Funkcronomicon (1995)

Axiom Funk

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Track Listing:

 Disc 1:
Order Within The Universe {B Worrell, Bill Laswell}  3:17
Under The Influence (Jes Grew) 
	{G Clinton, B Laswell, B Collins, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare}  5:45
If 6 Was 9 {Jimi Hendrix}  6:00
Orbitron Attack {Grace Cook}  12:29
Cosmic Slop {G Clinton, B Worrell}  5:15
Free-Bass (Godzillatron Cush) {B Laswell, B Collins, Dennis Weeden}  5:43
Tell The World {B Collins, Maceo Parker, Sylvester Stewart}  3:53
Pray My Soul {G Cook}  5:08

 Disc 2:
Hideous Mutant Freekz {G Clinton, B Collins, B Worrell, B Laswell}  7:25
Sax Machine {B Collins, M Parker, Bobby Byrd}  7:47
Animal Behavior {B Laswell, B Collins, Buckethead}  7:09
Trumpets And Violins, Violins {J Hendrix}  3:38
Telling Time {Nicky Skopelitis}  4:57
Jungle Free-Bass {B Laswell, B Collins}  5:38
Blackout {DeWayne McKnight}  3:44
Sacred To The Pain {G Cook, Umar Bin Hassan}  4:54


Producer: Bill Laswell

 "Order Within The Universe"
Organ: Bernie Worrell
Turntable: DXT
Bass, Beats, Sound EFX: Bill Laswell

 "Under The Influence"
Vocals: George Clinton, Gary Cooper, Bootsy Collins, Michael Payne,
 Debra Barsha, Zhana Saunders
Guitar: Bootsy Collins
Piano: Herbie Hancock
Bass: Robbie Shakespeare
Drums: Anton Fier
Drum Programming: Sly Dunbar
Congas: Daniel Ponce
Cowbell, Percussion: Aiyb Dieng
Tuba: Edwin Rodriguez
Baritone Horn, Euphonium: Joe Daly
Trumpet, Flugelhorn: Ted Daniel
Bassoon: Janet Grice
Tenor Saxophone, Flute: J.D. Parron
Horns arranged: Henry Threadgill

 "If 6 Was 9"
Lead Vocals, Space Bass: Bootsy Collins
Guitar: Blackbyrd McKnight, Nicky Skopelitis
Backwards Guitar: Robert Musso
Intro Guitar: Buckethead
Violin: Lili Haydn

 "Orbitron Attack"
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Space Bass: Bootsy Collins
Organ: Bernie Worrell
Drums: Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey

 "Cosmic Slop"
Vocals: Garry Shider, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper
Guitar: Garry Shider, Bootsy Collins, Michael Hampton
Organ: Bernie Worrell
Fairlight: Nicky Skopelitis
Bass: Robbie Shakespeare
Drums: Sly Dunbar
Congas: Aiyb Dieng
Material Strings Arranger & Conductor: Karl Berger

Free-Bass: Zillatron (Bootsy Collins)
Stun Guitar: Menace (the Dawg of the C)

 "Tell The World"
Vocals: Maceo Parker, Bobby Byrd, Godmoma
Keyboards, Voice: Sly Stone
Other Music: Bootsy Collins

 "Pray My Soul"
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Organ: Bernie Worrell

 "Hideous Mutant Freekz"
Vocals: George Clinton, Garry Shider, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, Bootsy Collins
Guitar, Space Bass: Bootsy Collins
Guitar Solo: Buckethead
Synth: Bernie Worrell
Drum Loops: Anton Fier

 "Sax Machine"
Vocals: Maceo Parker, Bobby Byrd, Bootsy Collins
Alto Sax: Maceo Parker
Trombone: Fred Wesley
Guitar, Bass: Bootsy Collins
Low Bass: Bill Laswell
Synth: Bernie Worrell
Percussion: Timothy "T-Bone" David

 "Animal Behavior"
Lead Vocals, Space Bass: Bootsy Collins
Organ: Bernie Worrell
Guitar: Buckethead
Turntables: Af Next Man Flip
Drums: Brain
Samples: Bill Laswell

 "Trumpets and Violins"
Voice: Abiodun Oyewole
Guitar: Blackbyrd McKnight, Nicky Skopelitis, Robert Musso
Processing: Robert Musso
Intro Guitar: Buckethead
Violin: Lili Haydn

 "Telling Time"
6 & 12 String Guitars: Nicky Skopelitis
Organ: Amina Claudine Myers
Bass: Bill Laswell
Drums: Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste
Congas: Guilherme Franco

 "Jungle Free-Bass"
Jungle Bass: Bootsy Collins
Dub Bass: Bill Laswell
Vocal Sounds: Torture

Guitar, Bass, Drums: Blackbyrd McKnight

 "Sacred To The Pain"
Guitar: Eddie Hazel
Organ: Bernie Worrell
Voice: Umar Bin Hassan

Rating: RC: ****


RC: This is a compilation of assorted rare, unreleased & previously released P.Funk songs from the Axiom label. The previously released tracks include "Cosmic Slop" (from Material's The Third Power), "Pray My Soul" & "Sacred To The Pain" (from the Axiom Ambient collection), "Sax Machine" & "Tell The World" (from Maceo Parker's For All The King's Men) "Animal Behavior" (from Praxis' Transmutation) and "Telling Time" (from Nicky Skopelitis' Ekstasis). Also, "Hideous Mutant Freaks" was recorded for the film Freaked, but no soundtrack was released for that film. Lastly, I believe "Order Within The Universe" is taken from the first part of a Praxis song called "Seven Laws Of Woo". All in all, this is an excellent, coherent collection of songs that are pretty heavy in the funk department, with a touch of the Laswell ambient/noise effect.

"Order Within The Universe" is an odd intro, touching on hip-hop, noise and good ol' funk from Bernie Worrell. The title refers to the liner notes of Standing On The Verge... from Funkadelic. "Under The Influence" sounds like an outtake from around the Smell My Finger era of George Clinton. It's an excellent song that tackles Clinton's 'Martial Law' concept much more coherently than the song on the SMF album. The horn hooks keep the thang funky, and Clinton's vocals are excellent. The whole thing is pretty mellow, with the 'Funk em just to see the look on their face' chant used extensively. "If 6 Was 9" is a wacked-out cover of the Hendrix tune, featuring Bootsy Collins on vocals. It's very weird and ambient sounding, with subtle Space Bass work. "Orbitron Attack" is a hardcore Eddie Hazel guitar assault that features the hardest riff I've ever heard from Mr. Hazel. Despite the intensity, it's still a groove, and it features a majestic organ intro from Bernie Worrell. The title is another reference to the liner notes of Standing On The Verge.... "Cosmic Slop" is a truly bizarre cover, featuring Garry Shider once again doing vocals and guitar, but made amazingly strange by the use of the Material Strings. This is an extremely successful ambient-funk experiment. "Free-Bass" is a sort of dull Bootsy jam, done much better later on the album. "Tell The World" is reviewed elsewhere, but while it sounds good, it also sounds clearly like an outtake. "Pray My Soul" may be the best thing here, a brilliant duet with Eddie Hazel and Bernie Worrell, summoning the original spirit of Funkadelic. Eddie's long solo ranks up there with "Maggot Brain" and "Good Thoughts, Bad Thoughts". Bernie matches up with him perfectly. "Hideous Mutant Freekz" is a great song that would have been better with acoustic drums. Still, Bootsy's Space Bass is so deep that it matters little. The lyrics and singing are all great here, and it's just a lot of fun to see the Clinton-Collins-Worrell reunion at work. "Sax Machine" is reviewed on the Maceo album, For All The King's Men and "Animal Behavior" is reviewed on the Praxis album, Transmutation, but both work extremely well here, almost better than on the original albums. Whoever did the song sequence on this album is a genius. "Trumpets and Violins" falls a little flat musically, despite the empassioned reading. "Telling Time" is the sole track with no P.Funk connection, and it's mildly interesting though not essential. "Jungle Free-Bass" is a great Bootsy freak-out, along Zillatron lines, but still in a straight groove. The pace is frantic, almost hardcore. "Blackout" is a good one-man showing from Blackbyrd, who concentrates on his guitar soloing but spaces it well. "Sacred To The Pain" is basically the same track as "Pray My Soul", only Umar Bin Hassan does a great poetry reading over it. Overall, this has lots of funk goodies collected in one convenient place. Any Funkateer who doesn't have the source materials already, or is dying to hear some interesting unreleased material, should definitely pick this one up.

The album features a great cover from Pedro Bell, punning on the album's title (Funkcronomicon/Necronomicon, the book mentioned by H.P. Lovecraft as summoning the evil elder gods). A high priestess type is looking to the storm-filled skies, where the old Funkadelic logo has been crossed out with "Axiom Funk". Inside, there's a hilarious cartoon about a female demon devouring assorted members of Axiom.

MT: The album boasts to contain new performances by Sly - when all the sessions with Sly were done more than ten years ago (almost fifteen). This is specifically in reference to the song "Tell The World". See the review for Maceo Parker's For All The King's Men for further details.