Hoppy Kamiyama & Bill Laswell ‎– A Navel City / No One Is There

Kanpai Records ‎– 73043-2
CD, Album


1 Azlo 8:50
2 Todes Fuge 6:17
3 Sospirando 4:09
4 The Desert 13:52
5 Zarathustra 6:10
6 Sad Emission 16:19
7 Parrot Fashions 4:06

Companies, etc.



Recorded at GOK sound, Tokyo.
Mix translation at Orange Music, Orange, NJ

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 7 9401 73043 2 8



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February 17, 2008
This is not your typical Bill Laswell venture, but it is one of the most unique productions he's been involved with, and arguably one of the best. Although there are distinct elements of free jazz present in several of the pieces, the majority of the album is tightly structured, with some of the most phenomenal drumming I've ever heard (courtesy of Kiyohiko Semba).

I feel that the term "defies categorization" is bandied about very loosely these days, but this album comes damn close to being worthy of it. Part jazz, part funk, part electronica; both none and all of these things at once. I'm probably making the music sound far more pretentious than it is, but it's genuinely difficult to assign genres to this record. There is an influence of Laswell's time working with Buckethead here (namely on Colma), but the music is far too influenced by jazz to be lumped in with it.

In essence, if you're a fan of Bill Laswell, Japanese jazz / electronica or the avant-garde, this is well worth your time. Amazon should have samples up, so check it out for yourself. The cover art is quite reminiscent of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, and as far as originality and creativity goes, A Navel City is certainly on par with it.