Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bill Laswell

  • Baselines [Musician, 1983] B
  • Hear No Evil [Venture, 1988] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Baselines [Musician, 1983]
One thing's sure--this is shitty background music. That's intentional, of course, but if Laswell's/Material's avant-fusion experiments are to prove useful to avant-pop listeners, they'd better reward attention more brilliantly than they do. Pulse or no pulse (and it can be either), the usual interesting-to-inventive, and even though I prefer Laswell's urban, conflict-ridden taste in noise to the ecological romanticism of the ethnojazz school, I don't hear the street or the subway (or my stereo) any better than before I put this on. B

Hear No Evil [Venture, 1988]
Only such a cold bastard could conceive new age so undisgusting. Some hear Another Green World in the thing, and there's that. Also r&b readymades and George Harrison's Wonderwall and packages of free noodles. I swear I can hear him laughing; sometimes I laugh myself. I swear he thinks it's good of its kind, too. So do I. B+