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Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance

Means of Deliverance
Bill Laswell: Means of Deliverance
  • Music
  • Sonics
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Brooding and darkly beautiful, deeply resonant and revealing, Bill Laswell’s solo bass meditations on the fretless acoustic bass guitar are as powerful, yet more intimate, than anything in his large discography. While Laswell fans are well acquainted with his throbbing maelstrom in such bombastic bands as Painkiller, Massacre, and Blixt—all featuring him plugging his electric bass into a stack of Marshall amps with the volume on 11— this first-ever solo acoustic bass guitar project aspires to an almost ethereal, uplifting quality, particularly on numbers like the achingly beautiful opener “Against the Upper House” or the lyrical and riff-oriented “A Dangerous Road.” On “Buhala” and “Epiphaneia,” Laswell mimics a Gnawan sentir player with his low-end grooving, while the whirring and buzzing on “Bagana/Sub Figura X,” with exotic vocals from Eligayehu “Gigi” Shibabaw, is strictly outré. On the moody “Aeon,” Laswell affects an upright bass sound on sparse, deliberate lines, and gently strummed harmonics on “In Falling Light” come as a surprise from a bassist famed for his hellacious attack on the instrument. “Lightning in the South” has a Delta-bluesy quality; the chilling “Low Country,” which travels from hymn-like testifying to exalted, Trane- like evocations, ends the set on a somber note. 


By Bill Milkowski

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