Saturday, February 1, 2020

Method of Defiance @ Salle Jacques Brel, Fontenay-sous-Bois - February 1st, 2020

Bill Laswell's Method of Defiance is a collective of musicians which is as fluid in its membership as it is expansive in its sounds. In that regard, it doesn't differ much from his other projects like Praxis or Material. This iteration is a little more focused on dub, thanks to the programming and vocal stylings of Dr. Israel. 

Anchored by drummer Guy Licata's grooves and perfectly complemented by DJ Logic's beats and scratches, the music is a free form patchwork of drum 'n' bass, reggae, acid jazz and hip-hop. The bottom end is manned by both Laswell and Josh Werner, and adding texture and melodies are Peter Apfelbaum on keys and saxophone, Graham Haynes on cornet and Dorian Cheah on violin.

This is my third time seeing Laswell at the Sons d'Hiver festival. The first time was in 2004 with a fantastic version of Material that included Amina Claudine Myers, Grandmixer DXT, Buckethead, Gigi, Karsh Kale... The second time was in 2015 with the jazz/noise trio Massacre. All three were wildly different projects with wildly different sounds, but the common denominator is the groove. In this case, layered dancehall rhythms drenched in reverb and textured sound system beats that propel the soundscapes and melodies into stratospherical explorations.

This music appeals both to the body and the mind: trance is a path to consciousness and dance is a tool of revolution. Hence the mantra that Dr. Israel kept repeating: Method of Defiance. Refuse Compliance.

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