Bill Laswell: Solar Clip
Bill Laswell (8-string bass, fretless bass, sound effects)
Invisible Design II (Tzadik 8062)
Bill Laswell (8-string bass, fretless bass, sound effects).
Composed by Bill Laswell.
Recorded: no location given, early 2009
Rating: 77/100 (learn more)
"Solar Clip" is a fairly unmemorable sound collage. That isn't to say that Bill Laswell doesn't play well on it. During the odd metre, his goal of creating music befitting of outer space is credible. However, the music, after it ends, does not adhere to the mind. Much of it is heavily reverbed, and the repetition of the main melody is not engaging enough to stand on its own.
It is tough to recommend such a recording to the average listener because the track is not even abstract enough for curiosity's sake. I hear a guitar that plays a single distorted power chord, a bunch of percussion-like sounds that seem to emphasize the same pattern ad infinitum, and some effects meant to sound like flares running through the recording.
Certainly, uses for such music exist, as it could find a home as part of a TV or film soundtrack. However, this cut is disappointing. Such criticism is not aimed at Laswell, personally; many of his recordings can be classified as "genius" in scope, but this one fails to compete with his more finely attuned soundscapes.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary