Praxis is the name of an ever-changing Bill Laswell musical project. Praxis combines elements of different musical genres such as funk, jazz, hip-hop and heavy metal into highly improvised music. Bill Laswell, Buckethead, Bryan Mantia and Bernie Worrell have defined the direction of the band over the last 15 years.
Band history Edit
Formed in 1992 by Laswell with Bryan Mantia and Buckethead, the critically acclaimed album Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) also featured P-Funk members Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins. The album combined metal, funk and jazz, some corner marks the future Praxis projects would be evolved from. Sacrifist followed in 1994, bringing Worrell and Collins back to the studio plus new collaborators John Zorn on saxophone, Japanese vocalist Yamatsuka Eye and former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris. The rather experimental melange of jazz and death metal was echoed by controversial reviews. The band's reaction called Metatron in the same year, with the line up cut down to the founding trio had less elements of funk and jazz, but brought some new influences from electronic music. The trio toured a lot in this time which resulted in the release of some live albums over the years such as Live In Poland, Warszawa and Zurich. At some concerts they were supported by underground hip-hop musicians like DJ Disk.
Without Buckethead or Brain and mainly as a solo project Laswell worked on 1984 and Mold in 1997-98. Guitarist Pat Thrall and multi-instrumentalist Peter Wetherbee made guest appearances. Afterwards little was heard about the project for several years, except the releases of the above mentioned live recordings and a compilation called Collection. Brain was playing for Primus at this time before following Buckethead to Guns N' Roses. Laswell concentrated more on remixing, documented in releases like Bob Marley – Dreams of Freedom (Ambient Translations of Bob Marley in Dub) and Panthalassa (the music of miles davis 1969 - 1974).
Starting around 2000 the reactivated band consisting of only Laswell and Buckethead played some concerts in Japan and America with different guests. The Tennessee concert of 2004 with Bernie Worrell on keyboards was released as a CD in 2007.
New Year's Day 2008 saw the founding trio releasing the studio album Profanation (Preparation for a Coming Darkness) in Japan. Their most commercial approach so far featured guest vocalists Iggy Pop, Serj Tankian, Mike Patton, Rammellzee, Wu-Tang Clan member Killah Priest and old Buckethead friend Maximum Bob.
Musical styles Edit
Between the influence of Laswell and Buckethead, Praxis's musical experimentation in both studio, street and live settings have combined elements of mid-70’s Funkadelic & Miles Davis, hip-hop’s more avant-guarde leanings, and Last Exit's ferocious yet organic jazz/metal aesthetic. Many of these experiments defined (and in some sense, invented) diverse, eclectic, and freeform genres including avant-garde, heavy metal, funk and jazz-fusion.
The following musicians have contributed to the various Praxis experiments:
- Bill Laswell on bass
- Buckethead on guitars
- Brain on drums
- Bootsy Collins on bass and vocals
- Bernie Worrell on keyboards
- John Zorn on saxophone
- Mick Harris on drums
- Pat Thrall on guitars
- Peter Wetherbee on drums, guitars, vocals, synthesis, loops, beats, and noise
- Serj Tankian on vocals
- Iggy Pop on vocals
- Maximum Bob on vocals
- Mike Patton on vocals
- Les Claypool on bass, whamola, and vocals
- DJ Disk on turntables
- Af Next Man Flip on turntables
- Invisibl Skratch Piklz on turntables
- DXT on turntables
- Cindy Blackman on drums
- Yamatsuka Eye on vocals
- Toshinori Kondo on trumpet
- Hakim Bey on vocals, and inspiration
- Lili Haydn on violin
- Alex Haas]] on treatments, keyboards, and process
- David Castellan on loops, textures, and compost
- Julian Joyce as "DarkStep Junglist"
- Anne Pollack on flutes
- Charlotta Jansen on vocals
Studio Albums Edit
- 1992: Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis)
- 1994: Sacrifist
- 1994: Metatron
- 1998: Mold
- 2008: Profanation (Preparation for a Coming Darkness)