CD Review: Bill Laswell "Incunabula Digital Series"

Whether rumbling and rolling in a duo with rhythmic shaman Milford Graves, engaging in complex dialogues with master trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith, or augmenting Japanese hip-hop pioneer DJ Krush’s ambient backdrops and breakbeats/scratches, Bill Laswell and his fretless chorused P-Bass are deep, authoritative, and upfront, ready with chords, picks, and solos at a moment’s notice.
By E.E. Bradman ,

Whether rumbling and rolling in a duo with rhythmic shaman Milford Graves, engaging in complex dialogues with master trumpet player Wadada Leo Smith, or augmenting Japanese hip-hop pioneer DJ Krush’s ambient backdrops and breakbeats/scratches, Bill Laswell and his fretless chorused P-Bass are deep, authoritative, and upfront, ready with chords, picks, and solos at a moment’s notice. Best known in some circles for his dub mastery, Laswell is otherwise seen traversing thrash-trashed, frightening alternate worlds with Buckethead, Rammellzee, and John Zorn and slippin’ and slidin’ into Bernie Worrell’s gorgeous, typically wideranging solo improvisation before putting the bottom under a cool electro quintet. Method Of Defiance, an all-star collaboration that includes Bernie Worrell and Foday Musa Susa, might be the perfect encapsulation of Laswell’s ethos: It’s an emission from another space and time, when top-notch, interactive musicianship was the order of the day and trampling categories was an art both expected and perfected.