I love the thought of that New York period before hip hop became cemented into a predictable kick and snare sound and there was a whole melting pot of sounds going on. You had the dub disco records coming out of Compass Point and Bill Laswell producing everyone from Yellowman to Ryuichi Sakamoto. The influences felt broad and the music was genre free.
The early Laswell years saw him playing bass in his group Material and from there hooking up with Jean Karakos and Celluloid Records, producing Fab 5 Freddy, Africa Bambaataa, Fela Kuti and Ginger Baker, before moving onto co-writing with Herbie Hancock on the album that gave birth to ‘Rockit’ and from there through the years enjoying (still) an illustrious production career working with Sly & Robbie, John Lydon, Wayne Shorter, The Last Poets and the catalogue of Miles Davis and Bob Marley. All in all it’s a who’s who of jazz, funk and alternative music.
Here the good Dr Rob pulls together his favourite Laswell moments and also puts together a lovely little reprise in a dub style. I love this series and this is definitely up there as one of the best.