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Gods have trembled at the sound of Bill Laswell's bass. The legendary master of the low end has always brought the skill of a jazz master and the soul of a reggae dub seer into his post-everything playing, which has extended from working with Jah Wobble to remixing Miles Davis. Paired with quirky Japanese keyboardist Hoppy Kamiyama, one would expect this album to feature both attempting to out-freak the other in a dense sonic stew. Quite to the contrary, these players know when to let the other work. And more impressively, they leave ample room for the drumming of one Kiyohiko Senba, whose history with Japanese popsters Cornelius and Soukichi Kina barely hinted at the stellar playing found on the tumultuous end of "Azlo." Throughout each song, Senba rapidly switches from pan-everywhere tappings to effortless jazz swing or hyper-kinetic explosions at a moment's notice. That anyone can keep up with Laswell's molten lower register is impressive. The fact that it often appears to be Senba who is driving the nimble-fingered bassist is nothing short of astounding. They lock into a groove that sounds like it could ride forever, only for one of the pair to do a quick fake and the chase to resume. Through all this, Kamiyama stays on the sidelines, refereeing the match with light touches that only sparingly invade the playing field, the exception being the liquid funk rev-up on "Sad Emission." Fans of both Laswell and Kamiyama should be happy with this release. And expect followers from both sides to discover a new hero in Senba's drumming.
Performance CreditsHoppy Kamiyama Primary Artist
Bill Laswell Bass
Koyohiko Semba Percussion,Drums,Electric Drums
Technical CreditsBill Laswell Composer,translation
Robert Musso Engineer
Eiichi Naito Executive Producer
Hoppy Kamiyama Composer,Slides
Kio Griffith Art Direction
Dino Malito Content Editor