(1999) Imaginary Cuba

Bill Laswell

... read moreBassist and producer Bill Laswell has dabbled in several varieties of African music over the long and circuitous course of his career, with uneven results. But Latin America is a region he's left largely alone, until now. Imaginary Cuba finds him taking an approach somewhat similar to the one he...

57′:26″ 15 Songs

1
Bill Laswell
Habana Transmission #1 / Avisale A La Vecina Dub
4:57
2
Bill Laswell
Para Clave Y Guaguanco
3:04
3
Bill Laswell
Loungin With F.E.
1:09
4
Bill Laswell
Chacón And Daniel
4:26
5
Bill Laswell
Dejala En La Puntica
2:21
6
Bill Laswell
Habana Transmission #2 / Cuban Evolution
4:39
7
Bill Laswell
Los Ibellis
6:37
8
Bill Laswell
Habana Transmission #3 / Shango Sound Scan
4:44
9
Bill Laswell
Hombre Lobo, No! Hombre Nuevo, Si
3:48
10
Bill Laswell
Guerillero Heroico [El Che Vive!]
3:33
11
Bill Laswell
Shango
1:15
12
Bill Laswell
Pompa At The House
1:53
13
Bill Laswell
Madre No Me Pida In Dub
3:37
14
Bill Laswell
Chaos In The Heat [Last Transmission]
4:49
15
Bill Laswell
Drafting Shadows / Leaving La Habana [Peaceful]
6:34
Released 16 September 1999, ℗ 1999, Wicklow Entertainment

Review

Bassist and producer Bill Laswell has dabbled in several varieties of African music over the long and circuitous course of his career, with uneven results. But Latin America is a region he's left largely alone, until now. Imaginary Cuba finds him taking an approach somewhat similar to the one he employed on his Off World One project -- building on a foundation of field recordings, he constructs complex and often dub-inflected sound collages that sound like no one but Laswell while still maintaining respect for the music's origins. Laswell's distinctive bass style -- heavy, yet almost singingly melodic -- and his penchant for dubwise echo and fade techniques are what make this music recognizably his, but the raw materials that form its basis come from Cuban artists like Tata Guines, Frank Emilio, and the Septeto Nacional. Massed, trance-inducing drums, musichall piano, call-and-response vocals, and various unidentified stringed instruments are all part of the mix, and the rhythmic stew that Laswell cooks up using all of these ingredients is rich, thick, and spicy. Highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson