the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V07I03 - 02012004
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even more hafler trio new titles now available
Soleilmoon has announced two new Hafler Trio titles are now available. AE30 & H3AE is a 2x3" CD set joining Autechre and the Trio. From their press release:

    "Formed from a runabout involving schools of several things, interpolated like some sort of string of paper dolls, moved around with abandon, and prodded with several large poles. why would this happen? would there be an end, they cried? not by the hair on someone's not inconsiderable point, it was indicated. where on the one hand, there is space, on the other, there is a hand that holds in the reins tightly. on the one side is the flash of the explicit, on another (the other?), snipers hidden in the thicket. In the thick. of it. how to use? prepare ground thoroughly with flame thrower. encourage weeds. bring in compost. smother other incidental fires. mulch. look upwards. look all around. look left, look right. think once, think twice. maybe again. who knows? I do. but I'm not telling". Exclusively distributed in the USA by Soleilmoon this 2x3" CD comes in a white cardboard digipak with booklet and graphic cards.

In addition, How to Slice a Loaf of Bread is a 3xCD set from a 2003 performance at the University Of Central Lancashire's St. Peter's Arts, Centre in Preston, Lancashire. This is also distributed by Soleilmoon exclusively in the USA and comes in a white cardboard box with booklet, original program, photos and a 3CD wallet. It is hand numbered and limited to 500 copies.


chairkickers' revenge: black eyed snakes and kid dakota
30 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video The second wave of Chairkickers 2003 tour came around in September, but this time with Kid Dakota and Black Eyed Snakes. We caught up with the duo of Kid Dakota outside on the streets after their set, and the group was interviewed by a young lady whose name I didn't get. So, if you're watching, let us know and we'll properly credit you. Once again, there's a song after the closing credits for those who are interested in seeing more.

30+ Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video


  • A current web browser
  • A modern computer
  • The latest quicktime plugin for streaming media (hint: use the latest Netscape if other browsers aren't working)


  • A fast connection
  • A willingness to learn


  • 'tude

If you see a blank window without anything streaming, don't complain to us. You don't have the latest version of Quicktime for streaming media. Go download it. It's free.


Esmerine, "If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True"
Esmerine are being called a gy!be off-shoot as the core members — Bruce Cawdron and Beckie Foon #151; have played on various releases related to the Montreal collective. At the same time that the label gets them a certain amount of attention, I think it belittles the power of their music at the same time, as this is not just a plaything to occupy some time while the members wait for a new gy!be or Silver Mt. Zion record. Through very simple means, Esmerine have concocted one of the most moving records I've heard, mostly using simple percussion and cello with some guest musicians to round out some of the compositions. First, there is beauty in the music itself, as the cello has the ability to extract tears from even the staunchest individual. Next, the perussion is mostly marimba or light drumming, which keeps a nice pace, but also cuts the more overbearing moments of the strings with a slightly lighter tone. Mostly, though, the compositions themselves are breathtaking, with moments of pure heartrending glory. There are moments of bombast that hint at some heavy firepower, but Esmerine mostly lock it away; like offering a glance at the weapon, knowing there's a larger psychological impact than brandishing it every five minutes. "Red Fire Alarm" starts off quiet, then builds to a boisterous tete-a-tete between all instruments. Eventually, the song lies down for a nap, slowly fading off into a deep sleep. The epic journey of the second track may turn some off, but the interplay of the strings with the very quiet drone behind them is quite stirring. Elsewhere, there is the lighter feel of "Tungsten" and the experimentation of "Luna Park" and "The Marvellous Engines of Resistance" to offer a smattering of styles with equally pleasing results. As the album finally nears its end, the true demons finally come out, and it's worth every measure. A sound debut, and much more than some of the buzz words make it out to be. - Rob Devlin


Dizzee Rascal, "Boy in Da Corner"
Finally, after a year and a half, the mercury prize for album of the year, a stabbing, and endless amounts of hype-slipping across the Atlantic Ocean about a true slice of the U.K. Garage scene (unlike the amusing, but hardly definitive Original Pirate Material) landing stateside and demolishing the anemic backpacker underground, Dizzee Rascal has arrived. While it's difficult to say that anything lavished with so much unyielding praise could ever live it down, Boy in Da Corner does quite a bit to support it. It is a brilliant collection of bangers that can be at times furious and frothing, and other times insightful and contemplative. Rascal doesn't' fall prey to the run of the mill hip hop clich?, giving issues like violence and sexuality their due with a more sensitive eye than most. When others fall prey to self-contradiction and self-involvement, Dizzee finds a consistency and balance, a sense of control-not bottled or volatile but reigned in, precise and deftly employed. His tracks are punctuated with off kilter, upside down beats that sound like they're coming from water damaged drum machines and synthesizers. They fall on top of each other in a filthy collision of thin, piercing claps of metallic shards and wobbly notes with a thick and heavy low end. The thick East London accent that dominates his delivery decimates the sleepy flow of mainstream rappers like 50 Cent as well as the squeaky bleats of American underground counterparts like Aesop Rock. Rascal doesn't cop out and slack on his beats for the sake of his lyrics or mumble his way through his tracks to show off his production. His voice is ingrained in the music, as aggressive an instrument as the concussive pipe bomb percussion that propels him. "Stop Dat" is a knives-out assault, spitting lyrics across an adrenaline-fueled crush of ominous clashes and crunches. Every slit-eyed glance and sized up plot comes across in his venomous accent. "I Luv U" pairs Dizzee with the clearly annoyed vocals of Jeanne Jacques, trading chorus lines Positive K style over throbbing IDM beats, and shows that Mike Skinner wasn't exactly telling the truth when he said "round 'ere we call 'em birds / not bitches." Along with "Jezebel," this track explores the male female interaction with a skeptical and critical eye, lampooning careless sex and irresponsibility while bemoaning the devastating (and cyclical) results of teenage promiscuity. "Do It" is a sincere, contemplative piece where Dizzee reveals himself, going deeply into personal insecurity, fears and doubts and closing with the decidedly upbeat notion that "you can do anything." Boy in the Corner is a devastating salvo that will leave Rascal's contemporaries (particularly those in the United States) shell shocked and dazed. This record will sit at the head of the pack and give everyone a target to aim for, whether it is to emulate it's successful formula or kill it with something even more forward looking and fresh. Hopefully his example will provoke other hip-hop, rap, garage, grime innovators to come forth and show what they've got, and serve as a warning to all those who are already stagnant that it's time to fix up and look sharp. - Michael Patrick Brady


Yeah is one of two new platters of tasty wax from DFA Records, certainly the most name-checked label since anyone gave a shit about Warp Records. James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem hasn't released a new 12" single since 2002's "Losing My Edge," even though private edition tracks like "Tribulations" and "Where Is Love?" have been popping up on file-sharing services over the past year. Rather than officially releasing one of the aforementioned tracks, Murphy's Soundsystem has crafted a new track aimed straight at clubs: a massive, obnoxious punk-disco meltdown destined to be the set-closing favorite of DJs everywhere in coming months. The song is irresistibly epic, beginning in familiar snotty dance-punk territory and gradually transforming into a jagged, overamped slab of retro acid mayhem. The appropriately titled Side A is called "Yeah (Stupid Version)," which begins with cookie-cutter disco basslines and snares, with Murphy et. al. intoning the irritating, repetitive lyrics over and over. Gradually, the track builds momentum and slowly replaces its organic elements with acid-house artillery. By the end, the pupil-dilating synths and ricochet rhythms are riding roughshod over the blissed-out dancefloor. Side B contains the "Pretentious Mix," which transorms "Yeah" into a sophisticated excursion into urbane, metropolitan electro-disco, not miles away from Metro Area's R&B-inflected lounge music. I liked this one a lot, and it makes me wonder if LCD Soundsystem might be able to pull a full-length LP out of their collective ass at some future point. - Jonathan Dean


DFA's other 12" release comes in the form of a double-sided vinyl from Delia L. Gonzalez and Gavin R. Russom. "El Monte" is one of the most convincing evocations of the synthesizer throb of Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream I've ever heard. Plenty of artists aim for this—Anthony Rother, Pete Namlook and the entire FAX label roster come to mind—but few ever come close the intrigue and majesty that Gonzalez and Russom accomplish with this 15-minute mindbender. Hearing it, I immediately contacted my local planetarium to arrange a cosmic laser-light show synchronized to El Monte's dark electro-progressive pulses. They hung up on me, but that doesn't change my feelings about this track. Beginning in a rainstorm and ending in a dark alien jungle landscape, Gonzalez and Russom's dark, propulsive synths swoop and rotate, gathering momentum in the same way as Tangerine Dream's classic "Circulation of Events." The DFA Remix of "Rise" cannot help but be something of a letdown after Side A, but Murphy and Goldsworthy manage to balance their dance-friendly instincts with Gonzales and Russom's retro-space arpeggiations, turning in a good approximation of The Orb circa "Blue Room." - Jonathan Dean


ISAN, "Meet Next Life"
Morr Music
Robin Saville and Antony Ryan return with their fourth album (and third for Morr) since their inception in 1996. In keeping with their previous work, Meet Next Life combines warm textures with cool soundscapes to create a thoroughly balanced album of lush, often touching instrumental melodies that are never overwrought. While their last record, Lucky Cat was slightly more minimal, their latest finds the band carefully expanding their horizons, particularly in terms of diversity. The first track, "Birds Over Barges," brings crystalline acoustic guitar to the mix, adding a gauzy dimension to the sounds of the analogue synths. From there, the songs slide and drift languidly into one another, and although the overall sound of the album is subtle and understated, ISAN manages to avoid lapsing into monotony. "One Man Abandon" and "Snowdrops and Phlox" are winsome lullabies, while "The Race To Be First Home" is winsomely playful with its jubilant xylophone sounds. The haunting title track, which brings Meet Next Life to a close, is strongly reminiscent of Brian Eno's Apollo. The best of the bunch, "Gunnera," amazingly brings all these elements together in what is definitely the signature piece of the album. I find it apt that ISAN chose black and white butterflies to adorn the cover of Meet Next Life as it speaks volumes about their gossamer simplicity. It is a record that is as elegant as it is modest. - Jessica Tibbits


Soul Jazz
Arthur Russell died in 1992, leaving an enigmatic body of work that took in avant-garde composition, Indian classical music, atmospheric cello-driven pop, and most crucially, a handful of mysterious and entrancing 12" disco sides. The term "mutant disco" and "leftfield groove" had to be invented to pigeonhole Russell's forays into the embryonic NYC disco scene of the late seventies and early eighties. Russell's original singles — released under a variety of monikers such as Dinosaur L, Loose Joints and Indian Ocean — frequently trade hands for exorbitant prices. He worked with all the important figures of the nascent disco scene, notably Walter Gibbons and Larry Levan, and he co-founded the influential Sleeping Bag records. But more importantly, his work from this period is hauntingly beautiful, showcasing artistic focus, inspiration and genius rarely heard in dance music. Aside from the odd track appearing on recent compilations such as Strut's Disco Not Disco series and Soul Jazz's New York Noise, the bulk of his catalog has remained hopelessly out of print for two decades. Soul Jazz moves to rectify this situation with the release of The World of Arthur Russell, an essential disc collecting 11 of Russell's greatest avant-disco sides. As if this weren't cause enough for celebration, Soul Jazz made the smart decision to avoid rehashing the Russell tracks already made available on recent compilations, and they include many extended versions and alternate mixes that are particularly rare. It's far from an exhaustive collection, but the brilliant re-mastering and sequencing make for ideal listening, so it's hard to complain. The peculiar genius of Arthur Russell's idiosyncratic masterpieces is enticingly intangible, and cries out for deep listening and deconstruction. Tracks like the "Schoolbell/Treehouse" and "In The Light Of The Miracle" have an oceanic soulfulness that is entirely uncanny. Russell's palette is deceptively simple: clipped percussion and polyrhythms, scattered horns, the odd guitar or cello part, impressionistic keyboard improvs and the liberal use of echo. Arthur Russell was clearly influenced by the production techniques of dub reggae, unsurprising for an artist who entitled his personal album of solo cello compositions World of Echo. Russell takes his dub influences into previously uncharted waters, however, into psychedelic territories alien to the dance floor. When Russell himself contributes vocals, his bizarre, throaty delivery is pregnant with soul and detached sexuality. The stunning "Let's Go Swimming" utilizes odd time signatures with its skewed percussive throbs, forming an unstable foundation for Russell's space-cadet muttering. The chorus echoes and reverberates, bouncing off itself and forming concentric whirlpools that resolve themselves with each atonal swell of keyboard. There is a jarring, unobvious quality to this music that makes it unpredictable; I never really know what's coming next, a true rarity in beat-oriented dance music. "In The Light Of The Miracle" is a 13-minute plus epic, vaguely African percussion and elliptical melodies which leisurely transform into a laidback tribal groove that truly hypnotizes. The abstract sexuality of "Pop Your Funk" uses fingerpicked cello as a basis for a series of random instrumental fills that hold together tenuously, constantly threatening to fall apart, but miraculously forming a tight, tense groove. The more dance-friendly Paradise Garage favorites, like Larry Levan's remix of "Is It All Over My Face?" and Francois Kevorkian's mix of "Go Bang" are clear progenitors for the diva-driven house music that dominated the 1980's. Most classic disco, even the most flawlessly realized tracks by Giorgio Moroder or Cerrone, is ultimately self-referential and dependent upon its connection to borrowed nostalgia for the excesses of Studio 54. Arthur Russell's work stands virtually alone in its ability to transcend the familiar tropes and imagery of disco - it is music wholly redolent of windswept cornfields, banks of luminous whispering clouds, vast undulating oceans and the ghostly echoes of outer space. - Jonathan Dean


"Spire: Organ Works Past Present & Future"
I can think of no instrument capable of drones as complex, distinct, or primitive as those generated by the pipe organ. The experience of sitting below a great organ's clustered form, letting its breath wash the length of a cathedral, can be compared to viewing one of Rembrandt's late self-portraits, watching as each square-centimeter teems with an infinity of golden life, an inner millennium finding perfect equivalent in the sustained blast of an organ note. As if its textural prowess and sacred acoustics were not enough, the organ represents also a milestone in the mechanization of musical instruments, making it a prime target for this kind of tribute, a virtual who's-who of Touch's roster, some of the most recognizable names in electro-acoustic music, all willing to shed their respective skins and make some music created with, or inspired by, organ sounds. Thankfully, most everyone included manages to come at the pipes in a thoughtful and largely unique way, making Spire an endlessly interesting, if not always enjoyable compilation. The range of different approaches, which in many cases depart significantly from their composers' tested styles, proves both a blessing and a curse, where the sequencing of the two discs inevitably interferes with the enjoyment of the individual tracks. Many interesting pieces seem to end prematurely or appear dwarfed by the enormity or lavishness of their surroundings. The contributions of Philip Jeck and Leif Elggren, shorter tracks focusing on solitary, largely unadulterated organ blasts, fail to stand out among the longer, similarly fundamental or minimalist approaches of Biosphere and BJNilsen. Likewise, some of the more concept-oriented inclusions end up sounding much better on paper than on disc, one example being Finnbogi P?ursson's "Diabolus" in which the artist's homemade single-pipe organ creates a low-frequency tone interval that in Medieval times was referred to the "devil in music" but is barely audible here. In contrast, other loosely-conceptual works make for some of the best material, like Z'EV's woozy "If only that love let's letting happen," based entirely on samples of Bach's organ music found via a Google search, and Toshiya Tsunoda's ambient "Layered," produced by a homemade shortwave radio organ set outside on a midsummer night. Generally, tracks on the second disc make for the most enjoyable pieces because they are long enough to become thickly atmospheric, to fill the room with the same arresting, monumental calm that great cathedral organs produce. BJNilsen (aka Hazard) actually composed "Breathe" for performance at St. Mary's Church in Warwick England. The half-hour piece, a simple, unfolding drone spanning huge intervals on organs constructed as early as 1898, is one of Spire's most spare works and one of its most impressive. Other highlights from the disc include an Oren Ambarchi and Tom Recchion piece originally released on a limited IDEA 7"; it makes sense here because Recchion plays Hammond on the track, though it is admittedly more in line with Ambarchi's solo work that anything particularly "organ-inspired." Spire ends with new music from field recording guru Chris Watson whose wind recordings become an allegory identifying the organ with the elemental or divine act of harnessing the air, as well as associating the instrument with a image of majesty that seems wholly justified at the close of such a compilation. - Andrew Culler


Xanopticon, "Liminal Space"
A single exposure to the brainstem-severing breakcore experimentation of Xanopticon's debut album led me to ask a vital yet curious question: Who needs drill 'n bass anymore? At this point on the electronic music timeline, the recent output of once innovative and influentual artists like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher pales in comparison to their earlier work, creating a demand for new blood to take their place in the spotlight. Like his Hymen and Mirex labelmates Venetian Snares and Fanny, Xanopticon's Ryan Friedrich seems poised to join, and perhaps even lead, this new world order. The dizzying array of spastic loops and patterns on Liminal Space are composed of fractured beat shards and subtle atmospheres once buried in the pit of a rogue sampler, but now unearthed. From the first squirming bleeps and belching kicks of the opener "Constant," it becomes remarkably clear how the next 53 minutes are going to turn out. With a crisp and serious sound more akin to Autechre than Mu-Ziq, Xanopticon spews barrages of ferocious percussion at breakneck tempos with few reprieves along the way. Not suprisingly, melody plays a subtle and often subdued role here for the most part, taking a backseat to the hard pounding drumwork. There is little time to catch your breath during the microsecond-long dark ambient pauses that pepper tracks like "These Days" and "Drunxpla." However, "Symphwrak" stands out as the true highlight of this release, starting off with a eerie minute of chilling chord progressions that serve as precursor for the now-standard Xanopticon mayhem. Along the way, bizarre buzzing swirling synths force themselves into the forefront of the track for as long as they can, overall truly embodying what could possibly be classified as post-acid music, if I were to create a new subgenre on the fly. As I said here back when I first heard his contribution to 2002's Masonic compilation, Xanopticon is the new Venetian Snares. Hell, I think he might be even better. - Gary Suarez


Greg Davis, "Curling Pond Woods"
There's a level of innocence and melodic clarity present on this disc that makes me wonder why it hasn't received more recognition. Then the determining factor hits me: this is too sweet, almost comical in its lazy strolling. Greg Davis obviously has an ear for gorgeous sounds an the ability to craft elegant stretches of sound, but unfortuneately it seems as if he doesn't have the ability to create a coherent record. All the instrumentation is from traditional (i.e., non-electronic) sources and then warped and rearranged in various manners by way of laptop. The heart of each instrument is present in the mix so each instrument is readily identifiable; the sound of rain, birds singing, and other environmental sounds make their way behind the instruments and then... nothing. Almost all of these songs have absolutely no progression and if they do, it takes six minutes or so for any movement to happen. "Improved Dreaming" begins with the charming sounds of a toy music box chirping away above the sounds of a cartoonish galaxy full of twinkling stars and wisps of astral dust and then flows into the sound of woodwinds sighing out an exquisite melody... over and over and over again. The whole thing runs six minutes plus but it could've had a more stunning effect at perhaps half that length. One track wouldn't normally bug me so much, but there's so much excellent happening that it angers me at how dull it becomes because of repetition. And the problem is infectious. I could do without the singing, too. While the album might intentionally have a whimsical feeling, the vocals don't add to that, they simply sound cheesey and a bit out of place. Curling Pnd Woods has a lot of excellent spots, but those excellent spots wear off quickly. I recommend it in small doses; two tracks at a time is more than enough too keep the sweetness level low and the monotony at a minimum. These tracks could've captivated me had they been released as a series of EPs or singles.- Lucas Schleicher


John Duncan, "Da sich die Machtgier..."
Die Stadt
Prolific sound artist John Duncan's newest disc finds him in a kind of half-collaboration with Asmus Tietchens, whose readings from two E.M. Cioran texts become sources for the voice manipulation that has characterized Duncan's work as of late. Cioran's name should sound familiar to Tietchens listeners, as quotes from the modern philosophe/aphorist frequently appear on the musician's sleeve notes. Duncan's notes here, however, express a clear distaste for the fatalism that dominates Cioran's philosophy, a kind of a-philosophy often abbreviated in cheeky, opaque aphorisms like the one displayed on Tietchens' new FT+: "It is simple to be "deep," just follow your own false bents." Part of Tietchens' reading for Da sich die Machtgier? comes from Cioran's examination of tyranny in the modern world, explaining the hamster-wheel trend in which humanity submits to the will of a great and "pitiless" dictator, degenerates into "primal disorder", and then begins again by embracing another tyrant. Strange that Duncan, who disagrees with such fatalism and actually did not even receive a translation of the text until after finishing recording, has produced a record that feels much closer to the man's doomed words than anything Tietchens ever prefaced with a Cioran quote. For three of the disc's four tracks, Duncan completely obliterates not only words themselves, but any evidence of the vocal origin of the sounds. He's taken Tietchens' original recording, presented "more or less intact" on the remaining track, and transformed it into three utterly inhuman compositions. Inhuman not because they are desolate in composition, or even because they lack expression or an emotional core, but because of the obtrusive and unforgiving way each one crowds the listening space. The noisy opener "Freih zein hoem macht" pushes miniscule fragments of vocal sound into endless repeat, a bombardment of clicking surges that somehow resists the retreat into a more atmospheric or patterned industrial space. Each sound arrives in charged, unhesitant succession, as if eager fill the gap left by its predecessor. Silence in this music, rather than offering relief or resolution, seems only to emphasize the void, offering nothing but a blank stare into the next numbing assault. Duncan's other tracks are less abrasive, though no easier to ignore. The closing "Aber..." is essentially a short, buzzing drone cycle, molded and amplified over the song's 30-min. length, but the sprawl never reaches an apex of textural complexity, nor does it develop in any kind of organic fashion. The fuzzy hum of the tones have more in common with Tietchens' voice than the other two tracks, but they are far from sounding human or even comfortable. The track becomes an endless churn, like faraway factory noise, or the sound of Cioran's wheel of history, scraping on and on. While Da sich does not lend itself to similar repetition, it does make for a thoroughly alien experience, especially in conjunction with the textual foundation. - Andrew Culler


Dwelling, "Humana"
Equilibrium Music
For the uninitiated, Dwelling craft music based on Portugese Fado, a poetic and emotive folk singing style that usually deals heavily in themes of sorrow or love. Dwelling's approach is through acoustic string instrumentation begun by Nuno Roberto and the powerful and lovely voice of Catarina Reposo, who sings both in English and Portugese. Strangely, their music has also gained them a very large following in the goth and metal communities, though the music rarely approaches anything resembling hard core or aggressive. This does not mean the music is not at all powerful, however. Humana is the ensemble's first full-length, after releasing an EP in 2000, and the very least I can say is that their hearts are very much in this music. This is very much the motif of Fado, so it's not surprising, but the guitar interplay and addition of violin are exquisitely played with such passion and life that there can be no doubt this group loves what they do. I found it especially interesting that there is no percussion, nor is any necessary. These songs are just fine the way they are, like a troupe of travelling minstrels entertaining the courts of many dignitaries. The borderline flamenco guitars, the fluid and stabbing violin, and the voice of Reposo are captivating and hypnotizing. Not to say that every song is a work of art, though, as I honestly prefer when Reposo doesn't sing in English, as it adds that layer of mystery, and English with this music just smacks of wanting to reach a larger audience. The overall feel is still incredibly moving, and fans of dark compositions will find a lot to love here. - Rob Devlin


Tomorrowland, "Anemone"
Red Antenna
After a three year hiatus, Tomorrowland recently released this limited pressing EP of songs on the mostly vinyl fledgling Red Antenna label. Anemone is a continuation of their analog/electronic aesthetic, and it is a pleasing listen overall, but not a giant leap forward in any case for Steve Baker and Nick Brackney. That's not necessarily a bad thing — it's admirable for a band to stick to their guns — but it means that the duo risk sounding like so many other like bands. The addition of live drumming by Eric Morrison is a good step, but it's not enough to make this release particularly noteworthy in their catalog. Without real change there can be no evolution, and survival of the fittest would leave Tomorrowland in yesterdayland. That said, there are several peaks to be found on their latest, most notably the first (and title) track. Eerie computer noise and processed beats kick it off, with swirls and deep bass joining in fairly quickly. It's a perfect body moving song, where body parts do their own thing and it's always fluid. Then the big beat drops in and the energy pumps up to eleven. Unfortunately, this begins a stasis that lasts for half the songs, where guitar noise and synthetic whine and gurgle meet with live or electronic beats and just stay. There's a little play, but no real peaks and valleys to speak of. The songs just aren't engaging enough. Occasionally I got pulled in, like on "Chromosome" or "Meiosis," but then something breaks the streak — like the awkward drumming opening of "Catalyst" or the all-out noise of "Unfadeable" — and I reach for the eject button or the volume knob. It's nice to know Tomorrowland are still around making the music that matters to them, but a little reaching, even if it means falling occasionally, could take them a long way. - Rob Devlin


Jonas Bering, "Sketches for the Next Season"
Those who have taken the time to check out the recently updated Contributors page for The Brain may have noticed my Top 10 list for 2003. Collectively, the readers made so many lousy choices in this year's poll that I felt compelled to remind everyone that there were far more worthwhile releases in this past year than were reflected by the all-too-predictable choices. One such example comes from French producer Jonas Bering on the high-quality Kompakt label, whose releases continue to set the bar for progressive electronic music. Sketches For The Next Season is the full-length follow-up to 2000's debut Bienfait and displays the increasingly more danceable and accessible direction that he has moved towards over the years. The ten tracks that make up this sophomore effort are healthy doses of shimmering ambient techno and funky minimalist tech-house ideal for both bedroom and nightclub enjoyment. On the opener "Diabold," crisp 4/4 beats and tiny rhythmic elements groove along while a clinically mechanical bassline reminds us that this is 100% machine music. From there, however, the music only gets warmer. Tracks like "Nighthawks," "Ninas Song," and the absolutely gorgeous "Wissant" emit and emote near-psychedelic vibes that penetrate the mind for the sole purpose of releasing massive amounts of serotonin. I make this drug-related comment because Sketches For The New Season had a truly narcotic impact on me. Despite the fact that I was clean and sober while listening to it, I honestly felt doped up under the influence of Jonas Bering's mood-altering melodies, rhythms, and atmospheres. The echoey effected bell sounds of "Mustang 1966" twinkle and gleam over the sparsely filled spaces between beats, espousing the concept of less-is-more that characterizes most dub records. (Just so that we're clear, this album is just as much of a dub record as those from Pole, Vladislav Delay, or any other Basic Channel / Chain Reaction descendents.) Appropriately made available prior to this album's release on 12" vinyl, the single "Normandie 1" consists of a clicky bassdrum loop over some deep, deep synth textures that flood the senses. Appropriately the high (no pun intended) point here—the song's catchiness—is instant and the aurally hallucinogenic qualities are very real. Now, I haven't lost hope in all of the readers just yet, so I'm hoping that those who whined publically or privately about my Warp-bashing will take heed to what I'm saying here and purchase what was truly a worthy last minute entry to my aforementioned list. If you fail to do so, then you truly deserve eachother. All of you. - Gary Suarez


We know that our music picks may be somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.


Brother Danielson - The Kid 7" (Secretly Canadian, US)
Chib - Moco CD (Fat Cat, UK)
Ryan Craig - Believe 12" (Headinghome, US)
* Depeche Mode - 101 2xSACD (Mute, UK)
Dismantled - Post Nuclear CD (Metropolis, US)
Electrelane - The Power Out CD (Too Pure, UK/US)
Francisco - Moon Roller 12" (Nature, Italy)
Fym - Say No To Primate Research Labs! CD/2xLP (Telegraph/Logistic, France)
Jorge Gebauhr - Living In Another Body 12" (Traum, Germany)
The Hafler Trio - anything that someone else tells you is not good enough 12" (Phonometrography, UK)
* In Strict Confidence - Holy CD (Metropolis, US)
Simon Joyner - Lost With the Lights On CD/LP (Jagjaguwar, US)
Jens Lekman - Maple Leaves CDEP (Secretly Canadian, US)
Male Or Female - Primitive Reflections Twisted From Sound DVD+CD (Alfa-Matrix, Belgium)
Microphones/Mount Eerie - Live in Japan CD/LP (K Records, US)
Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed CD/LP (4AD, UK/US)
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult CD [collection of early singles & EPs] (Ryko, US)
* My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - I See Good Spirits... CD [reissue with bonus tracks] (Ryko, US)
* My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions Of A Knife CD [reissue with bonus tracks] (Ryko, US)
Oneida - Caesar's Column 12" (Jagjaguwar, US)
Raiders of the Lost ARP - 4 CD/2xLP (Nature, Italy)
* Revenge - One True Passion 2xCD [reissue of 1990 album with bonus material] (LTM, UK)
Rex The Dog - Prototype 12" (Kompakt, Germany)
Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse CD/2xLP (Duophonic, UK)
* Swamp Children - So Hot CD [reissue of 1982 album with bonus material] (LTM, UK)
Tastes Like Summer - Shumai CD (Total Gaylord, US)
* Thick Pigeon - Miranda Dali CD [reissue of 1991 album with bonus material] (LTM, UK)
Und - Sikko Stub 12" (Trapez Limited, Germany)
Various - Counter Culture 2003 2xCD (Mute, UK)
Various - Ennio Morricone Remixes Vol. 2 2xCD/3xLP [with 2Raumwohnung, Bandini, Hird, Swell Session, Eddy & Dus, Tom Middleton, Deetron / Procreation, Fussible, Daniel Klein aka Gucciman, Markus Enochson, Mopse, Crazy Baldheads, Dan Curtin, Computerjockey, Yeng Sung, Chicken Lips, Domu, Alessio Santoni, Doctor Rockit, Aardvarck, Haruomi Hosono, Gerd, Nick Holder, Ayro, Kahuun, Moonstarr and Yukihiro Fukutomi] (Compost, Germany)
Voodoo Child [Moby] - Baby Monkey CD (Mute, UK)

This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the page,
since release dates can and will often change.

Results from last poll:


online orgasm simulator
Finally, the guys can begin to imagine what a female orgasm is really like and women can imagine what the male's orgasm is really like, or, well, maybe even what a female orgasm is really like if they never gave a talented individual a chance to try...

Kikkoman's greatest hits
As if one Flash cartoon on Kikkoman wasn't enough, now you can watch an entire series of them all in a row! BEWARE! KIKKOMAN!

Stare at this for hours and listen to drones. Nothing is moving. Or is it?


i don't give a damn bout my bad repertoire

Subject: AON CD/DVD

With respect to the "Into Battle With The Art Of Noise" CD/DVD set, you neglected to mention that they also included the WRONG VERSION OF BEAT BOX on the CD, putting the Diversion 1 from the Who's Afraid album rather than the original EP version. Further, there is an inexplicable 2-second gap between "Flesh In Armour" and "Comes And Goes."

And the best part is, there's no way to contact Repertoire and let them know how badly they screwed up, because their website is no good and there's no other contact info on the CD.

I've been very happy with Repertoire's ZTT-related re-releases in the past, but this one just isn't what it should have been. Boo.

I know, I know all of these things but the review was getting pretty long and I didn't want to be even more nitpicky than I already was. "Flesh in Armour" and "Comes and Goes" does need to flow together. It's just not right that they were split up. Kinda shoddy organization there, this Repertoire.

Subject: MIO review

Could you ask Michael Patrick Brady to drop me a note? I'd really like to send him something he likes better than Kyrie Eleison.

Really. He can even pick it out himself.

Oh, I get it, we have to trash something to make people pay attention. Brilliant. Three years of giving nothing but favorable reviews to your releases and the one person who trashes something gets freebies.

Subject: the brain

I hate your website. I have been on a diet comprised almost entirely of rice and beans ever since I started looking at the Brain. I spend about five bucks on food for the week and the rest goes into music I've been introduced to through your site. Damn it! I am so sick of rice and beans, but what choice do I have? The Brain is the best online music resource I have ever seen! I hope there's nobody out there who takes it for granted...

Thanks. Yeah, we hope people don't either. Especially ourselves!


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proggier than thou
Irrlicht by Klaus Schulze
In Reflection by Marty Willson-Piper
Agneta Nilsson by Heldon
La Stanza della Trascendenza by Alio Die
A Meditation Mass by Yatha Sidhra

Brian Bieniowski

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed Athletics
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