(From the liner notes) The Road to the Western Lands is a collection of radical mix translations from Material's Seven Souls. This work revolves around the words and voice of the late William S. Burroughs who died August 2nd, 1997. One of our greatest writers whose entire life's work maintained an aggressive, but humorous attack on the values of mainstream society as anarchy's double agent, an implacable enemy of conformity and all agencies of control.

Presented here are seven sound constructions derived and mutated from the original sources. Created by methods similar to those used by Burroughs himself with artist Brion Gysin to produce alternate results with writing...(the cut-ups).

This is a tribute to the mind, the life, and the words of William S. Burroughs, the singularity of his vision and his certainty in the power of language. His words are weapons against those who are bent by stupidity or design on blowing up the planet.

  1/  The Seven Souls                            (Burroughs,Laswell)           5.47
        Bill Laswell
  2/  The Western Lands                          (Laswell,Skopelitis,Burroughs)6.36
        Talvin Singh
  3/  The Western Lands                          (Laswell,Skopelitis,Burroughs)5.09
        DJ Soul Slinger
  4/  The Road To the Western Lands              (Laswell,Skopelitis,Burroughs)6.17
        Spring Heel Jack
  5/  Joan's Haunted Hints At the Gates          (Laswell,Skopelitis,Burroughs)6.37
           of the Western Lands  
        The Audio Janitor (DJ Olive)
  6/  Seven Souls (The Secret Name)              (Burroughs,Laswell)           10.37
        Bill Laswell
  7/  The Western Lands                          (Laswell,Skopelitis,Burroughs)8.31
        Bill Laswell

          Original tracks recorded at Platinum Island Studio and B.C. Studio, NY
          Each track produced by it's respective writer(s)
          Original vocal production by James Grauerholz
          Compiled at Orange Music, Orange, New Jersey
          Engineer: Robert Musso
          Music Supervisor: Janet Rienstra, Luma Productions
          Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC
          Axiom Input: Bill Murphy
          Material Inc.: John Brown
          Orange Music: Amy Hersenhoren
(1,6) Alicia Renee aka Blue Eyes: vocals; Bill Laswell: bass, keyboards, turntables; Nicky Skopelitis : guitar; Robert Musso: engineering, processing; (7) Jah Wobble: bass; Bill Laswell: bass samples; Nicky Skopelitis: guitars; Tetsu Inoue: electronics; DJ Spooky: noise.

          1998 - Meta/Triloka/Mercury (USA), 314 558-021-1 (2x12")
          1998 - Meta/Triloka/Mercury (USA), 314 558-021-2 (CD)
          1999 - Meta/Triloka/Gold Circle Entertainment (USA), TR 8013-2 (CD)


This generous remix album delivers five versions of "The Western Lands" and two of the title tracks from Material's Seven Souls album, which was originally released on the Virgin label in 1989 and was reissued by Triloka in 1997. (Tracks one and seven are duplicated on the full album.) All of the remixes are radical departures from the album tracks on which they're based, and you might never guess that all the "Western Land" mixes are based on the same original version if it wasn't for the wisps of William Burroughs' laconic spoken-word vocals fluttering in and out of all of them. There are lots of big names here, including Talvin Singh (who weighs in with an attractively funky, if unexciting, selection), DJ Olive and DJ Soul Slinger (who gets more radical with the source material, messes around more with Burroughs' voice and creates extremely intricate rhythms, to compelling effect). Spring Heel Jack take a sort of ambient approach, with frankly boring results. But Bill Laswell's ten-minute excursion on "Seven Souls" is a revelation. Recommended with minor reservations.

Rick Anderson (courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Get Music website)