I just got this, I haven’t listened to all of the cd yet but, from what i have heard, I love it to death. A few reasons are that I tend to always love anything with buckethead involved and bill laswell and brain, but other than that is, i didnt think i’d be into the turntablism on this, but i really love it. It encompasses a lot of other songs that buckethead and brain and bill have done on other albums. When i first heard it in my car, i was thinking to myself, “hey, this is supposed to be live; this doesn’t sound live at all,” then i realized when i heard the crowd that it was live, it was that amazing. It was that they were all so tight with their grooves and music, that it sounded recorded, amazing. Highly recommended, and i only listened to 11 songs out of it!
Among the 90,000 self-avowed hipsters and tripsters who braved the heavy rains at Bonnaroo 2004 in Manchester, Tennessee, the chances are good that only a few of them were truly prepared for the sonic onslaught of Praxis. Although Bonnaroo was billed as their ”American premiere,” the truth is Praxis have played numerous shows in the States going back to the mid-1990s. Their larger festival dates in Europe and Japan have become quasi-legendary, spawning a brisk bootleg market and raising a clamor among underground disciples in search of ”official” live CDs. The latest Innerhythmic release Live in Zurich joins the small crop of live Praxis recordings that have been sanctioned, overseen and produced by Bill Laswell himself. Recorded on June 21, 1996 at the JazzNoJazz Festival in Zurich, this is also one of the group’s earliest gigs, and finds them in topflight form for an enthusiastic audience.
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Praxis is a band whose core is bassist/producer Bill Laswell and guitarist Buckethead– an exploratory project that looks in many directions. “Zurich” captures the band live in Zurich from 1996, with a bonus track from the Knitting Factory in 2000 tacked on the end. The band for this outing consists of Laswell, Buckethead, Brain, Grandmaster DXT, DJ Disk, Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut and live engineer Oz Fritz. Make no mistake, this is an album lodged firmly in turntablism– with an army of scratches, cuts and samples taking center stage over funky grooves and occasional shredding guitar.
Having stated that, the album is interesting– certainly I’m someone who actually appreciateds turntablism and the performances throughout are top-notch– it’s broken up into a handful of suites– each of which has feature sections for Laswell, Buckethead and the turntables. Having stated that, it’s also clear however that this barely begins to scratch at the surface of the energy and excitement this must have generated in person, and in the end, it’s like looking at photos from someone else’s vacation, you can appreciate them and they have their value, but it’s not the same as being there.
Still, I don’t regret having picked up “Zurich”, it’s a fine record, it just seems to be lacking something that would have been there in person.
A unique supergroup that is actually worth listening too. Buckethead, Bill Laswell, Brain, and Mix Master Mike among others creating some of the most avant garde, intense music out there. Recorded live at the Zurich Switzerland, Jazznojazz Festival and at The Knitting Factory in NYC. Highly recommend.
Zurich is the first of many live releases from the super group Praxis, (Keeping in mind that this is a reissue of Transmutation Live, originally released in 1997). Here we have Bill Laswell, Buckethead, and Brain functioning as the foundation of the performances with a vast array of DJ’s doing their thing on top of it. The six DJ’s featured are Grandmixer DXT, DJ Disk, Q-Bert, Mix Master Mike, Shortkut, and Oz Fritz.
For those who didn’t get to hear the scarce first edition of this performance, you will quickly find Zurich much more appealing than the previous live disc Warszawa. Although the performance is still very jam-based, a number of the familiar tunes from Transmutation make an appearance under different titles. Fans will recognize the Praxis/Buckethead favorites like Crash Victim, Jowls, Giant Robot, and Animal Behavior embedded in the intense jams. The mixture of improv as well as familiar tunes make Zurich a more likable listen than Warszawa.
Although a lot of great material is present, I felt that perhaps a little too much time was dedicated simply to DJ scratching. In fact there are probably 4-5 average length tracks dedicated completely to scratching with no other instruments included. If you like that kind of thing you will love this CD, if not there will probably be a few tracks you won’t revisit after the initial listen. Also as this is a genuine live recording with no overdubs, so there are some mistakes, and a lot of feedback sometimes. However when considering how great the recording is as a whole, these are small flaws that can be easily overlooked.
All in all a fantastic listen from Praxis and Company that shows what a great jam/ avantegarde band should sound like. I highly recommend Zurich.
I thought I would be getting an all new live Praxis CD but actually I only got one song. If you dont have transmutation live and you like buckethead or praxis then definatly pick it up. If you have transmutation live only buy this if you want the extra track