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Sacred System, Chapter Two

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Album Review

On Sacred System: Chapter Two, bassist and producer extraordinaire Bill Laswell makes good on the partly unfulfilled promise of 1996's Sacred System Chapter One: Book of Entrance. The difference, in this case, is a small ensemble of guest musicians who include Material guitarist Nicky Skopelitis, a tabla virtuoso named Bill Buchen, and jazz cornettist Graham Haynes (son of legendary bop drummer Roy Haynes). Whereas Chapter One was a rather arid solo project, Chapter Two comes completely to life with the various contributions of its ensemble players: Skopelitis mostly lays back and contributes lovely textures, while Haynes defines cavernous aural spaces with his echoey, jazzy horn lines and Buchen delivers almost impossibly intricate percussion figures. Laswell himself seems more energized, as well, and his basslines sound deeper, heavier, happier. This is a deeply satisfying compilation of groove music from one of groove's greatest living exponents.


Born: 12 February 1955 in Salem, IL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A longtime linchpin of the New York City underground music scene, Bill Laswell has been among the most prolific artists in contemporary music; as a performer, producer, and label chief, his imprint is on literally hundreds of albums, the majority of them characterized by a signature sound fusing the energy of punk with the bone-rattling rhythms of funk. Born on February 12, 1955, in Salem, IL, he initially played guitar, but soon switched to bass; raised primarily in the Detroit area, he honed his...
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Sacred System, Chapter Two, Bill Laswell
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