Music Reviews

Bill Laswell

Emerald Aether: Shape Shifting

Shanachie Entertainment Corp.

Why do I love Bill Laswell? Let me count the ways. Well for starters, I have never been disappointed with a single release that has contained his stamp on it. If an album has Laswell on it, chances are it’s going to be pretty damn good. Emerald Aether is more of a compilation of sorts, though, and since it is labeled with “Reconstructions of Irish Music, Mix Translation: Bill Laswell,” anything can be expected. I remembered what he did with Bob Marley, and then with Miles Davis. On Emerald Aether, Laswell continues the tradition. At this point, I’m bound and determined to track down every track contained in its original state and listen. Really, really listen. Irish music is beautiful, and Laswell seems to have slid in a fair amount of “modernism” to the mix, with overtones of jungle, darkhop, and drum n’ bass. I think a kilt and a sword are in order now. I wonder how long I’d fare in the urban jungle?

Shanachie Records, 13 Laight St., New York, NY 10013;

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