Bill Laswell

~ Person

Also performs as: Chaos Face, Divination, Rasa (Bill Laswell), Sacred System


Bill Laswell (born February 12, 1955, Salem, Illinois, and raised in Albion, Michigan) is an American bassist, producer and record label owner.

Laswell ranks among the most prolific of modern musicians, being involved in hundreds of recordings with many collaborators from all over the world. Laswell's music draws upon many different genres, most notably funk, various world music, jazz, dub and ambient styles. He has also played or produced music from the noisier, more aggressive end of the rock spectrum, such as hardcore punk and metal.

According to music critic Chris Brazier, "Laswell's pet concept is 'collision music' which involves bringing together musicians from wildly divergent but complementary spheres and seeing what comes out." The credo of one record label run by Laswell, and which typifies much of his work, is "Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted." Though projects arranged by Laswell may be credited under the same name and often feature the same roster of musicians, the styles and themes explored on different albums can vary dramatically: Material began as a noisy dance music project, but subsequent releases have been centered on hip hop, jazz, or backing spoken word readings by beat generation icon William S. Burroughs. Similarly, most versions of Praxis have featured guitarist Buckethead, but have explored different permutations with each new album.

Though some artists have chafed against Laswell's distinctive recording and production style (most noticeably some of his for-hire production gigs including Motörhead, Swans and White Zombie) many other collaborations, such as with pianist Herbie Hancock and singer Iggy Pop have been lengthier and recurring. He has also worked extensively with his wife, Ethiopian singer Gigi.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1984 Baselines Bill Laswell 2
1987 Low Life Peter Brötzmann & Bill Laswell 1
1988 Hear No Evil Bill Laswell 2
1994 Asian Games Ryuichi Sakamoto & Bill Laswell & Yosuke Yamashita 1
1994 Axiom Ambient: Lost in the Translation Bill Laswell 1
1994 Outer Dark Bill Laswell 1
1994 Visitation Jonah Sharp & Bill Laswell 1
1995 Silent Recoil: Dub System One Bill Laswell 1
1995 Somnific Flux M.J. Harris and Bill Laswell 2
1995 Web Bill Laswell & Terre Thaemlitz 1
1996 The Dark Side of the Moog IV Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze & Bill Laswell 4
1996 Interpieces Organization Haruomi Hosono & Bill Laswell 1
1996 The Dark Side of the Moog V Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze & Bill Laswell 3
1996 Oscillations Bill Laswell 1
1996 Sacred System Chapter One: Book of Entrance Bill Laswell 2
1997 Dreams of Freedom Bob Marley & Bill Laswell 1
1997 The Dark Side of the Moog VI Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze & Bill Laswell 2
1997 City of Light Bill Laswell 1
1997 Dub Meltdown Bill Laswell & Style Scott 1
1997 Sacred System: Chapter Two Bill Laswell 1
1998 Jazzonia Bill Laswell 1
1998 The Dark Side of the Moog VII Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze & Bill Laswell 2
1998 Meridiem Percy Howard, Charles Hayward, Fred Frith & Bill Laswell 1
1998 Oscillations 2 Bill Laswell 1
1998 Permutation Bill Laswell 1
1998 Sacred System: Nagual Site Bill Laswell 1
1999 Invisible Design Bill Laswell 1
1999 Imaginary Cuba Bill Laswell 2
1999 Charged Toshinori Kondo, Eraldo Bernocchi, Bill Laswell 4
1999 Hashisheen: The End of Law Bill Laswell 1
2000 Dub Chamber 3 Bill Laswell 1
2000 Lo. Def Pressure Bill Laswell 1
2001 Points of Order Bill Laswell 1
2001 Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission Jah Wobble and Bill Laswell 2
2002 Book of Exit: Dub Chamber 4 Bill Laswell 1
2003 Soup Otomo Yoshihide, Bill Laswell, Yoshigaki Yasuhiro 2
2004 Aftermathematics Instrumental: Rhythm and Recurrence Bill Laswell 1
2004 Brutal Calling Bill Laswell vs. Submerged 2
2004 Version 2 Version: A Dub Transmission Bill Laswell 1
2004 A Navel City / No One Is There Hoppy Kamiyama & Bill Laswell 1
2004 Massafat Azzddine with Bill Laswell 1
2005 The Stone: Issue One John Zorn, Ben Perowsky, Mike Patton, Bill Laswell, Scott Hull, Dave Douglas, Rob Burger 1
2006 Roots Tonic Meets Bill Laswell Bill Laswell & Roots Tonic 1
2006 Episome Otomo Yoshihide, Bill Laswell & Tatsuya Yoshida 1
2008 Lodge Fanu & Bill Laswell 3
2008 No Matter Mark Nauseef / Kudsi Ergüner / Markus Stockhausen / Bill Laswell 1
2009 Invisible Design II Bill Laswell 1
2011 Dub of the Passover David Solid Gould vs Bill Laswell 1
2011 Bass & Drums Bill Laswell / Tatsuya Nakamura / Hideo Yamaki 1
2011 Blixt Raoul Björkenheim, Bill Laswell & Morgan Ågren 1

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