"Even though Bill Laswell was already immersed in numerous projects since the end of the '70s, including leading his loose ensemble Material, he didn't release a solo record until 1984, and Baselines was quite a strange album. On the one hand, there's "Upright Man," one of the most infectious grooves Laswell has ever conceived, boasting ace bass playing and a weird taped sermon as sort-of lead vocals. Then there's "Work Song," which is funky and catchy and features Phillip Wilson's somewhat off-beat drumming (pun intended). The other tracks are more experimental and weird (...) drawing on Ronald Shannon Jackson's irate drumming, Michael Beinhorn's acid-drenched synths and snippets of tapes and shortwave, the stuttering horns of George Lewis and Ralph Carney, the undescribable contributions of Fred Frith, and the vocalisms and percussion (rhythmic and non-rhythmic) David Moss provides. If the somewhat comparable work by Material left you craving more, you will certainly want to give this album a try".
"Judging from the amount of crap Laswell has been releasing in the past years, it may be hard to believe that he was once a talented artist and the force behind Material's experiments with sadistic funk. In this recording, Michael Beinhorn, George Lewis, Fred Frith and others join hands with Laswell's nervous bass to present us with a sci-fi week-end adventure ranging from frantic acid-funk to an almost free kind of synth-jazz. A must for lovers of music that just doesn't fit anywhere"
Bill Laswell: all sorts of basses
Michael Beinhorn: prophet 5 synthesizer, shortwave tapes
Ronald S. Jackson: drums
George Lewis: trombone
Ralph Carney: bass saxophone, contrabass clarinet
Fred Frith: guitar, violin, steinberger string console
Daniel Ponce: congas
Martin Bisi: drums, percussion, synare, metals
David Moss: voice, non-metric percussion, steel-drum
Philip Wilson: drums