Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Are there any Bill Laswell fans in the theater tonight?

  1. #1

    Are there any Bill Laswell fans in the theater tonight?

    So, i was looking at Bandcamp, and stumbled onto Laswell's page, and was reminded, I've never really heard much Material. Anyone want care to comment? I think Third Power was the one I was always curious about, as it has a bunch of P-Funk escapees on it

    Also, I can't remember which Last Exit albums I own.

  2. #2
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,931
    Memory Serves is a classic.
    Funky, avant weird, NYC sound.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  3. #3
    Memory Serves, baby!

  4. #4
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    4,971

  5. #5
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    3,710
    For it's time and place, Memory Serves is very important; it was the first major label downtown scene punk / jazz / whatever you wanna call it AND also a very early one.

    It was one of the first ones *I* ever heard.

    And it's still great in and of itself. Very enjoyable if you like that sound.

    I said this in the online listing and I stand by it:

    When this was released in 1981, it was one of the very earliest of the 'downtown sound' albums to be released, and it was certainly the one that was most likely to be known and available. To me it was an utter revelation and it still sounds completely fucking awesome nearly 40 years later!
    At this time, Material was Michael Beinhorn-keyboards, synthesizers, tapes, Fred Maher-drums & Bill Laswell-bass, but there's a huge number of great guests, all playing their asses off here: Sonny Sharrock, Fred Frith, Henry Threadgill, George Lewis, Billy Bang, etc. Utterly and completely recommended; imo, this was THE music that was happening in the USA during the 80s.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Right Coast
    Posts
    668
    The only stuff that I heard him on some of the Dark Side of the Moog series with Klaus Schulze and Pete Namlook.

  7. #7
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    4,971

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    For it's time and place, Memory Serves is very important; it was the first major label downtown scene punk / jazz / whatever you wanna call it AND also a very early one.

    It was one of the first ones *I* ever heard.

    And it's still great in and of itself. Very enjoyable if you like that sound.

    I said this in the online listing and I stand by it:

    When this was released in 1981, it was one of the very earliest of the 'downtown sound' albums to be released, and it was certainly the one that was most likely to be known and available. To me it was an utter revelation and it still sounds completely fucking awesome nearly 40 years later!
    At this time, Material was Michael Beinhorn-keyboards, synthesizers, tapes, Fred Maher-drums & Bill Laswell-bass, but there's a huge number of great guests, all playing their asses off here: Sonny Sharrock, Fred Frith, Henry Threadgill, George Lewis, Billy Bang, etc. Utterly and completely recommended; imo, this was THE music that was happening in the USA during the 80s.
    I'm on board for anything that has Sonny Sharrock on it. I think I was vaguely aware he was on one of those records, but wasn't sure which one. I think I read that it was Laswell who basically coaxing Sonny into doing the Memory Serves sessions that led to Sonny's full return to performing and recording during the 80's.

    Of course, Frith and Threadgill also sweeten the deal, as far as that goes. Anyway, I got Memory Serves wishlisted on Bandcamp, so that'll be on the "short list" (which has nearly 200 titles on it) for the next Bandcamp Friday.

    And I keep forgetting I need to get a new copy, either CD or download, of Massacre Killing Time (I have it on LP).

  9. #9
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    3,710
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    . I think I read that it was Laswell who basically coaxing Sonny into doing the Memory Serves sessions that led to Sonny's full return to performing and recording during the 80's.
    It was the first time I had seen his name on a record in something like 7-8 years, so I believe that that is quite true...
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  10. #10
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    3,710
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post

    And I keep forgetting I need to get a new copy, either CD or download, of Massacre Killing Time (I have it on LP).
    I think the very first 'downtown' thing I heard was Massacre: I saw them in 1980 (my recollection is that it wasn't a particularly good show in front of an indifferent crowd) and then in 1981 (one of the greatest shows of my life) and I bought the album as soon as it came out, which was pretty much concurrent, iirc, with "Memory Serves".

    Laswell's Baselines is also around the same time as Memory Serves; in my opinion it isn't nearly as good but it's still pretty good.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  11. #11
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fluffy Cloud
    Posts
    3,710
    And hipped to the scene by Massacre and Material, I quickly glommed onto
    James Blood Ulmer
    Defunkt
    and the great Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society.

    These were the only really great things that I knew of coming through DC with any sort of regularity in the early 80s.

    Shortly after I became aware of Doctor Nerve and Curlew.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  12. #12
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    3,522
    Laswell is really hit or miss for me. I haven't cared for what Material I've heard, aside from a few boots that featured Pharoah Sanders IIRC, from hazy memory. (I almost said if Memory Serves)

    On that page, if you liked the Skopelitis stuff, you'll probably like the Baker stuff. The Hellborg album with Tony Williams and a string quartet is brilliant. If you liked Red Warrior you'd probably enjoy Seize the Rainbow, or vice versa. Guitar was my initiation into Sharrock when I heard Blind Willie on the radio and wondered at first if I was hearing a previously-unheard late 70s Zappa piece. Everybody needs Ask the Ages. I need to do an inventory of my Last Exit recordings to see which ones I still need to pick up.

  13. #13
    Material's Memory Serves is absolutely -essential-, as is Killing Time by Massacre. This was American *progressive* rock anno release, and they both manage to sound contemporary edgy even today. Laswell's solo Baselines is very good as well.

    But! His input on bass with Painkiller - Zorn/Harris/Laswell - needs to be heard to be believed! Start with Execution Ground, which also has a 2nd. CD of ambient remixes of the wholly un-ambient tracks from CD 1. This is all astonishing stuff of immense and tremendous power.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  14. #14
    Bill's recent album with Jah Wobble "Realm Of Spells" is worth your investigation too. Two bass talents coalescing on a dub-infused world palette, though Wobble's fluid low-end bass is the more present and I think Laswell's influence is mostly in production. It's a really good album.

  15. #15
    Now that I have a chance to sit and write more than one sentence, I also highly recommend Massacre's Killing Time. Amazing, and it "pairs well" with Memory Serves. His Baselines definitely falls under that umbrella, as well as the first Golden Palaminos album.

    Also recommended is Arcana - The Last Wave, which is a free improv power trio of Laswell, Tony Williams and Derek Bailey. The follow up Arcana album Arc of the Testimony is super awesome. No Bailey and more structured, but adds Buckethead, Nicky Skopelitis, Byard Lancaster and Pharoah Sanders, among others. Killer.

    I'm also a huge fan of Nicky Skopelitis' album Ekstasis. Great "avant world fusion" album with an awesome cast of characters.

    OK, bye.

  16. #16
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    3,522
    And not directly related to Laswell since he was unavailable for the sessions, but if you like Last Exit, you probably want to investigate the No Material release that was put out under Ginger Baker's name. It's quite similar to last Exit, but has Jan Kazda on bass and the aforementioned Mr. Personality on drums, and adds Skopelitis on guitar. I guess I'm probably going to spring for the download of the expanded album, since the CD seems to be OOP.

  17. #17
    Member Bake 2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    California
    Posts
    46
    Massacre Killing Time is a huge record and a #$^!!*** warehouse of greatness. At the time of it's release it maybe was as neurologically cataclysmic as Trout Mask, (but to a smaller audience). The much later follow up, Funny Valentine is equally stunning in some ways. The recording quality on that one is gorgeous and Ladder in particular is a fantastically narcotic track. Laswell's prowess as a producer may sometimes cause people to forget about his bass playing. A listen to Praxis Metatron is a good reminder.

  18. #18
    Yeah. Metatron gets pretty nasty.

    Another one I almost mentioned before is Percy Howard's Meridiem with the latter day version of Massacre backing up his songs. Pretty cool record.

  19. #19
    Member adap2it's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    920
    Big fan of Bill Laswell late 70's. Had a few of his 12" EP's..Material, For a Few Dollars More...Temporary Music 1 & 2...American Songs...One Down...Memory Serves and of course Massacre Killing Time. Great sounding albums if you have a good system.
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    And not directly related to Laswell since he was unavailable for the sessions, but if you like Last Exit, you probably want to investigate the No Material release that was put out under Ginger Baker's name. It's quite similar to last Exit, but has Jan Kazda on bass and the aforementioned Mr. Personality on drums, and adds Skopelitis on guitar. I guess I'm probably going to spring for the download of the expanded album, since the CD seems to be OOP.
    Ginger Baker, Sonny Sharrock, and Nicky Skopelitis all on the same record?! That sound intense!

  21. #21
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    4,971
    He puts his mark on a lot of great music




  22. #22
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    3,522
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Ginger Baker, Sonny Sharrock, and Nicky Skopelitis all on the same record?! That sound intense!
    The No Material stuff is a bit more accessible than Last Exit.
    A taste,

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •