Fanu & Bill Laswell - Lodge

  • pcs.
  • Net Price: EUR 7.93 EUR 9.75
Trochę wolniejsze połamańce od speców gatunku - Bill Laswell kontra Fanu (Janne Hatula) z mięsistym basem i metaliczną acz jazzową perkusją.

Amidst a media landscape which rarely flexes more than its eyebrow muscles unless there is a clearly, easily and widely marketable story, scene or scandal attached to a record, an album like  this one must seem something like an alien spaceship in the middle of Times Square: It doesn't have a rigid concept, it doesn't sell a message, it follows no trends, delivers no hypes and promises no instant revelations. Some Drum n Bass critics will find it too little Drum n Bass. Dub and Dubstep audiences will think it too much Drum n Bass. Jazz listeners will probably refuse to even listen to it. And yet all of this explains why „Lodge“ could end up victorious nonetheless. Bewildering and beguiling at the same time, it bridges the differences between several genres, arriving at a beligerent release of the pure will to create.

It is also proof to a theory Bill Laswell has long argued in favour of: That it is not endless pondering in lonely bedrooms which shapes the music of the future, but going out there and interacting with others. More and more experimental artists are challenging the traditional notion of a prolific oeuvre, but with few others, the complete irrelevance of this perspective is showing as openly as with Laswell. Does anyone ever question why a chef prepares hundreds of delicious cremes brulees a week? And just like him, the New York-based Bassist neither meditates on nor makes a point of the mushrooming catalogue of releases he has by now amassed. There is a job to do, there is music to be made, there are befriended performers to be helped, there is something to be said.

On „Lodge“, the full weight of this mission statement comes pounding down on the listener, as an ensemble of experienced and fresh instrumentalists develops a sound both granitic and malleable, equally heavy and weightless, resting in itself and of a compelling forward propulsion. The foundation for the eight tracks collected here is the long-distance, yet luminously direct interaction between Laswell and young Finish Drum n Bass producer Fanu. The thick melodic Bass lines and  metallic, Jazz-oriented Percussion rolls are the red threads which guide listeners through an album squeezing a daunting array of colours, timbres, moods and grooves from this fundamental instrumental combination.

The reason why it works at all is that Laswell and Fanu are never content with working along the lines of readily available blueprints. On opening track „Orh“, they reverse the usual responsibility assignment, with Fanu's funky polyrhythms dancing themselves immovably towards ecstacy, while Bill's Bass provides for the typical breaks at the end of each cycle. On several other occasions, his freewheeling inventiveness disconnects the link between them, with Drums and Bass running ever-so-slightly out of sync and in different mindsets, before crossing swords again only seconds after. The constant change between slower, more relaxed and Dub-heavy tracks and hollering uptempo material, played with ferocious intensity and a frigthening physicality, also awards the album a nervous, neurotic and breathless pulse.

It turns out to be just the right heartrate for the illustrous ensemble of guests which makes their appearance on „Lodge“. Bernie Worrell sets the studio on fire with his moaning, groaning, huffing, puffing, screaming and scolding synthesizer lines on „Bloodline“, while Nils Petter Molvaer's Trumpet haunts the ghostly shadows of „Transgenesis“. Jazz veteran Graham Haynes is also part of the line-up and on the six-and-a-half-minute madness of „Transfer Code“, frenzied Hammond Organ, Trumpet erruptions, Fender Rhodes interludes and a rhythm section with a burning urge to burn down the house with their razor-sharp performance, the group reaches for the stars in a piece, which doesn't care one bit about being a composition in the classical sense of the word.

Quite a lot of the material here works along similar lines, presenting a theme once, before forgetting about it and rather employing sounds or micro-glitches as its lead motives. With this approach, firmly rooted in minimalism, „Lodge“ does present itself in direct proximity of Drum n Bass, Dub and Dubstep, after all, without ruminating its cliches. This may well the most astounding fact about a record which can do away with clear-cut concepts, messages, trends or hypes: It is accessible and catchy, infusing its audience with energy and having a blast while pushing the limits of at least three genres further north.

By Tobias Fischer (


Orh     5:45     
Bloodline     5:34     
Transgenesis     4:44     
Hollow Grounds     4:51     
Fourth Voice     5:33     
Transfer Code     6:30     
The Incal     7:30     
Shroud     4:24