Bill Laswell

Oscillations, Vol. 2: Advanced Drum N Bass

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One of a string of drum'n'bass experiments from bassist/producer Bill Laswell, Oscillations 2 opens with the apocalyptic "Virus," which dashes and darts in fits and spurts, stopping and starting, building an insistent groove only to break it down again when you least expect it. The album is subtitled "Advanced Drum 'n' Bass," and songs like "Autotopia" show why, as skittering, schizophrenic rhythms scuttle on top of Laswell's deceptively simple basslines as ambient textures lend a decidedly futuristic feel. But the finest cut, the 16-minute "El Hombre Invisible," is a fitting tribute to the late William S. Burroughs. Opening with a gorgeously melodic bass solo, Laswell incorporates otherworldly samples and subtle rhythms to create a hallucinogenic track that sound's like a junkie's vision of heaven. It's not exactly drum'n'bass -- like most of Laswell's genre-blending work, the track defies easy categorization -- but like the rest of Oscillations 2, it's nothing if not inventive.

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