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Bill Laswell’s Method of Defiance: Inamorata

It’s hard to overstate bassist/producer Bill Laswell’s influence on contemporary music or, more specifically, the meshing of rock, avant-garde jazz and electronica, which, thanks largely to him, is now commonplace. His latest project, Method of Defiance, maintains his cross-disciplinary ideal, though it cleaves to the vocabulary of pure drum and bass. The group, featuring the DJ/programmer Submerged, Guy Licata on drums and Laswell on bass, debuted last year with The Only Way to Go Is Down (Sublight), a blistering nine-track affair.

The new disc, Inamorata, is more expansive, and more directly jazz-related. Laswell produced and arranged the music, but he commissioned a slew of top drum-and-bass artists-Paradox, SPL, Evol Intent, Karsh Kale and more-to create the tracks. He also brought on board an imposing roster of jazz musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Pharoah Sanders, Dave Liebman, Craig Taborn, Nils Petter Molvær, Graham Haynes and Byard Lancaster. The music is combative, a concentrated spray of hyperkinetic beats, fat bass lines, involved solos and ethereal sonics.

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