Review: Buckethead

“Bermuda Triangle”
(Catalyst / City Hall)

For “Bermuda Triangle” underground guitar hero Buckethead (Praxis, El Stew, Deli Creeps) teams with multi-instrumentalist/producer Extrakd (El Stew, Gonervill). Without venturing too far into hip-hop these sonic collages feature Buckethead’s heavy guitar experimentation over heavy beats and creepy sound bites. Drummer Brain (Praxis) shows on one track, but the rest of the beats are programmed. The entire record was made on a portable digital eight track, made between trips to L.A. and the Bay Area, making it sort of a testament to what is possible on that device, especially for those with a trip-hop leaning and hoping to do more.

Still, the rhythms aside, this is not beat music but heavy, electrical instrumental guitar without the shred. I find this album really grows after each listen and may be one of his most effective, if not cohesive albums. (Episodes like the plaintive 70s style guitar showboating in “Seas of Expanding Shapes” breaks the flow.) Not for fans of Colma, necessarily, but definitely for fans of Buckethead’s work with DJ Qbert and in El Stew.