Material - The Third Power

Material - The Third Power
The Third Power
Release Date:
Alternative/Indie Rock, Art Rock, Experimental, Experimental Rock, Funk, Post-Punk, Prog-Rock
Recording Location:
B.C. Recording Studio; Greenpoint Recording Studio; Platinum Island Recording Studios, New York, NY

Material has never really been a band -- it's basically a constantly shifting constellation of musicians whose center of gravity is producer and bassist Bill Laswell and keyboardist Michael Beinhorn. Certain musicians are frequently included (in the old days, Fred Frith and Anton Fier; these days, Nicky Skopelitis and Sly Dunbar), but each album usually features a drastically different lineup from the last, and often a new stylistic approach, as well. The Third Power is Material's foray into reggae/hip-hop fusion. Beinhorn is conspicuously absent on this album (and has remained so since, rendering Material's name basically synonymous with Laswell's), and Laswell abdicates the bass chair to Robbie Shakespeare; all the drums are played by his cohort Sly Dunbar. Sidemen include Bootsy Collins, Olu Dara, Herbie Hancock, and James Brown's old horn section. Vocals are provided by members of the Jungle Brothers, the Last Poets, Shabba Ranks and others. That kind of diversity would lead to anarchy on any other record, but Laswell has turned chaos into revelation for years. Sly & Robbie keep everything pumping nicely, the rappers keep it interesting, and Nicky Skopelitis' off-kilter guitar keeps reminding you that this really is a Material album. The mood is surprisingly constant, maybe a little too much so; Shabba's ragamuffin chanting on "Reality" isn't treated much differently from the Bob Marley cover that closes the album. But it's a nice mood. Pity the whole thing clocks in at just over half-an-hour.

Reality / Sly Dunbar / Bill Laswell / Shabba Ranks / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial5:15
Playin' with Fire / Baby Bam / Bootsy Collins / Sly Dunbar / Mike Gee / Bill Laswell / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial5:14
Cosmic Slop / George Clinton / Bernie WorrellMaterial5:15
E Pluribus Unum / Sly Dunbar / Bill Laswell / Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial3:40
Drive-By / Sly Dunbar / Bill Laswell / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial3:21
Power of Soul (Black Chant) / Bootsy Collins / Sly Dunbar / Bill Laswell / Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial5:24
Mellow Mood / Bob MarleyMaterial4:22
Glory / Bootsy Collins / Sly Dunbar / Bill Laswell / Robbie ShakespeareMaterial4:33

MP3 Download 2018