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Shine: Heaven and Hell

Lazy-ass bassist/producer Bill Laswell has yet a new project, Shine. It features outrageous guitarist/Praxis bandmate Buckethead and Shin Terai, a sound collagist who’s recorded as Chaos Face for Laswell’s old Subharmonic imprint. (Guitarist Nicky Skopelitis and keyboardist Bernie Worrell and programmer Robert Musso also contribute.) Shine’s debut album, Heaven and Hell (Innerhythmic), treads familiar postmodern dub ground that Laswell knows like the fretboard of his four-string. His supple, fathoms-deep bass lines irrigate earth and colons with equal efficacy. Stodgy 4/4 beats are accented with slick, agile rimshots while Buckethead generates spacey feedback bleeps and liquid Jerry Garcia-meets-John McLaughlin-in-a-contemplative-mood guitar lines. Heaven and Hell largely resides in the former figurative space, with Buckethead’s flanged guitar, Laswell’s triumphant bass figures and Musso’s propulsive rhythms evoking a spiritual majesty that guides the mind to higher planes of existence. Though Buckethead’s fluttery, grandiose reverberations on “Movement 6” echo the Edge’s with U2, Heaven and Hell mostly succeeds in keeping dub much closer to Paradise than to Hades.

Originally Published