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Charged Live by Charged

Synths gurgle, the bass drones, electric trumpet floats over the mix of drum loops and rhythmic pulses. Welcome to Bill Laswell’s world. The sound is thick and steamy, propelling it’s way through your speakers like a late night jungle session. Laswell has assembled an eclectic crew here. Drummer Hamid Drake and percussionist Aiyb Dieng stir up a heady rhythmic brew, to which guitarist Eraldo Bernocchi, electric trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, turntablist DJ Disk, and bassist Laswell lay down a dense panoply of sound. Shinotech Iridescence is a bubbling collage of these sounds, sounding a bit like later day Miles Davis meets hip-hop. Fathoms starts with DJ Disk spinning out some serious drum grooves for almost three minutes. Then Drake enters and bumps things up with his solid funk. Bernocchi plays floating guitar over the band’s intense groove.

Death Tools opens with Drake and Dieng in a free-form duo. When Laswell enters, the three kick into a high speed jam. Kondo blows frantic trumpet lines to match the intensity. Later things settle into a slippery jazz-funk groove. Amid electronic sounds from DJ Disk, Dieng plays talking drum and Drake drum kit as the three enter into a call and response rhythmic flurry to open Duel Sufis. The trio blasts out the rhythms for eight minutes. Laswell enters as the band launches into Subterrania. After some heavy grooves, things get atmospheric with Kondo and Bernocchi playing ethereal lines until Drake leads the band back in for more groovation.

The CD concludes with Overloaded Lila, featuring the addition of the Gnawa Musicians of Morocco. This is more than 16 minutes of chanting, drumming, groove laden music that encompasses funk, hip-hop, dub, and a bit of everything else. When the track concludes, it’s not so much the end of the CD as it is a release from the trance the music produces. This is some seriously heavy groove-trance music. Recommended for fans of any of the musicians here, and to listeners wanting something to take then away from the world.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Charged
  • CD Title: Charged Live
  • Genre: Acid Jazz
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Innerhythmic
  • Rating: Four Stars
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