Bernie Worrell: Phantom Soundclash Cut-up Method – Two

Phantom Soundclash 2

The single track of master keyboardist Bernie Worrell’s entry into the Phantom Soundclash multiverse carries the title “Purple World.” Bassist-producer Bill Laswell, percussionist Adam Rudolph, beat scientist Dr. Israel, and pioneering DJ Grandmixer DXT are Worrell’s transient crew—all of them suited to withstand a wide range of emotional impacts. Only here, they are interested less in the effects than causes of said impacts.

Worrell’s art is a wonder to behold, not least of all because on record he plays for us alone. Every detail rendered audible through his art is a treasure, from which unfolds the lotus of a gracious spirit. Touched by the light of more distant suns than ours, he lobs funk over galaxies in that brotherly way of his, seeking a universal blues. Yet there is something reverential and earthly, as internal as it is eternal, to his musical body, of which each gesture is more decipherable than the last. Worrell preserves these behaviors for future generations who might scour their contours with instruments no longer resembling the ones that produced them.

Laswell’s fluid bassing arises in womb-song, its umbilical cord shooting nebulae at the blade of conceptual silence. As these heavenly bodies comingle, they draw one another into a tantric lore spoken by the prophecy of technology. (The organ is inorganic because it can only exhale, but nevertheless speaks truths as only a machine can.) Through the vale of this nexus runs a river of beats, whose current glides across the bedrock of a thousand ages until it becomes a simulacrum, a world of worlds.

The underlying groove is likewise something more than itself—not merely an invitation to nod along but fully environmental attunement. Metals in the rhythm-sphere indicate an elemental core, which as the transmissions distort bleeds dark matter. Notes grow less pronounced, flashes of memory like so many solar flares as the bass fragments into override.

A rare color in nature, purple visualizes a living resonance as intimate as the copulation of time and space. It is the inherency of the groove incarnate, a cosmic wound healed through listening. And as this journey winds down into subterranean dream fronds, Worrell once again proves that music is something from which we were born…not the other way around.

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