1/ Blast/War Machine Dub (Laswell,Buckethead,Collins) 3.51 2/ Interface/Stimulation Loop (BH/BH,BC,BW,Brain,Laswell) 2.17 3/ Crash Victim/Black Science Navigator (Buckethead,BC,Brain/Hall) 3.42 4/ Animal Behavior (Laswell,Buckethead,Collins) 7.09 5/ Dead Man Walking (Praxis,Laswell) 5.14 6/ Seven Laws Of Woo (Worrell,Collins,Buckethead) 5.05 7/ The Interworld And The New Innocence (Buckethead,BW,Collins,Brain) 6.29 8/ Giant Robot/Machines In The (Praxis,Laswell) 6.38 Modern City/Godzilla 9/ After Shock (Chaos Never Died) (Worrell,Brain,Collins) 16.20 Recorded at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York Mixed at the Hit Factory, NYC Engineering: Oz Fritz for High Velocity Overdubs: Robert Musso Assistant at Greenpoint: Imad Mansour Assistant at Hit Factory: Paul Berry Conceived and constructed by Bill Laswell Coordination for Material, Inc.: Tracy McKnight Monkey Business: Tony Meilandt/AGM Axiom: Peter Wetherbee Mastered at Masterdisk by Howie WeinbergBuckethead: guitar, toys; Bootsy Collins: space bass, vocals; Bernie Worrell: synthesizer, clavinet, vital organ; Af Next Man Flip (Lord of The Paradox): turntable, mixer; Brain : drums; Bill Laswell: samples, sounds.
1992 - Axiom/Island (USA), 314-512 338-2 (CD) 1992 - Axiom/Island (Germany), 74321 10715 2 (CD) 1992 - Nippon Phonogram (Japan), PHCR-724 (CD) 2016 - Bill Laswell Bandcamp (digital)
Apart from an early experimental 12" which has little to do with the later records, this was the first release of producer Bill Laswell's Praxis project, which he conceived & constructed around mystery guitar virtuoso Buckethead. Beautifully packaged (fascinating artwork by James Koehnline, freaky photography by Thi-Linh Le and rebellious liner notes by Hakim Bey), this disc presented a band of top musicians at their most creative: apart from Buckethead, there are P-Funkers Bootsy Collins (bass) and Bernie Worrell (keyboards), plus drummer Brain (aka Brian Mantia) and turntable wizard Af Next Man Flip (aka Afrika Baby Bam from the Jungle Brothers). From the searing heavy metal riffs which open the disc to the spaced-out noise collage which ends it, the band covers lots of territory: metal, rock, funk, hip-hop, jazz, noise intermezzos, back and forth, crossbred and interlocked. The first two tracks, "Blast/War Machine Dub" and "Interface/ Stimulation Loop," change from heavy metal to funk effortlessly. The third, "Crash Victim/Black Science Navigator," turns from a breakneck-paced metal riff into a hip-hop scratching orgy without a second thought. "Animal Behavior" is certainly the most accessible track on the disc, relentlessly funky and featuring funny vocals by Bootsy. The second part of the track is a haunting ballad which points to Buckethead's later accomplishments on his solo release Colma. "Dead Man Walking," "Seven Laws of Woo," and "The Interworld and the New Innocence" are showcases for Buckethead's dangerous guitar shredding, alternating between majestic and breathless. "Giant Robot/Machines in the Modern City/Godzilla" prepares for the big showdown, with lots of mean guitar riffs standing against weird sounds and effects. The last track, "After Shock (Chaos Never Died)," then delivers an unusual outro by letting the rockish intro quickly dissolve into a strange sonic collage, featuring Worrell's Hammond organ improvisation augmented by heavily treated noises and sounds, scratches and tape manipulations. In fact, the last track (which runs well over 15 minutes) may be the only thing which will put most listeners off, but in fact this track is the icing on the cake -- like the liner notes read, "Chaos Is Not Entropy...Chaos Is Continual Creation."
Chris Genzel (courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Get Music website)
A spectacular sonic collage "conceived and constructed" by Bill Laswell: funk, hip-hop and metal thrown together without any attempt to blur them or make them cross-compatible. It works because of brilliant compositions andinstrumental performances from Buckethead, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia and DJ AF Next Man Flip. Most of the tracks shift course midstream - "Interface/Stimulation" opens with a metal riff and changes into the most fascinating shifting, syncopated funk tune I've ever heard, the hard rock of "Crash Victim" cuts abruptly to loops and turntables - while a few stick to one theme (Bootsy's cartoon funk "Animal Behavior," the disc's only vocal tune). All the musicians show taste, verve and willingness to push themselves, but Bootsy and Buckethead in particular seem to revel in the remarkable freedom they are accorded: I don't know if Bootsy's bass playing has ever been more sensitive than in the second half of "The Interworld And The New Innocence." Not a total masterpiece thanks to Bernie's blah funk number "Seven Laws Of Woo" and endless organ exploration "After Shock (Chaos Never Died)," but it's a fascinating look at what music might sound like ifcreativity rather than marketability was the industry's driving force.
4 stars out of 5
David Bertrand Wilson (courtesy of the Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews website)
This is a truly unique funk project that takes a trip through the lands of Ambient, Noise, Thrash, and Soul, among others. But it's riding on the good ship Funk the whole way, providing a bass-is of sanity inbetween sonicassaults. Bootsy and Bernie get down into some nasty, dirty, smelly funk here, producing sounds so low and rumbly they could give you CPR. Throw into the mix the psychotic yet delicate guitar phrasings of Buckethead and the solid-to-frenzied drumming of Brain, and it's quite a stew. Cool turntable scratchings add to the fun. I could have done without some of the noise thrown in at random, but it's part of the Praxis package, I suppose. Needless to say, this album isn't for everybody. But I truly appreciate the concepts and execution, even if I don't personally dig all the music that's happening here. The liner notes talk all about chaos as a positive force, as a subversive force, a liberating force, and that the album is the first in a line of subversive works. But they also note that chaos is not entropy, and although the album is certainly chaotic, it has its own shape and energy that is undeniable. Despite the crashbamboom nature of the album, with Bernie and Bootsy around, there is a distinct element of taste that keeps you listening. I would recommend Praxis to fans of Bootsy and Bernie who can appreciate their work outside a P.Funk context. They still get down, just differently. Fans of this album shouldalso immediately get the Zillatron album, Lord Of The Harvest.
"Blast" comes out with a psychotic thrash intro from Buckethead that's matched perfectly by Bernie's organ thumping. Bootsy then slows it down with a superfunky bass-led section that just gets low and mean. "Interface" starts out with more rock blasts and psycho drumming, then turns into a hot duet between Bootsy's slap technique and Bernie's funky organ playing. "Crash Victim" continues the album at a breakneck pace, continuing on the speed metal tip, this time with some cool sampling and scratching. "Animal Behavior" is the most obviously accessible song here, with Bootsy's mellow and clever vocals, hot bass playing, cool samples and a remarkable organ solo from Bernie. "Dead Man Walking" is a remarkably delicate guitar piece from Buckethead, reminiscient in feel to "Maggot Brain". It evolves into some ultra-stinky Bernie grooves, with the bass and drums locked in on that bit of funk. "Seven Laws Of Woo" starts with a majestic intro from Bernie that then turns into a Buckethead showcase. "Interworld" starts off with some slow and delicate guitarwork, with weird echo effects matched well by the bouncing bass. It's another suprisingly majestic piece. "Giant Robot" veers off into some very weird territory, with all sorts of strange effects from Buckethead. "After Shock" is a long, looping Bernie showcase that weaves in his organ playing around all sorts of weird sounds.
3 1/2 stars out of 5
Rob Clough (courtesy of the Motherpage website)