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Bill Laswell

Means of Deliverance

(Innerhythmic; US: 16 Oct 2012; UK: 16 Oct 2012)

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’ve heard all seven-thousand-plus albums on which legendary bassist and producer Bill Laswell has had a hand in, but I will go out on a limb and say that there is nothing quite like Means of Deliverance in that crazy labyrinth we all call his discography. It’s not technically inventive—just Laswell playing an acoustic fretless bass—but it is revalatory. At first listen, its dry sound is more a distraction than a virtue. I kept thinking of it as an Aerial Boundaries for the bass. But stringing along this simple, austere sound through this much repetition is a courageous act. Some musicians might consider this format for themselves, then dismiss it on the grounds that the results would be too homogeneous. Laswell doubles down and constructs what he wants, homogeneity and repetition be damned.

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