Bill Laswell gets it right the second time around. Panthalassa — The Remixes (Columbia) release compiles remixes of Panthalassa, Laswell’s 1998 album-length reconstruction of jazz trumpeter Miles Davis’ early electric-era recordings, such as Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way. (You may want to read that sentence twice.) It is also very much the album many listeners had expected from Laswell’s initial foray into Davis’ most controversial period; it’s a beat-driven affair, rich in club atmosphere, spare to a fault. On the most spare entry, Doc Scott forms an extended homage from a drum track and snippets of “Rated X” — among the highlights are bass-end piano figures, a rapid-fire guitar lick, and a rain-like smattering of applause. King Britt and Philip Charles do up “Shhh,” DJ Cam milks “In a Silent Way,” Jamie Myerson also attempts “Rated X” (which, paired with Scott’s take, makes this collection an excellent intro to the freeform nature of remixing), and Laswell himself revisits “On the Corner.” A bonus examination of “Black Satin/On the Corner” by DJ Krush, who focuses on Davis’ electronically mutated horn, may not be reason enough to add a turntable to your stereo, but if you already have one, then definitely opt for the vinyl: Krush’s entry is not on the CD.
Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media
• July 28, 2021: This day marks the start of the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
• December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
• January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the forthcoming book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
• A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)
• 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, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).
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Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.
• 0477 / Flying Blind / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which some substantial portion is performed without looking.
• 0476 / IAH Forecast / The Assignment: Here's your next single's cover. Now record it.
• 0475 / Low End (4 of 3) / The Assignment: Remix a trio by doing forensics on its component parts.
• 0474 / Police Action (3 of 3) / The Assignment: Complete a trio by adding a track to an existing duet by two other musicians
• 0473 / Placebo Effect (2 or 3) / The Assignment: The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio that others will complete.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 477 consecutive weeks to date.
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