Free Bill Laswell MP3

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

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