518 351-2 Hallucination Engine
Produced by Bill Laswell
Released on 1993
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
518 351-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

W elcome to the Seventh House, where the planets of middle eastern music, modern ambient electronica, jazz, funk and rock dance together. Bill Laswell has spent a lifetime bending space, time and rules to create new music, some of it unlistenable and much of it unmanageable. He has also been the driving force behind some of the late 20th century’s most original music, from Herbie Hancock (Future Shock, Sound-System) to Hallucination Engine. Here, Bill Laswell blends music from India, Palestine, Senegal and China with his usual assortment of all-star funk, rock and jazz icons (Bootsy Collins, Sly Dunbar, Wayne Shorter, Nicky Skopelitis, Bernie Worrell). On the surface, it’s a shoe-in for unmanageable, but Laswell brings it all together with masterful production and a highly selective sense for the right spices in taseful moderation. Laswell carefully chooses which players to lead with (Wayner Shorter, Zakir Hussain, Shankar, William S. Burroughs) and builds his music around them rather than on top of them. The idea of mixing middle eastern music with techno/ambient sounds has been tried often with trite results. I can probably count on one hand (My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, World Without Rules, etc.) the times it has worked. On Hallucination Engine, it works remarkably well, especially on tracks like “Black Light,” “Mantra” and “Eternal Drift.” Since an album of middle eastern electronica might lull you to sleep, Material wakes up in the middle with a wet dream from William Burroughs (“Words of Advice”), followed by a purple cloud loosed from Weather Report (“Cucumber Slumber”), then slips into the deep dreamtime of John Coltrane. It seems a great while since we’ve added anything so exotic as Hallucination Engine to the bestiary, but open the pages and let it enter.


  1. BLACK LIGHT    (Bill Laswell/Wayne Shorter)    7:33
  2. MANTRA    (Bill Laswell/Shankar/Caroline)    8:44
  3. RUINS (SUBMUTATION DUB)    (Bill Laswell)    8:54
  4. ETERNAL DRIFT    (Bill Laswell/Nicky Skopelitis)    7:35
  5. WORDS OF ADVICE    (Bill Laswell/William Burroughs)    3:58
  6. CUCUMBER SLUMBER (FLUXUS MIX)    (Joe Zawinul/Alphonso Johnson)    7:30
  7. THE HIDDEN GARDEN    (Bill Laswell/Simon Shaheen/Nicky Skopelitis) / NAIMA    (John Coltrane)    13:00
  8. SHADOWS OF PARADISE    (Bill Laswell/Shankar/Nicky Skopelitis)    9:45

    All songs arranged by Bill Laswell


BILL LASWELL -- basses, beats, loops, samples, etc.
Michael Baklouk -- daff, tambourine
George Basil -- qanoun
Jeff Bova -- synthesizers
William S. Burroughs -- voice (5)
Bootsy Collins -- space bass
Fahim Dandan -- voice
Aiyb Dieng -- chatan, congas, percussion
Trilok Gurtu -- tabla
Jonas Hellborg -- acoustic bass guitar, fretless electric bass
Zakir Hussain -- tabla
Jihad Racy -- ney
Sly Dunbar -- drum kit
Simon Shaheen -- violin, oud
Shankar -- electric violin
Wayne Shorter -- soprano and tenor saxophones
Nicky Skopelitis -- acoutsic and electric 6-string and 12-string guitars, coral electric sitar, baglama, Fairlight
Liu Sola -- voice
Vikku Vinayakram -- ghatam
Bernie Worrell -- electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ
Robert Musso -- engineer, mixing
Oz Fritz -- engineer, mixing
Martin Bisi -- engineer
James Koehnline -- cover artwork
Ira Cohen -- Mylar photography
Aldo Sampieri -- layout and design

return to MATERIAL discography

UK 1993 Axiom LP 518 351-1  
US/CAN 1993 Axiom CD 518 351-2  


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