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Seven Souls [Import]

MaterialAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2008 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1997 $29.95  
Audio CD, Import, 1997 --  
Audio Cassette, 1997 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Triloka Records
  • ASIN: B00004799X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,370 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Western Lands (Dangerous Road Mix)
2. Seven Souls (Tim Simenon Mix)
3. Soul Killer (Remote Control Mix)
4. Ineffect
5. Seven Souls
6. Soul Killer
7. Western Lands
8. Deliver
9. Equation
10. End of Words

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Laswell July 14, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Bill Laswell's necrophiliac obsession continues with this funky-tribal release. Take NYC funk, dust it up with crusty 'ol William S. Burroughs (reading from his "The Road to the Western Lands"), and you've got "Seven Souls." Laswell's New Age landscapes are punctuated with the voice of death himself (that ol' raspberry seed in America's teeth!) telling us that "Bah" will lead us to destruction if we follow it. Only Laswell would do something this crazy. But it really holds up. The first track works as kind of a hip-hop-New Age's the most accessible track, and probably my favourite. Seven Souls" is excellent, and quite funky (if I were to break it out at a literary-type party the floor would be littered with bodies). Everything else is good, excepting a few mixes of "Seven Souls." If you liked Burroughs' collaboration with Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy ("Spare A** Annie"), you should enjoy this. Be warned, though: they're not in the same vein. Burroughs is more cut up and dubbed over, turned down and tripped out--his voice provides more of a tone than a message for the songs, a vehicle for Laswell and his current obsession.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true diamond in the rough June 12, 2006
Format:Audio CD
The aficionados of this album are a select crew and for some reason this hidden masterpiece has never become widely known. I heard it playing in a record store back when it had just been released and it instantly grabbed me; I had to own it. It's been with me ever since and has aged very well.

The music on this album is, in retrospect, almost startlingly ahead of its time, anticipating a variety of different sensibilities that became more fleshed-out in the 90s. A haunting, profoundly polished darkness glistens over the entire album. It achieves a high level of smoothness using "conventional" instruments and voices in combination with keyboards, rather than relying purely synth for such a tight sound as later artists would probably have done. In this sense, the music is a triumph of the outer limits of "analog" music, similar to some of the more polished work by artists working in the 80s such as Harold Blume, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, or David Byrne.

Burroughs' spoken word pieces are generally quite good, but the general problem with spoken word in music is that it often deters listeners from repeated listening because they think "I've heard it before." Or else they concentrate on the words to the exclusion of the music. Either approach would be a shame here, because the music deserves repeated listening. Fortunately, the spoken word overlays are not annoying upon repetition, are not overly intrusive, and are blended skillfully with the music.

Material explores some hard-to-define emotions and themes. There is a bit of the long, arduous, but beautiful voyage through the unknown here. The album retains a distinctiveness that has made it sound contemporary and not out-of-place at each listening over the past 16 years. Overall, highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burroughs on Dope Beats May 16, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Take NY funk, add a layer of Moroccan soul, and top it off with a crunchy topping of Bill Burroughs, and you've got "Seven Souls." The rhythms of Sly Dunbar and Bill Laswell are slinky and cool, the airy Moroccan vocals and violins slice like razors, and the Voice carries us along on a journey to the Western Lands. The quest for immortality is the theme and it is never strayed from. Struggles more important than life and death are explored and questioned, leaving the listener to decide whether or not to pursue the prize. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Stuff September 4, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I remember the times quite well; nobody else did anything as creative or startling as this in 1989. And you could hear the ideas seeping out of this and into some of the more widely-heard college rock.
Herein, Laswell and his co-conspirators create lush soundscapes where hip-hop beats meet Middle Eastern instrumentation. East meets West and it grooves very nicely. This all becomes a backdrop for William Burroughs to recite readings over the top of. The music is state of the art and Burrough's narration quite memorable also.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6. Equation July 28, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Material has been an adventurous project band for Bill Laswell since the late 1970's. Seven Souls grabbed me at the time it was released quite strongly (mid eighties). It is still captivating today. I titled the name of this review with the title of the strongest potentially commercial track of the recording. It is a heavy beat track with much urban influence, which was not over done as the urban sounds often are today. On the rest of the recording you can hear much of the dark ambient influences effecting Bill in thoses days... but ALL the players are excellent musicians on this record! This record, with the addition of William Burroughs, makes it a keepsake for us "Space cadets". It has much to offer to an adventerous open ear. Excellent spin!
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