Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Equations of Eternity: Equations of Eternity

Recorded over a year in 1995-96 at the personal studios in Milan, Italy; Birmingham, England; and Brooklyn, New York by the trio of experimental electronic musicians Eraldo Bernocchi (electronics, programming, treated guitars), Mick Harris (electronics, drum programming), and Bill Laswell (bass guitar and what is listed as "interstellar influence," whatever that may entail), Equations of Eternity is a fascinating excursion into a world of electronic ambience, solid programmed drumming, fluid and dubby bass playing and the occasional sampled voice.

Bernocchi, a collaborator with Harris on some notable albums on the Sub Rosa label during this period, produced and mixed the record, almost certainly after Harris and Laswell established the rhythms, and was likely the prime mover on the project, which spawned another excellent album, also on the WordSound label, in Vevè (1998).

The varied elements offered by the collaborators are excellent, enticing and intriguing.  Laswell's bass playing is particularly essential in holding down a reliable groove in tandem with Harris's spare, but well-chosen beats, while Bernocchi adds all manner of interesting textures, along with what are presumed to be contributions from Harris, as well.

Adding to the mysterious musical vibe is a quote from British mystic Aleister Crowley from his Book of Thoth:  "Pour water on thyself:  thus thou be a fountain to the universe / Find thou thyself in every star / Achieve thou every possibility."  Might be gibberish to some and profound truth to others, but this album has enough to recommend it with the well-organized layers of sound and Laswell's consistently-excellent bass playing that you could almost certainly take or leave the mysticism and just enjoy the electronic-ambient-dub grooves that flow unendingly from this fine recording.

Equations of Eternity:  Equations of Eternity (WordSound, 1996)

1.  The Collector  6:48
2.  Eons Geography  5:51
3.  5th Element  5:35
4.  Loa  6:31
5.  Stream  5:52
6.  Shadow Sewer  7:43
7.  Fifty Gates  4:34
8.  Descent  5:47
9.  Slow Bleed  5:52

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