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Bill Laswell

  • American musician
  • Born February 12, 1955

William Otis Laswell (born February 12, 1955) is an American bass guitarist, record producer, and record label owner. He has been involved in hundreds of recordings with many collaborators from all over the world. His music draws from funk, world music, jazz, dub and ambient styles. He has played or produced hardcore punk and heavy metal. According to music critic Chris Brazier, "Laswell's pet concept is 'collision music' which involves bringing together musicians from wildly divergent but complementary spheres and seeing what comes out."


Miles Davis fully embraced possibilities and delved into it. He was criticized heavily from the jazz side. He was supposed to be part of a tradition, but he didn't consider himself part of a tradition.




Engineering producers who don't play and have technology as a background may be the reason why there's a lot of cold non-musical music, for lack of a better description.




People are afraid of things they don't understand. They don't know how to relate. It threatens their security, their existence, their career, image.




Records are just moments of achievement. They're like receipts for work done. Time goes on and people keep playing music.




Computers and electronic music are not the opposite of the warm human music. It's exactly the same.




I put projects together. I put people together.




I think everything's experimental whether you like it or not. I think that people who do generic pop are experimenting with cliches. It's no less than I am experimenting with noise or unknown music - until you say, 'This is my song, or this is my composition' - it's all experimental, whether you like it or not.




Sound comes out of a life experience.




I've never used ethnic music as decoration for profit.




I don't think technology is viable unless the person applying it has something to say.




What I'm dealing with is sound. I don't pretend to be dealing with music. I'm just dealing with sound elements, textures and sounds.




The atmosphere defines the environment of sound.




I got into dub a long time ago. I was into dub before I even had any interest in reggae or Jamaican songs, Bob Marley, or any of those established artists. I just thought it was such an unusual sound.




People who play conventional music are threatened by electronica and don't consider it to be as valuable as what they do.




Nothing was a style first. Everything started as an idea. A guy did something with an idea. Someone copied him. Some copied all of them and it became trendy and then it became a style.




If you listen to really deep ambient records that don't move too much, very still records, long after those records are finished, you might find yourself listening for hours to the sound of the room.




In all the music that deals with experimental repetition, drum and bass, dub, various kinds of house music, there's always been a quality of atmosphere and ambience.




I think if you look at exactly where you are, you can't really focus without looking back and forward at the same time.




People are afraid of things they don't understand.



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