl) 2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital only)
On the first track, "Black light", Shorter blows the melody line with the authority and grace that endeared him to so many Weather Report fans, while the percussion percolates over Laswell's bass lines. The breaks are tight, with Shorter supplying some classic modal solos. The end result is a highly accessible (a.ka. danceable) crossover of jazz and hip-hop, dub and world music. Shankar's provocative violin melodies conjure up visions of exotic Indian landscapes, especially an the last track "Shadows of Paradise". Laswell, Shankar, and Nicky Skopelitis shine on this track. Shankar's eastern scales contrast Skopelitis' West African tinged guitar melodies, while Laswell grooves mightily, allowing for some inspired jamming by all three. Tracks two through seven are fairly generic Laswell dubs which totally groove, and each tune has redeeming moments when guest musicians interject their ethnic elements into the mix. Laswell cops some seventies bass lines (personal favorites ?) from Billy Cobham's "Red Baron" on "Words of Advice". Weather Report's "Cucumber Slumber" Is sampled and rearranged, yet oddly enough Wayne Shorter does not play on this tune.
This kind of assemblage lacks the urgency, Iconoclasm, and spontaneity of the previous Material and Golden Palominos music, however If you want to study polished audio production techniques, definitely check out Hallucination Engine. If you are a diehard progressive snob, avoid this One. If you don't own any Material, but want to check it out, start with "Memory Serves".
Dan Baught (courtesy of the The Expose Reader website)
This offering from the Bill Laswell collective takes ambient dub and translates it into their idiom of jazz, funk, and various world musics. Though the beats are very trance-oriented, the songs all have an edge to them, and it's impossible to describe the difference that real instruments make to this kind of music. The playing is all first-rate, with most of Laswell's usual suspects in tow: Bootsy Collins, Nicky Skopelitis, Zakir Hussain, etc. And William S. Burroughs does a spoken-word piece over one tune. A consistently interesting album.
Brett (courtesy of the Garden of Arcane Delights website)
I remember back in the eighties when I started listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and was an absolute junkie for that album. Over the course of a decade, as my collection of music broke the thousand title mark I continued to listen to that one album again and again like none other, wearing out tapes and records and wearing a deep groove in my soul. I thought I had experienced the pinnacle of musical civilization therein.
Then I found Hallucination Engine.
I wasn't immediately sold, it took several months of hearing my friend rant about it like some religious fanatic before it started to sink in. But once it did, everything changed.
I began to see amazing complexity welling up from deep within the simple subtlety of the sleepy, oozing rythyms. Every listening experience became a further transformation of my mind...balancing , soothing and embracing my soul like a reunion of long-parted lovers. My whole experience of what music was, what it could be, changed forever.
If you only ever own one trance or world beat album, I recommend that this be it.
This is the kind of album that you could use put you to sleep, wake you up, woo your mate, study to, eat to, bathe to, work out to, inspire your every waking thought and carry you through dreams of paradise.
Subtle, serene, powerful, funky, funny, and indescribably deep. Pure auditory bliss. A truly spiritual listening experience reuniting modern recording technology with ancient soundscapes and sensibilities.
Bless you, Bill Laswell...may you someday create a fitting sequel.
P.S. The parental advisory on the case is for William S. Bourroughs typically off-color language in a recitation on one track, "Words of Advice". This spoken word track is a bizzare beat number in the middle of an otherwise predominately atmospheric instrumental album. Still, I like the track, it has psychic merit, and it's eccentric placement seems more like a breather than an invasion to my senses.
W.G. Darling (courtesy of the Amazon.com website)