Music Reviews

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Artist: PainKiller
Title: Execution Ground
Format: 2 x 12" vinyl
Label: Karlrecords (@)
Rated: *****
On the occasion of a chat with one of our collaborators six years ago, Thomas Herbst, the man behind the curtains of the great Karlrecords, didn't hide his unconditional love for Bill Laswell and all his amazing projects. During that interview, Thomas told us an anecdote: when he asked Bill after a gig he made at Moers Jazz Festival in 2006 what he was doing, Mister Laswell naively replied “oh, some pop stuff…to generate money for projects like this…”. The gig he was referring to - the one he just performed - was the collaborative project PainKiller, the one Thom is luckily proposing by this fantastic re-release, and if you've never heard about it (shame on you!), the names of Bill's collaborators should be enough to titillate your hungry music mind. PainKiller was the brainchild that Bill Laswell started in 1991, while he was still performing with the incendiary free jazz quartet last Exit (including Peter Brotzmann, Sonny Sharrock and Ronald Shannon Jackson) together with Mick Harris (just after he left Napalm Death) and John Zorn (exploring impressively innovative sonorities in his Naked City project). After a couple of albums - "Buried Secrets" and "Guts of a Virgin" - in between free jazz and grindcore (released by notorious metal label Earache), the real masterpiece was their third album "Execution Ground" (1994, Subharmonic), the one where all the musical souls involved the project and their forerunning raid into unconventional stylistic territories merged into five long and powerfully evocative suites: the way the furious free-jazz of Zorn's shrieking saxophone and Harris' drumming on the first part of "Parish Of Tama" got channeled into an intensely emotional and gradually morbid dub in the second part borders on sublime dimensions; the multiverse colliding styles of the increasingly wildness of "Morning Of Balachaturdasi"; the powerful visions inspired by the ambient versions of "Parish Of Tama" and "Pashupatinath" (the crossover version coming as a digital bonus). Masterfully mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M Berlin. Highly recommended!



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