Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, Dalai Lama, Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly Matisyahu, Angélique Kidjo, DJ Krush, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Sting, Fela Kuti, The Last Poets, Dalai LamaDalai LamaDalai Lamacreative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead Afrika Bambaataa, Julian Schnabel, Whitney Houston, Manu Dibango, Anthony Braxton,of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Wadada Leo Smith, Milford Graves, Gil Scott-Heron, Lou Reed, Wayne Shorter, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Moto, rhead, Peter Gabriel, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, and most Yellowman, Buddy Miles, Jungle Brothers and most notably Herbie Hancock, who notably Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single “Rock-It,” which introduced collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single “Rockit” which introduced scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great jazz pianist instant street credibility among the scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti. jazz pianist instant street credibility among the burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti.
Laswell’s sense of creative daring as a producer was further demonstrated on several recordings that have kept him on the cutting edge, including Afrika Bambaataa’s collaboration with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) on World Destruction and PiL’s Album (which brought together an unlikely pairing of drumming greats Ginger Baker and Tony Williams, synth-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame and rising guitar star Steve Vai). His spoken word collaborations with William S. Burroughs and expatriate writer-composer Paul Bowles have gone against the grain of music industry trends while his radical remixes (or reconstructions) of landmark recordings by Miles Davis (Panthalassa), Carlos Santana (Divine Light), Bob Marley (Dreams of Freedom) and a vast scan of dub-related and atmospheric ambient projects have gone on to further defined Laswell’s presence as a revolutionary ikonoklast.
Bill Laswell has helped in generating several innovative recording labels such as Celluloid, Subharmonic, Black Arc, and Innerhythmic. Along with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley, U2), he established the AXIOM label in 1989. M.O.D. Technologies, his most recent imprint is releasing projects by Method Of Defiance, Lee "Scratch" Perry, PRAXIS, Garrison Hawk with Sly & Robbie, Bernie Worrell, The Process (with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, Chad Smith and pianist Jon Batiste) and progressive/futuristic music from Ethiopia and Morocco. (CDs/DVDs)
As a player, Laswell’s bass lines resound with rare authority on groundbreaking projects by Tabla Beat Science (with Zakir Hussain and Ustad Sultan Khan), his avant-funk band Material, the apocalyptic assault of Last Exit (with Sonny Sharrock), his progressive dub effected Method of Defiance and the throbbingly intense power trios, Massacre (with Fred Frith and Charles Hayward), Painkiller (with John Zorn and Mick Harris), Praxis (with Buckethead and Brain), Blixt (with Raoul Bjorkenheim and Morgan Agren) and the latest (2014) Bladerunner (with John Zorn and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo). Laswell’s artistic reach has consistently extended to the continent of Africa, creating ground-breaking, evolutionary snd controversial recording projects in Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Gambia and most recently, Ethiopia where he has established a base for developing new as well as legendary artists, just as he did in the South Bronx some 30 years ago. A veteran of 300 plus journeys to Japan, where he has worked with everyone from The Gagaku Orchestra (Japan's ancient music, only played for emperors for 1500 years), to avant-jazz, rock, hip-hop and DJ culture. An eternal musical renegade, Bill Laswell has always played by his own rules.
Magic calls itself the other method for controlling matter and knowing space.