Because Bill Laswell and the folks at Subharmonic obviously feel that less is more in terms of cover design and liner notes, it's impossible to tell whether this recent Laswell project is an album called Akasha by a band called Divination or vice versa. It's not even clear that this is a two-CD set unless you notice the faint notation on the jewel case binding or, presumably, the price. Once you get the album home and opened, you'll see that it consists of two discs, one labeled "Ambient" and the other labeled "Rhythm," with three or four instrumental tracks on each. As you might expect, disc one consists of melting, arhythmic sonic clouds into and out of which drift various unidentifiable instruments and scraps of haunting melody; because Laswell is at the helm, you can be sure that the bass will be bottomless and the melodic fragments consistently interesting and darkly lovely. Disc two combines a similarly spacious ambience with jungle and techno beats; because Laswell is at the helm, you can be sure that the beats will be extra funky and there will be lots of North African ululations and free-reed samples. Laswell credits several collaborators on this album, including turntable master DXT and drummer Anton Fier. Although a two-disc set should perhaps last longer than 88 minutes, Akasha is nevertheless a superb example of how compelling drum'n'bass music can be.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2