Bill Laswell

Bass Terror

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An odd kind of compilation disc featuring a single (long) solo track by Laswell and two long, essentially solo pieces by Bullen, former partner of Mick Harris in the British isolationist band Scorn. Laswell's "Bass Terror Tetragrammaton" is a funk heavy soundscape with the composer's ultra-deep bass featured up front, along with found conversation samples and synthetic percussion. Not as techno intense as roughly contemporaneous works like Doom Ride, but also not as ambient as any dozen of his releases from around the same time, this piece rides a relatively relaxed groove that's more akin to some of his earlier work with Material. The first Bullen track ranges from very catchy, stop-start dub-influenced lines, with his bass traversing even lower territories than Laswell's to spacey, ethereal waftings. Gripping at its best, but perhaps a bit overlong. The other sticks with a less visceral, mid-tempo, once again dubby pulse throughout its first half before abruptly moving to a quieter, subtly active area, with soft organ tones accompanying muted electronic percolations. Bass Terror could be of some interest to enthusiasts of both Laswell and Scorn, but can't quite be considered essential.

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