Bill Laswell: Fractal




Bill Laswell (8-string bass, fretless bass, sound effects)


Invisible Design II (Tzadik 8062)

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Bill Laswell (8-string bass, fretless bass, sound effects).

Composed by Bill Laswell


Recorded: no location given, early 2009


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Bill Laswell's "Fractal" is one of the more interesting cuts on his Invisible Design II CD. Even though the minor-keyed minimalism is pure Laswell, the recording stands as proof of how expansive a single chord can be in such a context. The sound effects dominate the mix 1/3 of the way through, and, while the bass keeps the beat steady, the simplistic guitars enter and the proceedings deconstruct even further.

Any bassist could play these riffs-even beginners. However, it would be tough for a beginner to produce this, because the raw material contained within is so detailed and the approach so symbolic of higher thought processes at work that the tune makes a major statement by virtue of its impressionistic conviction.

Listeners will immediately acknowledge Laswell as someone who can shape a rather rudimentary idea into something more colorful, dense, and abstract. A great deal of skill at assembling the parts is what you will hear, as this is a track that stands apart from the rest of its respective CD and makes an impact as a mood setter for any occasion.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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