Forgotten City is the initial track on Alex Hass & Bill Laswell’s Smoke and Glass, and it immediately takes listeners on a journey that refreshes the synth-heavy electronic music of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The fascinating thing about this introductory track has to be the narrative quality to the song’s compositions; listeners will be able to draw as much of a story here as they would with a set of vocals belting out lyrics. Fans of Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze will find something to sink their teeth into here.
Second Thoughts brings in hints of ambient music and a bit of drum and bass sound to the mix,. A twinkling set of synth plays at the top of the track while the duo whip in just the slightest amount of industrial music. Over the track’s run time, there are a number of stylistic shifts that will keep listeners firmly planted on the edges of their seats.
Chasing Chaos allows the pair ample time to set up the track. Over the course of about a minute, there are gradual increases in the overall tempo of the track. Given this longer time frame, the song is able to truly reach an epic sound by its apex.
Smoke + Glass brings fans into a cityscape. Hints of neon and slick urban streets are properly fleshed out here; one could easily imagine this composition as the opening track for some 1990s cyber-punk film. The clarity of the song’s production places it miles beyond music from the era.
Hard To Believe and Truth Be Told conclude Smoke and Glass. This pair of song lay out a darker blend of industrial and new age music. The tracks do well in concluding the album and providing fans with some semblance of where the pair might take listeners in the follow-up to the disc.
Top Tracks: Hard To Believe, Truth Be Told