The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I09 - 02281999

Aerial M (under the moniker of Papa M) are hitting the road for a US tour with Sam Prekop, of the Sea and Cake. Tour dates can be found both on the M site and Thrill Jockey site.

Trans Am are also embarking on a US tour with Pan Sonic. Tour dates are available at the Thrill Jockey website too.

Also in the USA this week are Current 93 and Christoph Heemann of HNAS - they're both in New York City from Thursday - Saturday at Tonic. Don't bother ordering tickets now, it's been sold out for weeks.

If your browser supports style sheets, you may have noticed that there's no more underlines on links in various sections of Brainwashed. Pretty spiffy, huh? I know it's not new technology but it looks nicer...


The first release post-name change, this album takes a little getting used to. While the first albums from Panasonic just struck an emotional chord with me, this album had to take a few listens to appreciate. The album has no attack, nothing challenging, but the feel is deep. I kept waiting for that one track which will be as abrasive and pulsing as things on Osasto or Kulma but it isn't happening. Tracks like Pala on this disc are more psychologically stimulating where sound waves are manipulated and vibrate various different places inside my ear for this one. It's rather interesting, but if you're a fan of prior work, be forewarned as it's a slight departure. - Jon Whitney

Thank god the man behind the Pole guise, Stephan Betke, doesn't take his time releasing material like so many talented musicians. "CD1", Pole's debut album after a duo of sought-after 12"s, was released a little more than six months ago, to critical acclaim. And this new Ep lives up to the promises made by "CD1"... and more! Still there are the skittering chirps and pops, the far-reaching echoes, and the subliminal melodies. But the new ingredient "2" features is BASS, and lots of it. There isn't anything resembling a breakbeat, steady rhythm, or repetitive bassline on this Ep, just a single slowly modulating bass throb guiding the way. Deep as the Mariana Trench, it fills your room, sinking into your ear like wet cotton and expanding in your brain. The bass is a constant in every track, allowing the glitches that have become Pole's trademark to boil above and beneath it, and to stretch along it's length in dub echo bliss. While all of the tracks have some sort of tie to reggae and dub (a skanking melody here, a melodica buried in echo there), Pole's reverbed madness seems a lot closer to the stillness and stark-white cold of Antarctica than to the sweaty heat of Kingston, Jamaica. Projects with James Plotkin and Four Tet in the works, and hopes of another album of new material, this looks like it will be The Year Of The Pole. Now this is how good a prolific artist ought to be (Are you listening, Mr. Barlow?)! - Jason Olariu, guest contributor

Silvermandalas, the newest solo effort from the legendary keyboardist for the Legendary Pink Dots, while not what I expected it to be, is a pleasant surprise nonetheless. The cover of the CD, which depicts a photo of trees dismantled and reassembled through the lens of a kaleidescope, is an interesting compliment to the album, a musical melange of styles. Seven pieces (or "mandalas") recorded between 1996 and 1998 comprise Silvermandalas, each one radically different from the other. The first mandala begins with buzzing insect-like sounds along with low, bassy thunderings. About halfway through the track, a snare is added, providing an unexpected rhythmic element to what at first listen might strike a listener as just another ambient drone piece. The third mandala features more of this synthetic insect sound, this time complimented by prettier, mellower, perhaps even melancholy tones; a minimal, somber track that includes other "natural" sounds such as bird twitterings and leaf rustlings. Other mandalas range further in elements from filgrees of keyboard swirls to Eastern-influenced flutes and rhythms to lower, bass-driven oscillations. The biggest surprise (particularly to fans of the Pink Dots) is without a doubt the seventh mandala. Fabulous high-tech beats, nearly dancy, dominate this track which is strongly suggestive of the Pink Dots) is without a doubt the seventh mandala. Fabulous high-tech beats, nearly dancy, dominate this track which is strongly suggestive of IDM bands such as Autechre, and like Silvermandalas itself, is in general entirely too short, leaving the listener longing for more. - Jessica Tibbits


* 808 State - Newbuild CD [reissue of rare first album from 1988] (Rephlex, UK)
808 State - Deepville 12"/CDEP [b-side from the rare early single Let Yourself Go, it will probably contain new mixes] (Rephlex[?],UK)
Coldcut - VJAMM PC software CD-ROM (Ninja Tune, UK/Canada/US)
Dot Allison [ex-One Dove] - Mo Pop CDEP (Heavenly, UK)
Experimental Pop Band - Frozen Head CDEP (Cup of Tea, UK)
Gus Gus - Ladyshave 12"/CDEP (4AD, UK)
Johnson - Say You Love Me 12"/CDEP [mixes by Frankie Knuckles & Attica Blues] (Higher Ground/Sony, UK)
Ko-Wreck Technique - t.b.a. 12"/CDEP (Chocolate Industries, US)
Lassigue Bendthaus - Pop Artificielle CD (KK, Belgium)
Madonna - Nothing Really Matters 12"/two CDEPs [with Kruder And Dorfmeister mix] (Warner, UK)
Model 500 - Mind & Body CD/2xLP (R&S, Belgium)
Monolake - Interstate CD (Monolake/Imbalance, Germany)
Nintendo Teenage Robots [Alec Empire] - We Punk Einheit! CD/LP (DHR, UK)
Jim O'Rourke - Eureka CD (Domino, UK)
Orbital - Style 12"/two CDEPs (ffrr, UK)
The Other Two [1/2 of New Order] - You Can Fly two CDEPs (London, UK)
Public Image Limited - Plastic Box 4xCD box set ["definitive" 63 track collection with album tracks, 12" versions, b-sides and previously unreleased radio sessions] (UK)
Squarepusher - Budakahn Mindphone EP/CDEP (Warp, UK)
Stackoverflow - Transfer Interrupted MP3-LP/CD-R [to be made available at No Type website] (No Type, Canada)
Thread/Coil - Obsidian Monarch/Null Tributary 7" [reworkings by Thread of the Coil tracks "Glowworm/Waveform" and "Dark River", ltd to 1027 copies on clear vinyl] (Brainwashed, US)
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish CD (V2, UK)
While - Lock 2x12"/CD (Chocolate Industries, US)

King Biscuit Time - `Sings' Nelly Foggits Blues in `Me & The Pharoahs' 12"/CDEP (Astralwerks, US)
John McEntire/Various - Reach The Rock CD/LP [soundtrack to the new John Hughes film featuring McEntire's score and new tracks from Tortoise, Polvo, The Sea & Cake and Bundy Brown] (Hefty, US/Europe)
Vidna Obmana/Asmus Tietchens - Motives for Recycling 2xCD (Soleilmoon, US)
Nick Parkin - Island of Dust CD (Soleilmoon, US)
Steve Reich - Reich Remixed CD [mixes by Coldcut, Howie B, Andrea Parker, Tranquility Bass, Mantronik, Ken Ishii, DJ Spooky and more] (Nonesuch/Atlantic, US/Canada)
Squarepusher - Budakahn Mindphone CDEP (Warp/nothing/Caroline, US)
:wumpscut: - Totmacher 2xCDEP (Metropolis, US)

Orbital - Middle of Nowhere CD (Polydor, Japan)

For a more comprehensive release schedule stretching far into the future, please check out the NEW RELEASES brought to you by Greg and Feedback Monitor.


The higher you fly, the farther you have to fall.

This week, Geffen announced layoffs of somewhere around 3,000 employees and a music roster cut of about 250 bands and artists. Nelson Mutnz of The Simpsons can be heard saying "HA HA". Big corporate labels fail the industry, they fail the artist, they fail the consumer. Idustry Music (or Industrial Music) serves a purpose to satisfy those who listen to the radio garbage and buy it. Hardly any band are popular because of merits alone - one hit or one failure can make or break their career. The best staying power has defindately been through the indies of the world who have a discerning taste and put out truly great music.

I was watching a VH1 show about "Where are they now" and saw a blurb on Kip Winger. After a disappointing album sales of 300,000 he was dropped by his label. Shit, 300,000 units moved for an indie is a dream come true.

The big label sinks hoards of money into production, promotion, videos, marketing, advertising, and shitloads of promos. When all is said and done, it's left up to the corporate stockholders and lawyers if their efforts are worth it or not. You have to stop and wonder, do you want lawyers deciding who you should listen to or if you're going to have a career in music?

"We just signed a deal with Polygram!!!" Yippee! Did you realize that you don't make a penny until you have made back all the money they sunk into your promotions and production in sales alone? What? You didn't make it back? You're stuck in this contract, you signed on the dotted line and you're stuck right here and we're in charge.

With that in mind, I am proud to be joining the indie ranks tomorrow with the first release from Brainwashed Recordings and to all the people who thought they were so cool cos they worked for Geffen who got free tickets, promos and rubbed elbows with the 'big shots': I refer you back to Nelson Muntz. - Jon Whitney

Subject: Fridge

A few months back on CloudZero you made mention of the band Fridge. Based on your plug and information from their website, I recently picked up their double cd "Sevens & Twelves" from Riouxs Records. I kinda like their mix of elements from Tortoise, Codeine, and Camberwell Now.
Thanks for the tip.

Stay tuned, Fridge might very well be brainwashed recordings release 003 with any luck...

Subject: Just a quick note... say that I love the addition of this week's releases to The Brain.

Thanks, I thought we'd give it a shot last week and it seems to be a hit!


After you rush out and buy the new Pan Sonic, you're going to want to know what all the titles are. Rather than hassle another person on IRC #finland, check out to translate from Phinnish to English and back to Phinnish!


Once outed by Saturday Night Live a few years back as being a "lousy lay", this actresses most famous role was playing the mom on TV's One Day at A Time in the 70s and 80s. She now makes a career out of performing in various theatres in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. There have been a few instances of made-for-tv movie appearances, but nothing significant enough to drum up any hope for a One Day at a Time reunion special.


Depeche Mode - Ultra
Gyorgy Ligeti - Vocal Works
Franz Schubert - Trio In E Flat
Vidna Obmana - Crossing The Trail
Vidna Obmana - River of Appearance
- John Beck, brainwashed artist, the Star Traveler

  © 1999 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.

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