The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V03I23 - 07022000


Coil have announced that they will no longer be accepting money for orders of Musick To Play in the Dark, Volume 2. Before you get your panties in a bind, Coil have agreed to fulfil all orders received so far, so do not worry, your money isn't lost if you already sent it. From now on, however, World Serpent will be filling orders.

Diamanda Galas will be performing for three weeks in a row at Joe's Public Theater in NYC. Dates are July 8th, 15th and 22nd (all Saturdays) and more information and tickets can be obtained at

There will be a dual record release party at the Peacock Lounge on Haight in San Francisco on Friday (July 7th). Live appearances will be from Kid 606, Blectum from Blechdom, Hotfuckingjets, and Disc (157 / M@+M05 / +!g3480Y) = [LSR / MATMOS / TIGERBOY], with DJ ANEURYSM and MC Kit Clayton. The new releases honored this night are Blectum from Blechdom-"the messy jesse fiesta" full length cd on deluxe recordings, kid606-"down with the scene" full length cd on ipecac recordings, and Disc-"transfer" 12"/2x12" on deluxe recordings. Copies of these *HOT* new releases and other objects will be available at the show. There will also be a door raffle and other contests to win copies of the new releases and other special prizes.... for info.

Surprise! No, really can Kid honestly be in all places at once??? Well, on Sunday night, July 9th, Kid will be at the Knitting Factory in NYC along with CEX, one of the tigerbeat6 posse. Tickets and details available at

"Santoor Leyna Bicyle" is the latest full- length musical collaboration between Steven Stapleton (Nurse with Wound) and Petr Vastl (Aranos). It comes in a limited edition of 500 special individualized "gallery" packages. The CD now available for order directly from Aranos in Ireland. Please check the News section in the Nurse With Wound web page for details, a photo and some sound samples.

Why wait till December to enjoy some of the best Christmas spirit and love. Right now on the V/Vm website, we have started the uploading blitz. All the Christmas releases have been uploaded in full stunning high fidelity MP3 files. Just go there and click on "Audio" and find the links in blue!.

Also be prepared of the flood of new product starting later this month: on July 24th, the Masters of the Absurd 12" album will be released, followed in two weeks by the Love 7", only to be followed two weeks later by the Love CD.

Some were fortunate to catch the Sonic Youth gig in London last night. According to the V/Vm pig,

    "last night's performance wise eclipsed sonar due to its stupidity,,,
    2000 in the audience, a host of pantomime creatures hurling cabbage into the audience while the birds danced,,,, during lady in red cd's were thrown at the audience (offal01's)===== Thursty More was up for it//"
A video stream of the concert is due soon for the website.


Radiohead's front man invited Icelandic superheroes Sigur Ros on tour with them, thus bringing them to new audiences of generic alt-rock twentynothings. It's kinda like when Christopher Columbus discovered America - while there were people living there before, it seems that the mainstream world - or rather the important people - could now recognize something that's existed before somebody of note pointed it out to them. Whoopee.


David Tibet throws himself heartfirst into a single-pointed meditation on loss which is perhaps his finest work to date. He embraces the painful matter of his father's death with a poignant gentleness, without ever turning away from his own grief and sadness, without once denying the apparent meaninglessness of human suffering, and yet, almost miraculously, without ever surrendering his quiet hope that there may be some peace in death, some small beauty in this world, and some hidden final meaning behind unbearable loss. In following an inner vision towards a goal which is quite far from concern with entertainment or image, he has managed to create an album which is both accessible and entertaining (although hauntingly so). Unflinching attention to the particular and the personal has here accomplished the great art of transmuting a private meditation into a universal elegy, capable of containing, illuminating, and assuaging our own private griefs, both small and large. For me this album serves as a rare reminder of the transformative power and purpose of music, and an affirmation that, while words often abandon us to isolation when we are most in need of them, a true poet is capable of the most exquisitely precise communication. "What drives us on?" Sleep offers refreshing balm to those who didn't even know they needed it. It is never preachy, loud or pushy, but with quiet insistence this masterful work drives us to look into blackness, and to see through it into light. - Thomas Olson


Whenever I see that envelope arrive in my box with the RoadCone return stamp I get all gleeful wondering what treats await inside. This week's present is a full-length follow up to this year's half-length CD from the same band. Rollerball is a collective of four musicians around the Northwestern USA who use more organic than electronic instruments in the execution of their beautiful and harsh mishmosh wall of sound. Influences can be heard from free form jazz, pretty pop and industrial noise genres but the disc can't be pigeonholed to any of those genres itself. It's organized chaos, maximalistic, almost structured free-form, full of contradictions, captivating melodies and loops with a colorful array of instrumentation and sound effects thrown in. Piano melodies and beat gems are both hauntingly delicate while screetching and uneasy in parts. Beat-less and beat-heavy instrumental and vocal tunes litter this fine 42 1/2 minute CD. Not for one moment do you have time to lose interest. My only complaint is the flimsy package! - Jon Whitney


Arovane, aka 35-year-old German Uwe Zahn, has in the past few years produced a split 7", several 12"s, an EP, remix work (Various Artists "8,8.5,9 remixes" - Arovane's 'amx' is one of my personal favorites) and now, two full length albums: the debut "Atol Scrap" on Din and "Tides" on the new City Centre Offices label. "Atol Scrap" is 64 + minutes of blissful electronic ebb and flow that finds a balance somewhere between the mellow IDM of the early '90s (think Aphex Twin "Selected Ambient Works 85-92"), the quirky rhythms of more recent IDM (think Autechre) and the repetition and attention to detail of the Chain Reaction minimalists. The key to most every track is dreamy synth pad and bass melodies, accentuated by mostly gentle, abstract rhythmic sounds and fuzzy atmospheres. The mid to latter section of the album has a few tracks where the percussion is much more pronounced and abrasive, which is somewhat of a disappointment as the melodies are no longer the obvious focal point. But, he's rather good at that style of track too and it helps create a good variety throughout the album.
With only 1 album under his belt, Zahn has apparently already decided to change direction. "Tides" is 40 minutes in length and although it's recognizable as Zahn's work it's also very different from "Atol Scrap". As the title suggests, the album is inspired by visits to the sea and the memories of waves wash ashore in several tracks. Here Zahn utilizes some slow motion hip hop styled beats for his cloudy/fluid melodies and atmospheres, adding various samples (water, bits of voice, chirping crickets, sea gulls, bell tones, etc.) and clean electric guitar played by fellow Berliner Christian Kleine on 4 of the 9 tracks. The 3 and 1/2 minute guitar and wash loop that is "Seaside" captures the entire feel of this album and just might receive my 'most beautiful track of the year' award. All of Zahn's music is a bit sullen and relaxing in a subtle and beautiful way, no matter how he produces it. It's hard to believe that these are his first 2 albums as they are quite impressive. He's another electronic artist to definitely keep track of in the years to come ... - Mark Weddle


Laika's second single from this year's "Good Looking Blues" is a three-tracker featuring the title track plus two non-lp tunes. "Bad Times" is a groovalicious spacey jam with Margaret talking all about the dangers of what the Bad Times virus will do to you. It's entertaining and the music is produced with that signature Laika rhythmic feel. Laika don't wander too far from what they do but they do it well enough that you can trust every release from them (until you get bored of the sound of course!) The other two tracks are perfect examples. "He Knows" and "Longwave" might have been left off the album but in no way are they inferior tunes. Much like the first single, "Uneasy," the cover's a semi-reflective job so this accompanying scan doesn't do it much justice. A full review of "Good Looking Blues" will be posted here sooner to the US release date. For now, enjoy the singles while you can still get them. - Jon Whitney


David Wright has picked up the beat a bit on the latest offering. I find myself more captivated by this album than most of the other music Wright has released. Perhaps it's because I saw Zipperspy playing with him, twiddling knobs on the most recent Boston show, perhaps his hearing impairment has forced him to use different sounds and techniques. Regardless, it's a fine offering, hypnotic and enjoyable, blonky and blippy in parts, with more high pitches and stabs than clumsy warbling bass frequencies. This results in the bulk of the album having a generally quirky and happy feel. Music to smile along with is nice. The album is almost entirely electronic with very little usage of samples that remain close to their original sound. The only slight hints of unoriginality come in on the album's closer, a cover of the Tammy Wynette tune, "Stand By Your Man," and I only say this because it's a cover tune. Dave Wright's choices on the tune were quite original and entertaining. Don't let the Invisible Records stigma hold you back, Wright's a true American electronic gem. - Jon Whitney


With their country esque American feel and sound, The Czars seem like an unlikely pick for the Bella Union label. Discovered at a South By Southwest shmooze fest, they have released their debut in the UK on Bella to a warm response in the UK. While I've got mixed feelings about SXSW, I don't have any about this CD. It's sweet and endearing, a pop record which will have a tough time cracking any pop charts over here due to its almost naked no-frills production and honesty. Vocal melodies, appropriate harmonies and a rich sound are created by this basic group of guitars, bass and organic drums. Vibes play on various tracks that are well-equipped for serene college radio programs. The more I listen to this disc, I hear influences of (excuse the music critic cliches) Nick Drake and Tim Buckley, but through the eyes of kids raised in good Southern homes. Folks who like a little twang accompanying their Low, or finde the idea of John Denver crossed with Stephin Merritt appealing would probably find something enjoyable in the Czars. - Jon Whitney


We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a RECOMMENDED STORES section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on the site.


Cut La Roc - Freeze CDEP (Skint, UK)
Divine Styler - Directrix 2x12" [mixes by Optical] (Mo Wax, UK)
Eardrum - Last Light Remixes Vol. 1 12" [mixes by Ashley Beedle, Freeform, Monolake and Sofa Surfers] (Leaf, UK)
LTJ Bukem - Sunrain 12"/CDEP (Good Looking, UK)
Metamatics/Clatterbox - Project Unison CD/LP (Neo Oujia, UK)
Mindfield General - Reach Out 12"/two CDEPs (Skint, UK)
Moby - Porcelain two 12"s (Mute, UK)
Mucho Macho - Death on Wild Onion Drive CD/LP (Wiiija, UK)
Pancreatic Aardvarks - Are You The Weasel? CD-R (Gnarphlager, US)
Two Lone Swordsmen - Tiny Reminders 1 12" [first in a series of three 12" EPs, to be collected on a single CD later this year] (Warp, UK)

TRS-80 - Manhattan Love Machine CD (Invisible, US)

Styrofoam [Tin Foil Star] - The Point Misser CD/LP (Morr Music, Germany)

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.


1996 was the year of the festivals at the Brooklyn Anchorage for me. One of those nights was Praxis - an incredible show from a collective that I've loved since hearing 1992's "Transmuatation." I was hoping to see something as incredible this time around, while it was nice, it didn't quite measure up completely. On stage this time around was Buckethead, Brain, Bill Laswell and a incredible DJ from the Invisible Scratch Picklez - one DJ and a Bernie Worrell shy of the last performance I saw. Buckethead was brilliant, his playing's absolutely unhuman, Laswell is a master groovemeister on the bass, Brain's beats and rhythms are loud and fierce enough to tie everything together in the hodgepodge of metal, experimental noise, funk and rap. The set was short however. The band played for approximately one hour while a host of MCs and singers took center stage in a rotating schedule between songs. While it was entertaining, I did indeed prefer Praxis as an instrumental outlet. I loved the show, they're all wonderful musicians, the sound was incredible, but the highlight of the night truly was spending time my old friend Matt who I haven't seen since we graduated high school, 10 years ago. - Jon Whitney


Owner: Mike Hinds
Experience: College radio and other odd jobs.
Founded: 1992
Artists: Jackie-O Motherfucker, Califone, Rollerball, Loren MazzaCane Connors, Hochenkeit, San Augustin.
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Notes: Mike says, "I like fairly dense, layered sound and/or sound that comes at you from a variety of points at once. I knew some people through the college radio station where I worked before, KSPC, who owned record labels, which made me think that I could do it, too. That whole early 90s DIY thing. So I did it. I had always made mix tapes for friends -- with, I admit it, a bit of evangelical zealotry bubbling inside me, hoping they'd love and recognize the genius of EVERY BAND -- so doing the label seemed a logical, if expensive, step." The neat thing about the Roadcone label is that you can always save yourself about $4 if you buy directly from them at around $8 a disc.


I have to admit that I like Eminem. I don't like his music and don't necessarily agree with whatever he's saying but he's good for the music industry in many ways. Detroit's Marshall Mathers or Slim Shady isn't doing anything drastically different than a prankster like Boyd Rice or Monte Cazazza did 20 years ago. He simply has a more easily digestible, world-accepted commercially viable medium to deliver the message. What is his message? Just like Boyd, Mathers provides a mirror on ourselves, showing how ugly we really can be - only if we actually take a step back and think about it. Slim Shady does this by openly blasting people in his music - like Britney Spears, N'Sync, his mother or gays, but at the end of his songs, he'll often toss in comments about how he's sort of playing around with your mind. So thus begins the controversy on how to interpret him - are we left to believe he means all those things? The weak minded individuals will become blind followers - much like those Nazi boys that show up at Death In June gigs! Mathers essentially is everything you make him out to be. I believe him to be a downright coward, as he comes off all tough but really he only picks on those that won't fight back, groups that don't threaten him. (I still haven't heard the word "nigger" in any of his songs yet.) Eminem also provides a great window on how racist the music industry and radio is, reflected simply by his popularity (and not dependent on his lyrical content). White rap singers get the airplay on the "alternative" stations, the "rock" stations as well as the "top 40" stations. Snow, Beastie Boys and Everlast have all achieved multi-platinum success when black artists were ignored. When was the last time you heard Ol' Dirty Bastard on your local commercial alterna radio outlet? Public Enemy only crossed over the line into mainstream success because they opened for Beastie Boys, RUN DMC crossed over because they had a hit with Aerosmith. Mathers shows us the world is truly an ugly, racist, sexist place and it's us who make it that way. - Jon Whitney


Make sure the latest version of Flash is installed so you can grab a ride on It's a neat little place to watch the pretty designs fly by... Wish all flights were this pleasant.

Subject: Pole

I found it amusing that Jon Whitney thought Pole was "boring and tedious" and yet seems to enjoy Fridge, Tortoise, etc. it's all subjective, I suppose.

You're comparing apples and cabbages - 3-6 member collectives of fine instrumentalists versus 1 person with a lot of the same presets on every track.

Subject: Pole & Gas

I've discovered brainwashed a month ago and I just have to drop line to say how much I appreciate finding (finally!) a true understanding magazine or in this case an E-Zine. What's so striking about brainwashed is how writers REALLY express their true feelings about music in rercord reviews.

Take Jon Whitney for instance. While it's been 5 years that I've been buying techno music and electronic music in the mean time I have bought and subscribed to almost every kind of dance magazine that there is out there: Jockey slut, Musik, Urb, Streetsounds, Wire and Generator. While most of them have decent features on artist/DJs, a few really says what's on their mind (they probably wanna please record compagnies in order to get more and more promo CDs by Orbital or Underworld). Hence the Jon Whitney exemple. While EVERYONE can't stop singing the praise of Pole aka Stefan Betke I was rather disgusted not to say bored by Pole's music. Being raised on a diet including Maurizio, Monolake, Porter Ricks and Richie Hawtin, I just couldn't figure out what was the fuss about this really, really overrated producer.

Then I read a review about Gas' Pop and everything about a good review was there: why it sucks and why it does in comparaison to others such as Vladislav Delay or Monolake.

Nowadays, it seems that journalists aren't doing their jobs: no one's asking the right questions, everyone writes the same clichés about music (ex: "Quoting the production methods of Jamaican dub, reverberations and the persistent crackling" and so on) and once someone (say NME) claims Pole, Fridge or even more mainstream stuff like Moby is the shit (means really outstanding) everyone and anyone follows on the same path!

Well I'm glad to see that someone like Jon Whitney has the guts to stand for his opinion and not follow everyone's taste. If Armand Van Helden says when he likes music that "it is the shit" then I say that Pole 3 and Pop are simply shit.

If you're lookng for innovative, cleverly produced and changing atmospherics in electronic music look instead for Biosphere last album "Cirque", Tetsu Inoue:"Ambient otaku" or better yet buy anyone of Monolake recordings, because electronic music doesn't mean tedious and hyper-repetitive music.

Thanks : a reader from Québec City.

Thanks for your note. I think there's a few reasons why THE BRAIN differs from print mags - apart from the ones you mentioned, we're not a commercial enterprise, we don't sell ads from record labels, so our opinions are made clear. Two clear advantages we have are the sound samples and easy hyperlinks to places to purchase things that are difficult to find. Unfortunately we're not in the biz to make money nor are we professional writers for the most part, so perhaps there won't be as fancy words in our reviews. Note to self: must buy thesaurus.

Subject: Pole 3

I dont understand the hype about Pole either, I listened to Pole 1 and thought it extremely uninteresting and boring. Who exactly are the people that are buying this guys records and enjoying it enough to warrant such hype? I love a lot of those guys on Chain Reaction, but Pole is definitely the exception.

So where do those "whats in your cd player?" lists come from anyway?

They come from you, Joe! [see below]

Subject: site, MYAGI

Hi there, I'm a funky breaks producer from Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and I'm wondering how to get my stuff to you to (hopefully) put on your site. Would u prefer MP3s, or a CD mailed?

If you want our staff to review your stuff, there's an address at the bottom of every issue.

Subject: the dream age

the dream age wants you to trip

Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for feet mysteriuosly sticking out.

Subject: NWWq


Just wondering where I might information on the differences between the CD and vinyl versions of Nurse With Wound albums; I know the Stapleton/Tibet "Musical Pumpkin Cottage" release was fairly drastically reworked in the LP format and I've been told NWW's "An Awkward Pause" is as well, and i'm just wondering to what degree that's true.

On the website, under each album entry, there's information there as to how things differ.

Subject: Monte Cazazza images.

Hello there.

I am doing a site on Industristrial music, including seminal figures like Monte Cazazza, and your site is the only place online I can seem to lcoate decent images of him and his art, I was wondering if I could use these images, with your permission, I would of course give you full credit.
Thank you for your time and for providing someof the best pages on the net.

Those images on the site are courtesy of Throbbing Gristle archives and RE/Search Publications. Brainwashed does not own the rights to those photos so if you use them, please keep this in mind.

Subject: Question


I am making a NON Diskographie and searching after the year when the CD Boyd Rice Presents: Death's Gladsome Wedding - Hymns and Marches from Transylvanian's Notorius Legionari Movement. It came out on Hierarchy. Can you give me a sign.

I'm pretty certain it was 1996, and when you finish the discography, please let us use it on the website.

Subject: FTP 'The Brain' ?

Is there a way to ftp / download all of the issues of 'The Brain' in one big file?

Just curious. 'They' monitor what is d/l'ed (sic) here.

Sorry, not yet.

Subject: Musicians at Sonar

I just wanted to comment on your saying how the musicians at Sonar checked their egos at the door (or something to that extent). I don't think it's that surprising that these musicians act like this for two reasons. For one, fans of experimental music are not anything like those crazy zit-popping, lip-gloss wearin' teens that go to Brittany Spears concerts (or whoever the big "musical" sensation in any given year). Secondly, these musicians are exactly that, musicians. They seem more interested in the music/artistic creation, and getting constructive feedback more than "artists" who are concerned with record sales, and would probably only appreciate positive, ass-kissing feedback. I mean, I'm sure they're somewhat concerned about eating and such, but it doesn't look like any of them are starving (except for Nick Cave on certain days). Also (o.k. this is three things), I think those musicians are also fans of the music scene just the way anyone else is. Why would they act arrogant. They want what's best for the scene.

There were indeed some crazy zit-poppers in Barcelona, as well as lots of local kids who came out only for the overnight rave culture, so that pre judgement is a wee bit incorrect. I also disagree with your in the respect that all artists are concerned with record sales to some extent as they want to make a living from their art. But on the similar tip, I agree that there is indeed a good amount of support from the 'scene' - and the support from Barcelona was incredible. You'd never find a city in the USA or UK funding a multimedia festival like this.

Subject: sonar

You're right, the Sonar fest was very good. There were so many different things to see and hear, no chance to get bored. And I agree, Coil were the highlight of the whole festival. They created a beautiful atmosphere. In fact, they were the reason why I traveled to Barcelona.

Do you probably have nice photos from their show? I was standing in the back of the chapell, so I could see them only from a distance...

thank you

p.s.: john, did you really wear that brainwashed t-shirt?

I got some photos but not as good as the ones linked on the Coil website. I'm sure there will be good ones coming in soon. And, well, yes I wore it for V/Vm's performance of "Lady In Red" as it was the only red shirt I owned.


Elliott Smith "Xo"
Modest Mouse "The Moon And Antarctica"
Michael Fakesch "Marion"
Boards Of Canada "Music Has The Right To Children"
Depeche Mode "Construction Time Again"
Zoviet France "Digilogue"
Kit Clayton "Nek Sanalet"

- Joe Salas, Los Angeles CA

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