Praxis — Collection
(Douglas Music ADC19, 1998, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1999-11-01If a guitarist who calls himself Buckethead, wearing a white mask with a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on his head and claims he was raised by chickens doesn't frighten the crap out of you, then maybe this handy little collection will. The other two-thirds of this trio are the very well-known bassist Bill Laswell and the lesser-known drummer Brain. Eight of the ten tunes compiled here are pulled from the band’s second and third albums Sacrifist and Metatron. There must have been a good reason (perhaps legal) that nothing from the groundbreaking debut Transmutation is included, although the liner notes don't give any clue. It would have been nice to have some history or other info given with this CD. Most of the tunes are dominated by Buckethead's wild, self-indulgent, screaming-mad, million-notes-a-minute guitars over rudimentary machine-gun riffing. Sometimes it gets fairly mindless, as on the half-step ping-pong riff of "Skull Crack," but perhaps anything else would ruin the sharp contrast. A few guests appear here and there, but their contributions are fairly insignificant, especially the squawking sax of John Zorn. Two tracks really standout, however, and both of them are essentially all Buckethead. "Maggot Dream" is a somber acoustic-driven mood piece with a melodic solo that really shows off Buckethead's formal guitar training under Paul Gilbert. The other is a lengthy piece called "Dark Hood" which includes a massive amount of signal processing and seemingly computer generated tones in a dark ambient style not too far removed from Djam Karet's Suspension and Displacement. Overall, Praxis has got to be one of the best examples of "you either love it or hate it." As a collection, this release is too incomplete to warrant a high recommendation, but the two tracks mentioned above make it worth hearing.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more