1/  Initiation                                 (DISK,Mixmaster Mike)         21.05
  2/  Flux And Reflux                            (DISK,MM Mike,Brain,Laswell)  6.00
  3/  Saturn                                     (Buckethead)                  5.29
  4/  Destroyer                                  (Buckethead,Brain,Laswell)    6.54
  5/  Fifth Element                              (Buckethead,Brain)            5.09

          Recorded live at Sala Kongresowa, Warsaw, Poland, June 29, 1996
          Engineer: Oz Fritz
          Compiled and edited at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineering: Robert Musso
          Axiom: Bill Murphy
          Innerhythmic: Steven Saporta
          Innerhythmic Coordination: Joseph Yoon
          Invasion: Peter Casperson
          Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC
Buckethead: guitar; Bill Laswell: bass; Brain: drums; DXT: keyboard, scratches; Mixmaster Mike: scratches; phonosycographDISK: scratches.

          2001 - Innerhythmic (USA), IN003 (CD)


Bassist/producer Bill Laswell has established a reputation as a genre-bending fusionist whose groups (Material, Last Exit, Painkiller, etc.) change lineups and stylistic approaches more frequently than marathon runners change socks. So despite the fact that it features three of the group's core members -- Laswell, guitarist Buckethead, and drummer Brain -- it should come as little surprise that this live album (recorded in Warsaw, Poland) bears little resemblance to the Praxis albums that came before it. Gone are the freak-funk jams of 1992's Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) and the noise-laden aural assaults of 1994's Sacrifist. And gone are collaborators like Bootsy Collins, John Zorn, and the Boredoms' Yamatsuka Eye. Instead, this is a more hip-hop-oriented album featuring the nimble skills of turntablists MixMaster Mike and phonosycographDISK, whose furious cutting and scratching may actually prove to be the hip-hop equivalent of heavy metal. The album opens with "Initiation," a 20-minute turntable epic that mixes everything from Snoop's "Murder Was the Case" to kung-fu-flick samples together to create a vibrant cut-and-paste manifesto. "Flux and Reflux" brings the bass and drums into the mix, with Brain and Laswell taking up the turntablist's fast and furious beat, then devolving into an ambient funk throw-down. From that point on, though, it's Buckethead's show: "Saturn" is the type of hauntingly beautiful ballad he's made his stock-in-trade, while "Destroyer" is a psychedelic voyage into outer space that casts his guitar as an alien being capable of howling, screaming, or simply gouging your brain out. It's all intriguing stuff, though only recommended for the musically adventurous.

Bret Love (courtesy of the All Music Guide by way of the Get Music website)


Recorded in the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days in 1996, this lineup of Praxis is a cross between their "Transmutation" period and "Metatron" phase: that is, a powertrio with DJs/turntablist tagged along. Brain, Buckethead and Laswell formed the live instrument section while DXT, Mixmaster Mike and phonopsycographDISK spinned and scratched away on their decks. It was previously released as a bonus CD-R of the Laswell issue of Polish magazine "Jazz-A-Go-Go", however, this time round we see proper track-indexed, reengineered and repackaged as "Warszawa".

The music, when said and done, is simply a 50-minutes of energy rush: from the opening scratch routines by MMM and Disk (a total of 20 something minutes) to the final "Giant Robot Theme/Disney Medley" that closed the set, Praxis managed to maintain the composure, yet, emitting an abundance amount of energy to stake up its musical claim. It has a bit of everything: Buckethead was in his top form when his licks were still dope fresh, Laswell contented to freaked out on his bass with only a few notes and a glissandos. Brain keeps his groove raw and ready to slip into any song the band was ready to segue into. DISK was the gunslinger type turntablist that was ever was and MMM was able to keeping it real from his "I'm-the-fourth-Beastie-Boys" egotrip.

It should be mentioned that while there was an improvisational tangent on Praxis's music, it was not at all improvised. Listen to the out of print "Transmutation Live" and many other bootleg live performance will see to the fact that these loosely-stringed musical ideas were refined over years of Praxis playing live. Given that, it might be of the band's credit to create a collection of musical ideas that encompasses metal, funk, hip-hop and free improvisation. However, it wasn't so much as a collage as many fans of Buckethead and Praxis alike would start playing the "spot-the-riff" game, which defeats the music from its original purpose (if there exists any in the first place). Perhaps it was fresh back in the mid 90s when Limp Bizkit was just an struggling unsigned band and Korn was this new hair-metal band dressed in hip-hop clothes and without hair, and nobody ever realize the possibility to fuse metal with hip-hop. However, when an average joe would know the name Fred Durst, it is of little wonder that Praxis are making a mockery out of themselves on "Warszawa", at least to the uninitiated.

courtesy of The Music Forum website