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Roughly a decade ago, the Illbient movement out of New York was at the peak of its notoriety, transforming the beat in subtle yet lasting ways. While Illbient grifter DJ Spooky was wowing the art crowd with academic mumbo jumbo and his sonic version of snake oil, the true hedz were getting down to some serious earth-shaking activity over on Planet Crooklyn. Bill Laswell’s Greenpoint Studios was the nexus for such creative and subversive minds, as documented in such seminal works as The Crooklyn Dub Consortium series or Land of the Baboon.

Cut to Orange Music in New Jersey, Laswell’s present day lab. While searching for some misplaced video footage in the tape room, I stumbled upon a lone cassette tape in the bottom of a box of office supplies. A simple black-and-white cover with track-listing and artists said only: “Excavation: Beat Alchemy.” I noticed some familiar names on there, but don’t recall ever having seen or heard this album before. When I asked Bill about it, he told me that it had never before been released. A different version of it was supposed to come out, but somehow slipped through the cracks. As providence would have it, however, this music was rediscovered and literally exhumed from the vaults. “Why don’t you put it out,” said Bill. My thoughts exactly. And now, like a time capsule—an illbient primer--these sounds are ready for your ears (or maybe your ears are finally ready).

Track Listing
1. Ataxia – Elephant Alarm
2. DJ Disk (Invisbl Skratch Piklz) – Hell-Odz
3. SIMM – Him
4. Dr. Isreal – Southside
5. Splice – Sobeit
6. Mad Professor – Tempura Dub
7. Torture – 20/20
8. Electric Soul – Neptunes Dream
9. Spectre – Hed Gamez (neurons take a beating)
10. Ben Wa – Automatic Brain
11. Professor Shehab & Dr. Isreal – Splendor
12. Crux – Normalize
13. Worship – Fax Fungus & Funk
14. Splice – Shaping Technique
15. Blumolius Music – 100%
16. Crux – Hotair
17. Electric Soul – CTM Crash the Mac

Summoned by Bill Laswell

Overseen by The Almighty Unseen Force that makes all things possible.

Recorded sometime in 1996
Exhumed from the vaults of Orange Music, New Jersey
on Tuesday, July 11th 2006, at approximately 2:30 PM