The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I34 - 08221999


Here's what our anniversary poll showed: out of 250 people responding only 15 were females, average age of 24, from North America and Europe mainly. Surprisingly enough, the favorite feature seems to be the music reviews - everybody wants more music reviews yet most people will not admit to being influenced by them to listen to or stay away from a band/cd/movie/concert. The least liked thing on here is the Discount Celebrity bin, understandably so, as it's sometimes tried, and frankly we're running out of good, enjoyable discount celebrities in the world...


Did we miss this album when it came out? I think so, but it should not be overlooked... Kieran Hebden, a.k.a. Four Tet is one of the three members of Fridge, Dialogue is the first full lengther. This album definitely provides a little more of a bridge between the last Fridge album for Output (Semaphore) and this year's Eph. Sample-licous, original motives and thoughts, interesting beats - this is quite cerebral music that many four-member bands can't accomplish. Somewhat dissonant yet charming melodies swirl; sax, violin and drum samples are meshed in to give the listener the illusion of Four Tet being a live jazz band in spots. Middle-Eastern rhythms and melodies add color and texture here & there while a little bit of scratching showcases Hebden's DJ'ing talent. Stepping out on a limb, this album can actually be a bit more adventurous than some of the Fridge albums. I'm not saying it's better or worse, just a little less congruent - and for collected recordings from 97-98 it's to be expected! - Jon Whitney

Beware Can fans, there is enjoyable German music out there. Tarwater comes to us this week in the USA from Mute via the German trend they're ecstatic about, but this group was imported through the hands of the most impressive (and somewhat ignored) German label Kitty-Yo (for a sampler, look for the Frieshcwimmer comp due out shortly). Tarwater should not to be passed up. Silur is Tarwater's fourth full-length CD from this duo (which features one member of To Rococo Rot) but it's their first to hit the USA at a domestic price from a domestic distributor. Low cool grooves, cut ups, sound effects, and break beats compose this collection of sung and instrumental pieces, employing a variety of electronic and organic instruments. Enjoyable to listen to on a late August weeknight, sitting on the front porch: it's hot outside but the glass in your hand is cold and refreshing. Sit back and dream of an artsy German duo an ocean away inviting all their friends in to speak and play in their studio, then twiddling with knobs and tapes all night long. Life is good. - Jon Whitney

Unfortunalty once again, I get a similar feeling as I did from Mute's other German import, Schneider TM's "Moist" (last week's issue). While this album is much more dense, I have a sad feeling that this disc doesn't really go anywhere or do anything. While they incorporate the live drums + drum machine + other various rock instruments, they almost sound like if Fridge recorded an album without any great ideas for tunes. The songs don't stray far from where they start. They do play well together, however, and the production is very very nice, the sound is great, but they just can't write songs well... Yet. There's something here telling me regardless that this is a band to keep an eye out for in the future. - Jon Whitney


Blackalicious - Nia CD/LP (Mo'Wax, UK)
Chris & Cosey - Union CD (World Serpent, UK)
* Gescom - Keynell 12" [reissue ltd to 2000 copies] (Skam, UK)
Gus Gus - V.I.P. 12"/two CDEPs (4AD, UK)
Kreisel [Mike Ink and friends]- Kreisel 99/34 7" [ltd edition] (Kreisel, Germany)
Tor Lundvall - Ice CD (World Serpent, UK)
Nonplace Urban Field - Plays Love Songs CD/2xLP (Kiff SM, Germany)
* Gary Numan - Metal Rhythm CD, Outland CD and Skin Mechanic CD [reissues, some with bonus tracks] (EMI, UK)
* Ordo Equitum Solis - Solistitii Temporis Sensus CD [reissue] (World Serpent, UK)
Rinocerose - Le Mobilier 12"/CDEP (V2, UK)
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Heavy 7"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Westbam - Beat Box Rocker 7"/12"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Air - Premiers Symptomes CD [reissue of early singles collection with additional remixes, live tracks, etc.] (Astralwerks, US)
* Craig Armstrong - Plunkett and Macleane (soundtrack) CD (Virgin/EMI, Canada)
Nigel Ayers & Randy Greif - Nail of Pious Bride CD (Soleilmoon, US)
5ive Style - Miniature Portraits CD (Sub Pop, US)
Randy Greif & Robin Storey - Build a Poison Fire CD (Soleilmoon, US)
* Innerzone Orchestra [Carl Craig] - Programmed CD (Planet E/Astralwerks, US/Canada)
Hrvatski - Oiseaux 96-98 CD (Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge, US)
Raymond Roker/Various - Altered States of Drum & Bass 1 CD (Om, US)
* Shinjuku Thief - The Witch Hammer CD [reissue] (Dorobo/Projekt, US)
Snog - Third Mall from the Sun CD (Metropolis, US)
Sparks - 12" Collection CD (Oglio, US)
Robin Storey & Nigel Ayers - Perfidious Albion CD (Soleilmoon, US)
Tarwater - Silur CD (Mute, US)
Westbam - Beat Box Rocker 12"/CDEP (Mute, US)
Various - Brasil 2mil: The Soul of Bass-O-Nova CD (Six Degrees, US)
The Orb - Cydonia CD [with Japan-only bonus track] (Polygram, 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.


Tuesday was one of the worst and best days in months. While I was sitting in a meeting, being told that my department was being dismantled and come September 1st they don't have a position for me any more, I was being paged from the radio station I DJ at every now and again -- Colin Newman and Malka Spigel were coming in for an interview and they wanted me to do it! Probably made the whole getting laid off experience actually good, meeting a childhood idol of mine, interviewing and subsequently driving around and arranging a hotel room for (when the gig didn't come through on their contract!) Anyhow, to the show... I'm very pleased Colin is actually singing again. His last album, Bastard was completely instrumental and somewhat boring, rather snoozy. This time around, this husband and wife team (billed as Swim, their record company) stood and played nice guitar drones and riffs, sang, while jagged beefy pre-recorded electronic percussion and lush, swirly and pretty keyboards and basses filled the rest. It was very nice, almost Bowery Electric ish but very Colin Newman. I can't help but be reminded about how nice the songs were when they touched my ears for the first time back in the 80s and also think about how devastated I was when I drove 2 hours to see them in 1989 (opening for another band) only to find out they had cancelled off the tour (rightfully so) and I was stuck with a ticket,... for Erasure. I'm now excited and reminded again how awesome Wire were and given hope that there still is a lot of good stuff left in Colin Newman. I was never into Minimal Compact (Malka's group) so I wouldn't know how it would relate to their stuff. Sadly enough, this was only a four date tour. I'm honored to have been priviliged enough to experience it and have a great night and make some great contacts with people I've admired for years. For all those out there who haven't heard Wire - I created a sound archive a while ago to sort of parallel the existing websites out there which were audio-less at the time. (What good is talking about music, right?) Check out The Wire Sound Archive and maybe perhaps you'll see it too. - Jon Whitney

Here's some responses to the field of "suggestions" from our poll:
  • e-mail reminders when the new issue is published
    They're published every Sunday
  • Brain MP3 of the week
    Touchy subject right now of MP3 songs...
  • can you do some japanese music? i mean those from PSF.
    Can who do what? Reviews? Performing?
  • change the ugly-ass popcorn background
    I like it, damnit!
  • continue doing what you're doing. brainwashed is my favorite site...
    Awww, shucks, you're just saying that...
  • could you put some information about golden on the transam page?
    Love to find out some more information - seen them twice live but they remain a mystery.
  • create a trading page where respectful people can buy/sell/trade music, etc.
    Great idea, perhaps very shortly
  • don't copy the wire's reviews john
    Have we?
  • Don't ever get banners or "some words from our sponsor" crap
    Don't want them.
  • Don't listen to anyone's suggestions.
    Especially yours
  • Eat more broccoli.
    Good source of nutrients
  • get info on various local music scenes/ connect with readers areas, recruit guest movie/music reviews
    That might be a bit too much work right now, it's hard enough getting anybody to submit information.
  • Give information, whenever possible, as to where a movie can be purchased or seen. I am referring specifically in this case to the 2 movies recently featured with John Balance, Edward Ka-Spel, NWW, etc.
    These movies don't exist
  • guest reviews or public opinion on the albums and singles you review here. it'd be nice to see more than just one person's opinion on one piece of music.
    Please submit reviews, I can't ask for that enough times. Seriously - Jon Whitney would rather play "editor" than "writer".
  • how about "the outed celebrity of the week"?
  • i dig your site. no changes far. i appreciate all of your hard work to keep this running weekly!
  • i like it.. the only thing i can think is to make it longer (more of everything). =)
    Then it gets harder to do weekly and constant. So many sites like this out there update once a month if you're lucky.
  • I like marmilade!
    Try vegemite
  • I like this site a lot! Good work. I'm from Mass so I enjoy the wit and sarcasm! My only sugestion would be a broader range of music reviewed, like what do you think about the latest Flaming Lips cd. But the music you do review is very neet
    Didn't someone review the Flaming Lips recently?
  • I search around the net for well written reviews and always end up here. Keep up the good work and the commitment to offhand humor.
  • I think this is an exceptional site . My only suggestion would be more exposser of unsigned artists , though I realize how tedious that could be,endless flow of bad tapes.
    Aye, it would be, too much, too much.
  • I would like more focus on the cultural/political end of Brainwashed (now a genre) music. Otherwise, I am _so_ into the site. Thanks!
    brainwashed music?
  • I would like to see more and more extensive reviews. Oh, and less pretentious garbage on the part of contributors, etc. Thanks.
    Submit reviews!!!
  • i would like to see more slagging
  • I'd like Jon Whitney to visit me sometime, like in a publisher's clearing house contest. Except I'd like to see him wrapped only in a big red bow.
    Name your price!
  • in music reviews, provide more info on where one can find the cd's for purchase. sometimes it's done (or isn't very necessary) and sometimes the reviews sound great but i don't know who to buy it from, living in an area where I have to mail order nearly everything
    Check the STORES section for everything that's not specified. Usually we'll specify something if it's a specialty item that few would carry
  • i wanna be asked for a playlist
    Consider yourself asked
  • less bread more olives and a packet of crisps please
    Salt and vinegar flavor okay?
  • maybe some more music and movie it be old or new. i love em ta hell
    Sure, yes!! The less people do here, the more I have to do myself, I can't stress how much we could use reviews - good or bad.
  • mmm, more polls
    I want to see what everybody's faves are of the decade but I fear people would forget things around 92 or 94 as they were shitty years...
  • More CD or Band reviews. And link up with other country's record labels like EFA and SPV.
    Nobody from overseas labels seem to want to send stuff to a webzine. The imports you see here we buy.
  • more concert reviews
    Review some concerts
  • more fish stick lima bean casserole, please?
    with or without celery?
  • More pudding, less jello
    Why is every indie film about gay cowboys eating pudding?
  • more reviews of local acts like cathode. I bought their cd and 7" on Jon Whitney's recommendation and loved it. It would be nice if you would mention any good shows in the Boston area so people would know when to head up there.
    Love to see more local people saying good things about their local scene and not just giving props to their buddies.
  • Please continue to review albums that are not necessarily new. There is so much music out there that it's easy to miss something the first time around. How about soliciting reviews from the site users?
    Consider this a solicitation...
  • more sausages please
    Sausages are like laws, you just don't want to know what really goes into them...
  • more skin on tv
    wrong suggestion box
  • More stupid's like, funny and stuff...
    ...and we don't even solicit stupid email!
  • mp3 samples of the music reviews.
    Excellent idea I completely want to pursue but am without a machine right now that can do that.
  • nice write-up in the wire, folks! the only suggestion id have is to make the brain bigger, more, more, more. i know you guys have day jobs and all, so im not expecting it, but more info each week would be read and appreciated. keep brainwashed recordings alive
  • please continue to strengthen my belief in music.
    Please continue to live the dream...
  • Send money.
    Greedy fucker
  • Sometimes i sense a pretentious attitude in response to some letters (sometimes rude), although it is fun, you may be losing some readers. that's all. great zine, it's the only one i need.
    Hey, some times people need a little mental push, I can't be half as rude in person, it's not in my nature, just here to enjoy myself.
  • Sort it out please jon. love sam.
    Okay, it's sorted, now the loving can begin...
  • Stop sounding so boisterously outspoken about trivial things.
    Boing! Don't you get it? There's really no meaning here... Who else will keep the memories alive of things that time will forget? Go out and rent some Linda Blair films - start with Roller Boogie.
  • Support your Underground! And stop using the word PIG in industrial music in any context.
    You don't think KMFDM are a bunch of pork farmers?
  • Things look great. Been reading it for a long time now. Um... I gotta get back to work!
    YAY We do inherently want to be responsable for productivity drops in the work force!
  • This is a fun site, Thank you.
    tHANK yOU
  • Well - Jon Whitney could provide more XXX pictures of himself here.
  • well in all its good that this "brain" thing is on here. i just don't care much for the bias reviews, "i liked this because," "i thought this album sucked because," and such.
    What do you want reviewers to say? Although we love The Wire, there's nothing separating their reviews from Spin's reviews where they don't tell you what they actually THINK of the music! We're not English majors, we're not professional critics, we're just sharing what we think about a few tunes here and there.
  • Went to find thee beautiful V/VM crew type thing... thought I'd try www.brainwashed first...
    Look for new music in the fall.
  • When making a white russian, skip out on the ice. The vodka should be cold from the freezer, and it's just going to water down your drink anyway
    Noted, thanks
  • when you review an esoteric movie, such as..the one featuring george clinton, ed kaspell, and john balance (if that's even for real) it would be nice to give the instructions on how to obtain it. -chad-
    Send a card to Santa Claus, North Pole.
  • You have good taste in music but are smart asses.
    Better than being dumb asses.
  • You invaluable bastards you! Keep it up!
    All night long baby, oh yeah.
  • you're great and i wouldnt change anything! (you could do with some more publicity though).
    Who needs it?
  • You've got a piece of broccoli in-between your front teeth. I suggest you remove it.
    Thanks got it...


Bill Hicks "Rant in E Minor"            vs.  Mike Watt "Ball Hog or Tug Boat"
Sparklehorse "Good Morning Spider"      vs.  Wilco "Summer Teeth"
Guided By Voices "Do the Collapse"      vs.  PJ Harvey "Is This Desire?"
G/Z/A "Liquid Swords"                   vs.  Girls Against Boys  "Freak*on*ica"
James Hall  "My Love, Sex, and Spirit"  vs.  Jeff Buckley  "Grace"
- Jeff, who leaves us wondering who's Chate or who doesn't take a bath...

  © 1999 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.

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