Shine Heaven and Hell

You'd be hard pressed to recognise Buckethead's guitar work on Heaven and Hell if your only point of reference was his work with the new Guns N’ Roses. Sonic experimentation meeting a dub foundation, Shine is the axis between jam and dance music, with Buckethead's guitar gadgetry and Bill Laswell's intergalactic bass as the guide. The album is constructed as seven instrumental movements interconnected so that the music is continuous over the record's 42 minutes. Melodic and rhythmic motifs swirl in and out, as do echoes, envelope filters, flanges, distortion and a patchwork of just discovered electronic sounds. The array of textures and sonic colouration is mesmerising (counting the sounds is like counting the stars) but the lack of rhythmic diversity ultimately is the album's main flaw. Not for the faint of heart, or even those expecting some sort of dub treatment similar to Dreams of Freedom, parts of Heaven and Hell may indeed sound as interesting as a test pattern to some. But anyone interested in the growing intersection of live dub/electronic bands, and the sheer madness a wizard like Laswell can accomplish in the studio, will have to check this out. (Innerhythmic)