A living legend and one of the all-time great sonic explorers, Bill Laswell, needs our help.
It is no exaggeration to say that we are huge fans of Bill Laswell at In Sheep’s Clothing… You might even say we’re nerds about his music, though it’s hard to understand the full breadth of his musical output as the bassist, producer, label and studio owner has contributed to over two thousand releases. While not a household name (Laswell seemed to purposefully operate away from the mainstream), the Material founder/bassist has without a doubt made a deep impact on the whole of music through his collaborations with giants of all scenes including Herbie Hancock, Haruomi Hosono, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Bob Marley, Bootsy Collins, Fela Kuti, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Toshinori Kondo, Peter Brötzmann, John Zorn, and many many others.
You’ve probably already heard his legendary track with Herbie Hancock “Rockit” that helped hip-hop crossover to the mainstream. If you’re looking for a followup cut to get familiar, just listen to his incredible ambient, downtempo, dub production and bass work on In Sheep’s Clothing favorite, Illuminated Audio, by his wife, Ethiopian singer Gigi.
Earlier this week, a post emerged on Laswell’s typically quiet social media accounts sharing the news that Laswell was in trouble and needed our help…
From Orange Music Collective:
“Dealing with a whole host of preexisting health conditions, Bill’s musical output has been seriously curtailed by Covid, which is basically a death sentence should he be infected. With the risk too great, he has not been able to keep up his usual pace, working alongside other musicians and engineers in his Jersey studio. The pandemic has also forced him to cancel live appearances at European festivals, where he has generated the bulk of his income. To add insult to injury, he is now desperately searching for a place to live after getting evicted from his current Manhattan home. He is also struggling to hold on to the lease for Orange Music, the legendary New Jersey studio that he has helmed for the last 20 years. Bill is putting the call out to all fans, friends, and fellow artists: If you can help, please chip in. It’s NOW or NEVER, and no contribution is too small.”
If you’re a fan of Bill Laswell or just music in general, we highly encourage you to donate to the GofundMe. Anything helps! Below, check a few more of our favorite Laswellian tunes. Trust, this won’t be the last Bill Laswell post you see on this site…