Science Faxtion: Living on Another Frequency

Bootsy Collins, Buckethead, and Brain join forces with producer multi-instrumentalist Greg Hampton to release the man/robot Orwellian-themed, musically eclectic Living on Another Frequency. As bizarre as the combination sounds, it really isn’t unique. Brain and Buckethead worked together on The Big Eyeball in the Sky, joining Bernie Worrell (who guests on this record), and Les Claypool in the one-off Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains. Buckethead has worked with Collins before in Praxis. The X factor, and ultimately the weakness of the record, are the whiskey-soaked, cigarette-stained and underwhelming vocals of Greg Hampton who provides the lead voice on the majority of the record. It’s a shame because musically, it is as sophisticated as it is bizarre. It has much more structure than a Praxis project, but still roams all around a futuristic funk rock sound to tantalize the listener. The best tracks are the trippy instrumental based tracks which have weird vocal samples (and no Hampton singing like “Sci-Fax Theme” and “Famous”) or “Life-IS IN-Deliver,” featuring a spacey, Hendrix-influenced vocal by Collins, or a guest spot by the distinct Chuck D on “What It Is.” It’s adventurous and interesting, especially on paper, but much like the 2008 Chicago Cubs, being good on paper doesn’t guarantee success. (Mascot Records)

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