Bill Laswell

Second Nature

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Second Nature is a typical Bill Laswell excursion into the murkiest depths of ambient experimentalism, meaning there's no danceable beats, no hummable grooves, and virtually no firm melodic ground for listeners to grab hold of. That said, patient listening will be rewarded in due time. The 28-minute "Synthetic Forest" opens with a whispered hint of a distant soundscape -- gurgles, blips, and bleeps that are almost, but not quite, there. You're 12 minutes in before being startled by a recognizable beat on the horizon, 14 minutes before Laswell's subterranean bass appears like a lumbering rhino rumbling in your direction. This is some seriously crazy, experimental stuff; a bit too subtle for casual listeners, but an interesting ride for those passengers willing to ride it out to the end of the line.

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