Lo. Def Pressure consists of two extended compositions (both over 20 minutes) from genre-expanding musician/composer/producer Bill Laswell. Featuring a group of percussionists (including the exceptional tabla player Zakir Hussain) and sound generators, the results are texture-heavy excursions into rhythm that combine ancient musical traditions with modern beat science. It's a meeting of old and new, East and West that has taken place on Laswell's recordings ever since talking drums and tablas met drifting new age ambience on 1988's Hear No Evil. With Lo. Def Pressure, however, he has proven that the same preoccupations can make for captivating music over two decades into his career. "Shyvamythscience" (the composition that forms the first half of the album) begins with the sound of Hussain's busy tabla bubbling up from the music's dark, amorphous waters. Laswell and company proceed through a series of bass heavy, restless rhythmic backings, broken by interludes of morphing tabla and interplanetary drift. The song ends, retreating into the same black sea from which it emerged. On "Black Ice," skittish techno beats lock in with chattering percussion for shape-shifting, syncopated rhythms that dance across the dense, fluctuating textures. The muscle of the album (and its cold heartbeat) is Laswell's bottomless bass. Improvising within a limited range, it acts as a stark, heavy anchor for these icy, deep space explorations. Lo. Def Pressure assimilates elements of dub, techno, hip-hop, and Eastern traditions into a mix that defies any of these categories.
AllMusic Review by Nathan Bush