Bill Laswell
Dub Chamber 3
ROIR (www.roir.com)

cd cover The third in an experimental dub series from Laswell, Dub Chamber 3 finds the producer/bassist known for his edgy blends of hip hop/jazz/world music/techno/etc. teaming up with an all-star cast for another exercise in genre-bending. With guitarist Nick Skopelitis, ex-P.I.L. bassist Jah Wobble, and avant-garde trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer co-writing and performing, the dub takes an ambient turn here, a hip hop turn there. This is music to get lost in (and maybe to listen to while getting lost); the tabla of Karsh Kale simmers under the surface of the opener, "Beyond the Zero," for example, subtly spicing the atmospheric meanderings of Laswell pulsing bass and Molvaer's processed horn. Wobble makes his appearance on "Cybotron," bringing his own driving bass to bear on the swirling synth effects - this is the most linear song on the album but it's far from being predictable drum'n'bass.

Avant-jazz is the theme in "Devil Syndrome," the least 'dub-like' song on the album; featuring the unadulterated trumpet of Molvaer, it's either less formulaic or less focused than the rest of the album, depending on how structured you like your music. Finally, while the last title, "A Screaming Across the Sky," may imply an apocalyptic wall of sound, if is in fact an introverted tune for the Dub Chamber. Over an almost metronomic backdrop of rhythm, an ambivalent guitar line - almost soothing, almost unsettling, and reminiscent of Robert Fripp - takes us halfway through. In the second half, the bass stirs from its slumber, and the effects scatter up in its wake, weird and intermittent, weaving in and out of a simple keyboard motif. I'm not sure that dub is the most accurate label for this mix, but that's probably not a huge concern for Laswell and company. - Craig Tower

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