Third project by Bill Laswell for Sub Rosa, published in 1997.
Bill Laswell’s Oscillations Remixed by Endemic Void / Vedic / Scanner / Nico (No-U-Turn) / Grazzhoppa / Ui / Atom Heart / Bisk / Soul Static Sound (1997)
SOUL STATIC SOUND
Nathan Bush – All Music Guide
Throughout his career, producer Bill Laswell has continually found a rich source of material in the work of other artists, remixing everything from the music of ambient-house cadets the Orb to the visionary jazz texts of Miles Davis. It’s only fair, then, that he reciprocate as he does on Oscillations (Remixes), offering a series of drum’n’bass explorations for structural redirecting by the likes of Bisk, Scanner, Atom Heart, UI, and No-U-Turn’s Nico, among others. Beats are, of course, the order of the day as the rhythms originally fashioned by Laswell, Robert Musso, and Ninj are dissected, distorted, stretched, and shattered. Unfortunately, the success of such projects is almost always varied, and Oscillations (Remixes) is no exception. There are few great surprises during the album’s first half, though Vedic’s “Live Pop Mix” (urgent drum cacophony over a chattering stampede of tabla) and Nico’s “Oscillations Remix” (choppy, slap-back rhythms and lo-fi bass buzz reduction) are both fine. Then Atom Heart (aka Uwe Schmidt) sets some new kind of standard, increasing the bidding with “Digital-Cut Up.” The song is a seriously fragmented ricochet of rhythm, against the shadow of a keyboard melody, that somehow manages to construct its own internal logic. Schmidt seems to pass the baton to Japan’s Bisk, which buries a sputtering, halting beat under a bizarre selection of chilling sound effects, and Soul Static Sound, which constructs a cycling reverb trap with flourishes of drum interference. Despite the mixed results, only DJ Grazhoppa’s “Milky Remix” seems out of place. Using Laswell’s track as the means to unusual ends (given his company here), he tunes his radio in to a collage of hip-hop samples. That said, the song’s entirely uncluttered rhythm (matched to the sparsest of funk basslines) is a refreshing change of pace.