The ever prolific Bill Laswell, one of the great ambient-dub producer/musicians, has posted for free download an MP3 of a track from his upcoming album, Version 2 Version (ROIR). The song, “Babylon Site,” is a extended chunk of dub, almost nine minutes of bass that slows the pulse, flanged percussion that sounds like some sorta super-slo-mo Doppler Effect, and just generally deep, deep echo that brings to minds vats of rich chocolate. The cherry on top is a mix of chiming guitar and synthesized strings, just about the track’s only nods to the treble range. For the Version 2 Version album, Laswell characteristically brought together a supergroup, including bassist Jah Wobble, keyboardist (and George Clinton sideman) Bernie Worrell (whose great work with Talking Heads is being rediscovered of late, thanks to the rerelease of the Name of This Band album), and two percussionists: Karsh Kale and Abdou Mboup. Now, a lot of echo-heavy music sounds as if it had been recorded in a sterile hall, a modernist zone of aesthetic purity — a wrongheaded Platonic ideal of a space-music space, especially where dub is concerned — but Laswell’s “Babylon Site” has the intimacy of seasoned musicians working in close commune. The full album comes out Sept. 21, 2004. The “Babylon Site” MP3 is downloadable, for the time being, here. More info on Version 2 Version, as the release date nears, at roir-usa.com.
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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