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Ambient Dub Volume II: Dead Slow

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Album Review

Divination was one of a number of ambient projects engineered by Bill Laswell in the early '90s, this one featuring a relative preponderance of dub-derived basslines and beats. The pieces vary between gauzy dreamscapes and somewhat more rhythmically involved numbers, the latter often using sampled beats from Middle Eastern sources interwoven with trancelike bass. While it's understood that the music may have been intended for background or to fill an "ambience," most of the pieces still fail to hold the listener's attention the way other ambient music (such as, say, that of early Brian Eno) does. One gets the impression that Laswell could churn these things out in his sleep. Only the final track, "Journeys," dispenses with both the watercolor washes and trippy beats, instead concentrating on an evocative, subterranean rumbling noise that actually places the listener in a fascinating, alien space.

Ambient Dub Volume II: Dead Slow, Divination
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