Hoppy Kamiyama + Bill Laswell – A Navel City/ No One is Here

On this creative collaboration, Japanese producer Hoppy Kamiyama joins avant-bassist Bill Laswell to create a groove-filled jazz electronic experiment. Bill Laswell works with percussionist Kiyohiko Semba to create some rock-solid jazz-funk grooves, while Kamiyama adds freeform electronic effects that seem to integrate tightly and react to the tight rhythm section. The result is true world fusion, combining jazz, world music and a dub sensibility to create something new.

Fans of improvised jazz electronica should check out this CD. It’s challenging and experimental, but has strong jazz-funk rhythm section that helps to propel the tracks along.

The production is excellent, especially on the drum set. It sounds almost like you’re looking over Semba’s shoulder as he plays.

The highlight of the CD is Sad Emission. Laswell lays and Semba lay down a vital 5/4 groove over Indian drones and effected flutes. A little over two minutes into the track, though, Semba changes gears completely, taking things into more of funk territory. This is the first of several gear shifts, each one tempting your ears into thinking things will come to a crashing halt, before the drums and bass kick into work again and send things in another direction.

The rhythm section throughout is exciting, but Kamiyama’s electronic stylings adds a cinematic quality to the tracks that take things into different territory.

Traveling to A Navel City is not for the faint of heart, but adventurous travelers will be rewarded.


  • Azlo
  • Todes Fuge
  • Sospirando
  • The Desert
  • Zarathustra
  • Sad Emission
  • Parrot Fashions

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