In 1986, Laswell joined guitarist Sonny Sharrock, drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson, and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann in the group Last Exit; a second solo LP, Hear No Evil, appeared two years later, and after a long hiatus he also resurrected Material in 1989 with Seven Souls.
Laswell also released a collaboration with Finnish producer Fanu on Ohm Resistance titled Lodge, which includes contributions from Molvaer and Bernie Worrell. Laswell also collaborated with Submerged (who had left Method of Defiance) for a new group called the Blood of Heroes, which also included Dr. The band released a self-titled debut and remix album Remain on Ohm Resistance in 2010.
The notion of a live band created around the Method of Defiance structure was initiated with participation from Laswell, Worrell, Kondo, Licata, and Dr. The group was documented on Nihon from the Rare Noise imprint in 2009. Laswell collaborated with master reggae and Radical Jewish Culture bassist/composer David Gould on a dub version of the latter's 2009 album Feast of the Passover.
Though some artists have chafed against Laswell's distinctive recording and production style (most noticeably some of his for-hire production gigs including Motörhead, Swans and White Zombie) many other collaborations, such as with pianist Herbie Hancock and singer Iggy Pop have been lengthier and recurring.
He has also worked extensively with his wife, Ethiopian singer Gigi.
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Laswell has been a staple of the downtown New York music scene since the late '70s, when he founded Material, a rotating ensemble whose output ranged from angular art-funk to more club-friendly, futuristic electro-pop, with 1982's One Down remaining a career highlight.