the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V07I10 - 03142004
Click here for other issues

John McGeoch remembered
John McGeoch, inventive and influential guitarist for post-punk luminaries Magazine, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Public Image Limited, passed away in his sleep on March 5th aged 48. Having met Howard Devoto in 1977 as he was departing the Buzzcocks, McGeoch became a founding member of Magazine and many memorable riffs are featured on their first three albums Real Life, Secondhand Daylight and The Correct Use of Soap. By 1980 he was moonlighting with Visage and Siouxsie and the Banshees and went on to largely affect three of the latter's most lauded albums, Kaleidoscope, Juju and Kiss In The Dream House. In late 1982 McGeoch suffered a breakdown and was subsequently hospitalized and replaced in the Banshees by The Cure's Robert Smith. In the mid-80s he formed The Armoury Show with ex-members of The Skids, appeared on two solo debuts (Peter Murphy's Should The World Fail To Fall Apart and Matthew Sweet's Inside) and, finally, joined Public Image Limited. He became their longest serving member barring John Lydon and helped to re-invent Pil into a "rock" band with Happy?, 9 and That What Is Not. By 1993 Pil dissipated and McGeoch returned to England from Los Angeles where he continued making music in various low key or unfinished projects. In 1995 he became a qualified nurse but chose not to follow the profession and lately had been writing music for television. John McGeoch is survived by partner Sophie and daughter Emily.
contributed by Mark Weddle


spend april fool's with tino and moog
Tino Corp. will be appearing with Mix Master Mike, Money Mark, The Album Leaf, and 33 at Bimbo's 365 Club: 1025 Columbus Ave. in San Francisco on Thursday April 1st. Each four artists' original tracks appear in the upcoming feature-length documentary on synthesizer pioneer, Bob Moog. Meat Beat Manifesto recorded the track, "Unavailable Memory" for the film, however, Tino Corp. (Jack Dangers and Ben Stokes) will perform at this Moog-centric event. Moog instruments will again be 'center stage' and the inspiration behind the evening as each artist gears their set in the service of Moog! The film's producers will be shooting live performance footage of these artists for inclusion in the documentary and segments of 'Moog' will be premiered on screen that night.

The soundtrack to 'Moog' includes music by Stereolab, The Neptunes, Devo, Meat Beat Manifesto, Tortoise, DJ Spooky, Money Mark, Luke Vibert & Jean-Jacques Perrey, 33, Junky XL with Gary Numan, The Album Leaf, Bernie Worrell, Bostich, Charlie Clouser, Electric Skychurch and others - all contributing original music produced on Moog instruments.

Theatrical release of 'Moog' is by Plexifilm in Summer 2004. Original Soundtrack to release Spring 2004.

!!! announce new full-length record
Louden Up Now is now the currently working title for the second full-length release from !!!. The album is set for release in North America through Touch & Go Records on June 8th. At this time, we do not have a confirmation of a Warp release of the album in the UK/EU. A tracklist should be posted at the web site soon along with some sound samples if you're good.

new kranky sounds
Sound samples and cover images are now online for three new releases from Kranky. Joy Shapes from Charalambides, Drug Money from Brent Gutzeit, and First Narrows from Loscil round out the rest of the Spring 2004 releases from Kranky. They're all due out May 10th, but you can hear them now!

new lpd north american tour dates
North American dates are now coming in for Legendary Pink Dots. This is the current lineup's first time outside of Europe and new releases from both LPD and Edward Ka-Spel will be announced soon.

tortoise is all around you
Sound samples and a cover image of the new Tortoise record, It's All Around You are now available at the website. In addition, new tour dates are coming in for a very extensive tour.

trans am versus the world
Trans Am tour dates are also emerging as the band embarks on a marathon sweep of some of the lesser traveled places of Europe. Dates are being modified below.

a message from tg
Throbbing Gristle have issued the following message this past week:

    "Despite the current rash of unfounded and malicious internet rumors, presumably intended to confuse and fuck things up for other people, we want to make the following quite clear:

    The forthcoming performance by THROBBING GRISTLE at RETG on the Industrial Weekend at Cambers Sands, May 14-16th 2004 will be a ONE TIME ONLY DEAL. TG will NOT be playing ANY other shows - NOT in Europe, NOT in the US, NOT ANYWHERE!!!

    At their recent sessions at Mute Studios in London, TG demonstrated (somewhat to their own surprise) that they were able to get on, and to play both old and new material with the same passion and intensity as before, HOWEVER the four members' agendas, schedules, living arrangements, and personal projects make it impossible that this event will be repeated.

    If you are interested in witnessing TG in action, this show will be your ONE and ONLY opportunity. DO NOT MISS IT."

A brief glimpse of the session of the band in Mute studios can be seen at Mute's web site. Meanwhile, the release of the remix collection known as Mutant TG has been pushed back to March 29th (UK) and April 6th (USA).

a warning from v/vm
V/Vm write the following:

    Anyone in possesion of a recent V/Vm Test Release which cannot be named for legal reasons could be breaking the law. If you own a copy to be sure of your safety and to avoid any personal legal action against yourself which could end in a custodial sentence please return it without delay to: V/Vm Test, 205 Edgeley Road, Edgeley, Stockport, SK3-0TL. England.

    Unfortunately we are not at liberty to say which release for legal reasons it is which you may or may not have due to the legal ramifications which could befall V/Vm Test. A simple visit to the V/Vm Test Website and a look around should provide the information by a process of elimination.

    All copies returned to V/Vm Test will be destroyed and forwarded to the Record Label who, because of Red Tape, we are unable to mention and no further action will be necessary.

    We would also ask if you have made reference to this release on a website or see any references to this release on a website that they are removed. If you see a review of this product anywhere you should iunform those reviewing that they are serious breach of copyright and these reviews should be removed from the public domian. This release must be seen to not exist and never existed. If you have one you don't have one, if you see one you don't see one. This release from this date forward does not exist.

    The future of V/Vm Test is in severe doubt due to the legal repurcussions of the above notice and due to rising legal costs and a fighting fund to ensure future releases can be released has been set up. We are unable to provide any further details surrounding the above at this time.

    The offical V/Vm quote for the above which can be freely distributed and published is as follows

      "Because of the position we're in, anything we say could be taken and used against us. No comment."

    The above release itself (which never existed) ran at a substantial loss to V/Vm Test as it was designed only to break even if all copies sold out. The release has ceased to be distributed from mid February. This information was passed to those concerned in February. Despite this open admission V/Vm Test has still been asked to cover substantial legal costs and damages (a figure cannot be disclosed for legal reasons). This puts the labels future in serious doubt.

    This matter concerns all of those fellow musicians and people who purchase and support plundered audio, appropriations illegal sampling and unauthorised tributes. Dance and Electronic music has been littered with such experiments over the years and this will continue as advancements in technology make more possible. And it also affects those musicians we have worked with and have continued to work with over the last few years.

    V/Vm has always helped and supported those in this field of audio work and has often held its head on the line in this area of work when others did not want to take simillar risks. We are aware of the risks and have always been aware of the result that our actions could bring. Even those who are against us will appreciate the fact that we have helped a number of musicians release their work over the years, work which otherwise would never have seen the light of day. Hopefully we will be in a position soon to continue our forthcoming release work as financial stability returns once more.

    With this in mind we are asking each of you who have taken advantage of our free MP3s and who appreciate the work we have undertaken over the last eight years to help us try to meet the cost of our current legal bills. A number of upcoming releases are now under serious threat of not being released and if you care about seeing and hearing more new music out there released by V/Vm Test then by buying any of our existing products you can help ensure our survival.

    Donations to the label at this time however big or small are more than welcomed as are direct purchases of any of releases via our direct mail order.

    Any messages of support or abuse we receieve as a result of this will be posted online at the website in due course. Please be sure to be in touch with us and to distribute this mail to those you think will be interested, your help is appreciated.

    Many thanks for your attention.

    further information :


Little Annie
20 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video Annie began her singing career in the late 1970s as Annie Anxiety, first as a part of Crass, then on her own, with albums produced by Adrian Sherwood and the Dub Syndicate. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, she lent her vocals to performances and releases of Nurse With Wound, Coil, Current 93, The Wolfgang Press, the Asexuals, and Finitribe. In the mid-1990s, she began to record and release music as Little Annie, and continued on with guest appearances on COH and Blue Light Fever recordings. Her latest full-length album to surface, Little Annie and the Legally Jammin' is a collaboration with Khan featuring Kid Congo and an album produced and recorded by Antony and the Johnsons is due for release in the future. It's an honor to be able to sit down with Annie and capture the rare performance in Boston with pianist Paul Wallfisch, recorded in December of 2003. The interview was very long and more of it will be used somewhere at a later date.

20 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.


TV on the Radio, "Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes"
Touch & Go
Young Liars, released this past summer, was an intoxicating shot of dark, precise sound; at once both deeply passionate and eerily chilly, the product of a gospel choral that had lost its way and preferred to creep out unsuspecting subway riders rather than bask in any holy warmth. While that EP showcased a few densely packed tracks, their new LP finds that intensity strung across a larger canvas, changing the shape and color into something that asks for more patience and observation. "The Wrong Way" is a charmer, thudding along with soupy bass and percussion as baritone and alto saxophones bleat and support the vocal harmonies of the three members, which sound like a snapping ragtime chorus, full bodied and drawling. Though the musical foundation is simple and loopy, it serves as a perfect background for the expressive vocals that rise and fall with bursts of energy, begging for the pews to raise their hands and chime in. "Ambulance" eschews any kind of pretense that Tunde Adebimpe's vocals are not the core of this band's power, dropping the fuzzy noise collages for an acapella excursion. Adebimpe's breathy triplets on the song's chorus of "I / will be / your / ac / ci / dent / if you / will be / my am / bu / lance," caress every syllable, giving them each proper consideration before spilling them out in his smooth baritone. Unfortunately, the slower tracks, like "Don't Love You," lack the amorphous, ephemeral quality that made "Blind" from their past EP such a spooky, alluring listen. Where before a lurch was arresting, visceral, here they are clumsy and cautious. "Poppy" suffers from a relatively banal guitar riff that comprises the bulk of the track. While this is hardly enough to invalidate any interest in Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, it is indicative that the group finds themselves searching for the next step, the next mode for their sound. "Bomb Yourself" finds those brilliant harmonies sprawling across a bass heavy, dub-inflected bed, capturing a deep groove. The raw quality of TV on the Radio's energy, and their recklessly experimental tendencies make listening to every nook and cranny of their tinkered sound interesting, and hints at even more dramatic pieces in the future. - Michael Patrick Brady


Karaoke Kalk
The most recent in an avalanche of new music taking a crack at resurrecting the dreamy, shoegazer pop of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive and Ride, Pluramon's Dreams Top Rock only distinguishes itself from the rest of the pack by not being quite as predictable. It helps that Marcus Schmickler has recruited Julee Cruise—the serene, childlike chanteuse of so many David Lynch soundtracks—to contribute vocals to the album. Julee's last album, the dreadful The Art of Being a Girl, was such a wasted opportunity that it's a pleasure to hear her placed in the hands of a producer who can wield her peculiar vocal talents properly. Schmickler has obviously schooled himself on Julee's best work, as tracks like "Flageolea" reproduce the languid jazz and lush pop sensibility of her classic Floating Into the Night album, which was produced by Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. Schmickler comes from a background of post-techno Powerbook composition, so much of Dreams Top Rock's sonic complexity derives from the careful overlay of laptop-treated instruments, aligned to created a densely packed architecture of guitar noise, feedback and subtle digitalia. Many of the tracks float by on pacific washes of beatific guitar noise, noise that seems at once unstructured and complexly detailed. Pluramon's overuse of stereo effects and multi-tracking can seem at times like a parlor trick, and an unoriginal one at that, but the richly nuanced storm of hazy psychedelic fuzz was enough to keep me engaged for the album's entire length. The album also has its share of good songwriting, especially "Time For a Lie," which appears twice on the album in radically different mixes. "It's a beautiful time for a lie," Cruise repeats, her voice wistfully lilting at the end of every line, each breathy refrain sending out a comet trail of echoes and reverberations which accumulate over the length of the song, like Phil Spector's wall of sound as envisioned by Loveless-era Kevin Shields. The lovely "Noise Academy" creates a complicated symphony of mutated and reprocessed vocals and instruments that radiates along with the druggy, minor-key guitar melodies. Marcus Schmickler's exacting, overly clinical, and obsessive reenactment of his obvious influences may the album's weakest aspect, but paradoxically, it's also the same inspiration that keeps the album afloat on a distorted cushion of nebulous fragility. - Jonathan Dean


Ora, "After Rainfall"
IC Studio
Ora was Andrew Chalk and Darren Tate with Jonathan Coleclough, Lol Coxhill, Colin Potter, and Daisuke Suzuki. Final, released in 2002, was to be this group's final album, but there were five pieces that never made it to that record because they had been lost; After Rainfall collects those five pieces and, with varying degrees of success, shuts the door on Ora. The atmosphere is a strange mix of synthetic rhythm and environmental grandeur; "Gnome Culture" is a strange crunch of musical crystals sparking in and out of the perceptible realm. The cascading rolls of sound play throughout the background and collide with a heavier churning, creating a pulsing and lively but anxiety-filled tension that simply floats away and dies. "Darkness" is, on the other hand, a mostly environmental piece composed of water drops, a cat's meow, and the rolling about of some kind of metal object. This is Ora at their best: the most simple of elements are combined in a satisfying meditation on sound painting. Clearly this is an old hut in the middle of a rainforest that is inhabited by a monk and his cat, both of whom find serenity in the sounds that creak and slither by their home. "Attribution To Memory" is amazing for the same reasons; the calls of summer birds herald the coming of a thunder storm. Wooden boards rattle and creek and the water splashes down on stone pathways, clear and pristine bells echo through the clouds, the line between natural music and composed music becomes blurred, and Ora proves that melody is everywhere. It's unfortunate that every piece on this album is not like "Darkness" or "Attribution To Memory." The synthetic sounds used on the other three tracks sound pale in comparison to the peace that is reached in the organization of natural sound. What this record has done, though, is make me want to go find more Ora to listen to. "Attribution To Memory" is, by itself, reason enough to find this record. It's a shame that Ora will no longer be making music; After Rainfall is a record that makes me want more and the only way I can find more is by looking backwards and digging for those limited releases and ultra-rare productions. - Lucas Schleicher


Asmus Tietchens, "FT+"
FT is for Folktales, a series of three sets of three 3" CDs that Crouton has released over recent years, each disc devoted to a single artist of electroacoustic, experimental electronic, or impov orientation. For a finale, this full-length disc finds Tietchens' remixing all three triptychs, producing nine individual tracks, each a predictably drastic reinterpretation of its source disc. While the "+" might suggest a thickening of each track into the kind of throbbing, gray industro-ambiance that made Tietchens' name the mark of quality on too many lost cassette comps from decades past, his approach here is much more subtractive, closer to the brutally minimal, ascetic technique begun somewhere around the more recent Menge series. The new mixes reduce nearly every track to a widely-scattered array of sound fragments, never slipping into glitch-like impressionism, rather working through a pensive, reserved process of manipulation, each compressed or bloated bit of sound dust given ample, isolated space. Tietchens seems intent on discovering (or creating), in each piece, those moments which stare blankly back from the disc's digital sheen, which appear absent of any relation to the whole yet arrive with a cryptic, almost mocking air. The artist has always kept his dark, wily sense of humor in the background of his releases (often highlighted by a E.M. Cioran aphorism or two), and this disc is no exception. The joke here, for me at least, is that Tietchens is, more than ever, toying with the idea of creating music where human touch has absolutely no significance. The punch line comes with the realization that Tietchens is remixing others' compositions, making his job necessarily harder. Each disc in the original Folktales series was conceptualized around the idea of narrative, with the various artists essentially telling stories through sound, making Tietchens accomplishment, though idiosyncratic itself, an effective erasure of the others' storytelling. His reconstructions could not be more remote; I'm even wary of using an adjective like "cold" for fear of suggesting that anything atmospheric emerges. The miniscule crunches, warped thuds, and deadened hums that become windows into the original recordings do allow for glimpses into the unique flow and sonorous quality of each, however Tietchens displays a tested skill for introducing shards of melody or motion while almost simultaneously enacting their disappearance. It's as if wrapped up in each stunted swell, each vestige of previous creator and previous completion, is evidence of a fundamental insubstantiality. The artist's talents are most remarkable when applied to the coarse saxophone and violin compositions from Bhob Rainey and Dan Warburton. Tietchens is able to retain the distinctiveness of each instrument, even allowing for a few melodic intervals to take shape, but he completely rejects any of the personality that comes with such age-old devices, turning them on an angle that emphasizes only their existence as machines, simple conveyances of empty sound. While on paper the artist's modus operandi has all the charm of a night spent sleeping on a board, rest assured that Tietchens does not let the potential for enjoyment slip through the cracks. He understands the audacity of his place within the little charade he's created and takes care to make the results more appealing than FT+'s faux-laboratory chart cover would indicate. This is merely Tietchens as E.M. Cioran's fatalistic hero, playing the invisible hand of time, sweeping the folklore to the hens with a smile on his face. - Andrew Culler


Hydra Head
After unveiling their unique brand of instrumental heaviness on last year's untitled EP, Pelican nudge things one step further with this, their first full-length release. Australasia is that fictional land mass which, along with the Americas and Great Britain, comprises the empire of Oceania in George Orwell's 1984. Pelican create a similar topography of impending dystopia with the dark, crushing riffs of their Australasia. Pelican unashamedly summon the spirits of Black Sabbath, Master of Puppets-era Metallica and The Melvins, creating a six track album of surprising dynamism and complexity. Every track uses the same simple sonic palette: heroic minor-key riffing interwoven with layers of crunchy, expansive rhythm guitar. Their long-form compositions take each theme through several dramatic tempo changes, allowing them the chance to revisit certain key themes and gain momentum with each repetition. Pelican are instrumentalists of the highest order; their guitar symphonies are so incredibly lyrical that vocals would be an imposition. Comparisons to post-rockers Explosions in the Sky might be appropriate, but Pelican aren't interested in delayed gratification. They cut out all of the chamber-ensemble warm-up and dive in headfirst, barreling forward on their own intense propulsion. "Nightendday" imagines a sky filled with smokestacks and searchlights, a brutal dictatorial regime where the only escape is to rock as fully and as hard as possible, breaking through the barbed-wired borders of tyranny. "Angel Tears" is absolutely stunning, a sweeping, cinematic dirge imbued with a driving rhythm section that keeps threatening to upend itself, but miraculously manages to stay on track. Track five, which is purposely left untitled, is the album's sole respite: an hauntingly beautiful symphony of interlacing acoustic guitars with subtle synthesizer flourishes. It's Pelican's answer to the heavy metal power ballad. The album ends on a high note, with the monolithic 11-minute title track, full of fuzzy, cyclical riffage so massive, at high volumes on headphones it threatens to deepen the fissure of my brain. Calling this "stoner metal" would be a disservice to the precision and accuracy with which the foursome deploy their arsenal. Australasia is a substantial album, but it nonetheless leaves me with a desire to hear more. - Jonathan Dean


Corker/Conboy,"Radiant Idiot"
Vertical Form
The electronic and live instrumentation mixing duo of Adrian Corker and Paul Conboy have recently been writing the next Bomb the Bass album with Tim Simenon. Ahead of that, Corker/Conboy's Radiant Idiot is a dark obsession with minor chords that transforms their music into a beautiful new creature with a life all its own. Their sophomore set is a true renovation of their formerly derivative sound with intriguing additions and finer melodies. The electronics are more an atmospheric touch than an active participant, and with new instruments joining the group's repertoire, the possibilities are endless. Shutters and delicate guitar open the record, and soon hefty live drums and a low muddy bass join in, and the guitar and the song go all filthy energy. A full-on freak-out ensues, reminding me vaguely of the new direction of Pele, and suddenly I'm eager for more. There's a drive, an urgency present, on these songs that may have been there before, but never this overt, and it's a breath of fresh air. The music is still so structured and controlled in its fluidity, like every move is planned, but I could definitely tell that these two were taking chances this time around. The slow groove of "Portland Grove Am" is simply lovely and comforting, with a simple repeated melody and layered stringed instruments overtop. Interesting guest contributions rear their heads here and there, like Ian Dixon's pulse-quickening trumpet work on "Get 1 Over." Changing rhythms also bring a freshness: a shuffle here and a dirge there with a little bit of a groove in between creates a great make-out record, with shifts in tempo bringing peaks and valleys in the action. Strangely, the only track that didn't do anything for me is the title track, also the longest at just over eight minutes. It moves like a symphony, gracefully sliding in and out of different phases, but it really doesn't get where it feels like it's going. Still, the general experience of the album is a pleasing one, and a real evolution from their previous efforts. - Rob Devlin


Donato Wharton,"Trabanten"
City Centre Offices
This debut from Donato Wharton is the lost soundtrack to the works of Asimov, where each track tells of a different character in a new situation, like the various stages and chapters of "I, Robot." Stories like these must be trapped in Wharton's head, but my imagination ran wild to create chapters of my own. I found the record to be more of a love tale, where computers and devices feel, for the first time, real emotions, and try to move through life with this new knowledge, only to find how crippling these newfound and deeply wondered about feelings are. The facts — that Wharton comes from Cardiff through Stuttgart and spends his time composing music for theater works — all have voices in his brand of electronic music. All these experiences are present and accounted for when the sounds plays through the speakers. It's the emotions and feelings that are created that make this truly unique, and on Trabanten Wharton uses classic sounds to compose songs that raise genuine images and memories. "Built to Fail" starts this vision off right: the track is all awkward rhythms formed by the splicing of tracks to create a stumbling effect. There's hope, like the whole thing will get on its feet and walk like it manages to at the end, but ultimately it will fall apart again. It has to, because any effort of this kind will ultimately due to the weight and pressure of it all. "Silvester" beeps and clicks like a pining love, like a machine falls in love with the voice that travels on its wires. "Is That While Yr Still on Earth" is eavesdropping on multiple lines: the first hint that these dreams can turn dark, destroying what creates or feels them equally. And so the story progresses, track after track, as the wires try to own and possess more that they can call their own, only to find out in the end that they can't really own anything. Depressing, sure, but it's still a marvel. Just when I think this whole digital revolution is a crock and that the whole thing should just implode upon itself, I hear a CD like this one. The real crock is this: the promise of technology producing all these frank and amazing artists purely by the mass availability of sampling and recording technologies for anyone to use on their Mac or PC. There still must be artistry of some sort, some originality or unique voice that demands this technology to truly be heard, and Wharton definitely has that in spades. - Rob Devlin


Fuck-off Machete,"My First Machete"
Lost Dog Recordings
If Fuck-off Machete succeeds in nothing else, the band will at least have three things going for them: one of the best names for a rock band ever; one of the funniest album art concepts in recent memory; and more press earned for the horribly underrated Ganger, whose bassist Natasha Noramly is one of the Machete's key members. It would go like this in the record shops — Dude 1: "Who's 'Fuck-off Machete?'" Dude 2: "The chick from Ganger's new band." D1: "Who's Ganger?" D2: "Dude, come over here. You're not looking anymore, 'cause I know what you're getting." Now, for those who have already heard Ganger, this first step is unnecessary, and it's time to move right on to the Machete's solid debut. This is a stronger, angrier, and dirtier band with vocals and a lot more moxy. The same undertow of bass exists, and the same dark melodies and playful attitude, but with Noramly as the ringmaster, this circus gets wild real quick. They have a feral quality, but there's always a feeling like the bark is worse than the bite. That, or it's being carefully held in to be unleashed with a swing that cuts off the limbs and leaves bloody stumps. "Minority Gang" features her treated rasp borrowing "Would I Lie to You" by the Eurythymics, but with an ironic twist. She would, and she makes it plain. Most tracks start off with an empassioned but subdued delivery, but then the aforementioned bludgeoning arrives. It never gets too bloody, though, and occasionally, like on "Watch Them Crash," things start slow and stay there, though the Machete still gets quite a bit louder in places. Ultimately the name of the game on their debut seems to be that naked emotion gets you everywhere. Noramly even splits vocal duties here and there, all in the name of using the best voice for the task. Different songs, after all, have a different feel, and the distorted sex of her voice may not necessarily do. By the record's end, the band lets it all out on "My Machines" and then tries out a little synth and strangeness on "Panda." It's a nice touch, showing off a little of where else they can go. Next time, maybe. For now, it's a strong debut and it's nice to hear that Aereogramme isn't the only post-Ganger band with some chops. - Rob Devlin


Un Caddie RenversÉ dans l'Herbe, "Like a packed cupboard but quite..."
Un Caddie's last 3" CD release quickly became my favorite among Dekorder's promising early flourish of activity. The Barcelona-based artist must be pleased with the young label (started by former Disco Bruit personnel) as Like a packed cupboard is the first full-length from outside his own Ooze.Bap imprint. The record is a perfect continuation of the previous Dekorder disc, a beautiful, unassuming blanket of multiethnic instrumentation arranged via the artist's laptop, which acts merely as a locus for connecting the various parts of this one-man, transcontinental ensemble. Un Caddie keeps a dreamy, spacious mood throughout, never allowing his adventurous sound palette to the get the better of him, or drifting into technical excess. The digital looping and splicing is just enough to shift the focus away from the unique assimilation of mbira, kalimba, double bass, guitar, even berimbau, serving only to accentuate the streamlined precision at the core of Cupboard's mesmerizing, coastal ambience. The meandering pace of each track nicely suits the round organics of the instruments, minimally altered and blended with a degree of restraint that allows for the special qualities of each to shine through. Un Caddie escapes easy estimations, harping on his exploratory sound-grabbing or fusionist approach, by creating songs that arrive with a haphazard slowness, quietly building around simple, effective figures. The comparisons to Sack & Blumm elicited by the artist's previous disc are equally apt here; he creates music with a similarly bizarre sense of naïveté, as if performed by a child who'd grown up in a room where of Sub-Saharan "toys" joined the Fischer-Price piano. The artist takes up a related agenda with Cupboard's liner notes which include quotations from theorist John Hutnyk's "Critique of Exotica" and from Un Caddie himself, condemning the capitalist labeling involved in any process of cultural hybridism. Going further, he has named the tracks with URLs for web resources in ethnomusicology, cultural theory, and other awareness groups, making his interests impossible to ignore, and it's not hard to sympathize after time spent drifting along with this beautiful, label-less music. - Andrew Culler


"33 RPM: Ten Hours of Sound from France"
Joining Ju-Jikan: Ten Hours Of Sound From Japan and Variable Resistance: Ten Hours of Sound From Australia, 33 RPM is the companion disc to the newest installment in an ongoing sound art exhibition series at SFMOMA. "Ten Hours" is part of the exhibition title and does not refer to the amount of music on this disc, which is a full length, non-mp3 sampler of different artists from the show. Like its predecessors, 33 RPM (thankfully) does not attempt a survey of its particular country's experimental music history, instead focusing largely on newer artists with a few older luminaries included for comparison and continuity. This approach is especially welcome here, as France, unlike Japan and Australia, has a widely-documented and much-publicized history of experimental sound craft, largely a result of government-funded arts institutions such as INA GRM, one of the world's most significant sources for electroacoustic music and the incubator for Schaeffer and Henry's pioneering studies in musique concrète. 33 RPM covers a large amount of ground, touching, albeit briefly, on a wide variety of today's sound art techniques. Former Art Zoyd member and art-rock orchestrator Kasper T. Toeplitz opens the disc with uncharacteristically noisy contribution, a whirlpool of crunchy static and shredded high frequencies that would've been at home on Ju-Jikan, alongside Masonna and Merzbow. Long-standing electroacoustic duo Kristoff K. Roll provide a track more in line with their exceptional past work, "Zócalo masqué" is a fascinating snippet of audio travelogue, splicing layered machine noises with recordings from a Mexican political gathering, in preciously-detailed collage. 33 RPM's biggest name belongs to Jean-Claude Risset, a student of Boulez and one of the fathers of early computer music; however, his three-part "Resonant Sound Spaces" piece pales in comparison to Lionel Marchetti's "À rebours," which develops out of similar acousmatic sound, sourced from strings and woodwinds, cut and reattached in a slowly sinister build that makes one of the disc's best moments. Other highlights include Christophe Havel's "excerpt/metamorphosis," a pointed sculpture of machine ambience and assorted bodily noises that showcases the effect of advancing computer technologies on musique concrète technique. The capabilities of new technology are certainly manifest in exhibit curator "Laurent Dailleau's processed theremin work "It Was Too Dark to Hear Anything," the instrument dropping a vast, aquatic drone, as spacious and effective as any of the artist's work as a member of improvisers Le Complexe de la Viande. 33 RPM closes with a track from ambient techno/industrialist Mimetic that feels somewhat out of place among so much sound art, though some intriguing similarities can be established between the song's apocalyptic swoon and the work of sympathizers like Art Zoyd et al. Taken as a whole, the compilation is a strong collection of some of today's most interesting French electronic musicians and one that makes steps toward connecting these artists with their rich heritage. If anything, 33 RPM, like Ju-Jiken and Variable Resistance, will provide listeners with many fruitful introductions, new and old, surely enough to stay busy until the next installment. - Andrew Culler


Califone, "Heron King Blues"
Thrill Jockey
The opening notes of "Wingbone," sharp and clear as a bell are as direct as Califone wishes to get on their new record. The track possesses a tightness and clarity of meaning that will slip away across the rest of the record, though not in a bad way. Every strum and pluck rings out beautifully, vividly presenting itself before slowly fading back into the darkness. Of all the tracks on Heron King Blues, this one is the most organic and most immediately satisfying, an introduction to the extended dream about to be let loose and spill out its unconscious thoughts without elaboration. The music was crafted in a manner similar to the bands previous Declaration releases, either wholly improvised or devised in the studio. After the raw materials are put to tape, they are put through the process, cut, dubbed, and patched into an electro-acoustic meld. This approach deepens to drifting, dreamlike sprawl that pervades the record. "Apple" is dominantly percussive, bubbling with a collage of sounds of indeterminate origin, some pastiche of real drums and mechanical approximations that along with Tim Rutili's hushed, choppy vocalsgive the track a compellingly breathless tempo. "2 Sisters Drunk on Each Other" is far removed from the pastoral feel of the rest of the disc, with chiming guitars and a flanged and funky bass line. Overdubbed horns criss-cross over one another, squealing out nonsense melodies. This track seems as if it would be right at home mixed into a dance set list. Though it does stick out on the disc, it is distinctly Califone, pitting sound against sound ever so subtly to develop tension and energy in a subdued way. The title track, spanning almost fifteen minutes, is an elongated jam session that puts the strengths of the band's improvisation skills and the attentiveness of the listener to the test. While there are intriguing moments in the midst, it can be somewhat taxing. By its end, Heron King Blues has escaped form and function and spun off into a nebulous place, the band finding their voice in that mist as strong (if not as clear) as it is on solid ground. - Michael Patrick Brady


Cyclotimia, "Trivial Pleasures"
Within 25 minutes of pressing play everything in this space will be bleached, cleansed, and returned to its proper place. There is nothing out of place, no surface smudged, and no voices speaking above eachother; everything is closely, carefully, and painfully monitored. Cyclotimia's cold, cold presentation makes the setting of Orwell's 1984 seem like a happy place filled with the vibrant activity of free and strong people. The mechanical and soulless presentation makes sense, though: Trivial Pleasures comes with a booklet that outlines Nasdaq's personal mission statement and provides information on "Miniaturized, Implantable Identification Technology;" the implication is clearly that of a Big Brother atmosphere. In addition, this album was apparently inspired by Wim Merten's For Amusement Only, a composition written for pinball machines. The inspiration shows: many of the sounds are repeated loops of chimey and high pitched rings modulating through various tones. The effect is dizzying and somewhat frightening. The sounds of knives scratching together crash into a chaos of tin and other metals crushing together while synthesizers moan deep beneath the surface of some icey landscape - this is not intended for pleasant afternoon listening. For all of its alien facts, Trivial Pleasures is surprisingly fun to listen to. There's an element of cynicism that has to be appreciated in songs like "Market Experts." Horrible machines used to grind human bones to pulp churn underneath a repeated vocal loop... "analyzed by experts, analyzed by experts, analyzed by experts." Everything is perfectly safe, trust me! All that happens here is in the best interest of the people! Nothing here could be possibly be of any harm, right? And with a laugh Cyclotimia grin and continue to grind out the choking sound of capitalist industry. Though this kind of jumbled noise would normally turn me off, Trivial Pleasures manages to keep my interest. Granted, it's a short album, but that only works to its advantage.- Lucas Schleicher


Thrill Jockey
Bobby Conn was so much more charming when he was singing about akward sexual experiences, teenage cocaine parties and giving blowjobs to advance in the corporate world. Now that he's aimed his rapier wit at the ridiculously easy target of the Bush administration, he misses the mark almost completely. Perhaps my dislike for The Homeland stems from a fundamental belief that politics and rock n' roll are uneasy bedfellows. I've heard a precious few protest albums that didn't seem completely dated mere weeks after their release, and they were made by much shrewder artists that the diminutive Mr. Conn. He and his band of Glass Gypsies wade through a turgid song cycle satirizing rabid conservatism, "homeland security" and Bush's imperialistic foreign policy. Maybe it's me, but don't these seem like rather obvious targets? Does President Bush - a man so clearly idiotic, insane and willing to distort the truth in order to further his own nefarious causes - really need to be lampooned in a series of pastiches on 70's glam and arena rock? I think The Homeland answers that question, and the answer is a resounding "no." Save for one lonely track, there are no memorable tunes on the album, most of the music struggling to fit Mr. Conn's convoluted lyrics. Producer John McEntire attempts to compensate for the songwriting's obvious shortcomings by over-arranging every song, introducing a multitude of synthesizers, organs, percussion and strings so that every moment is overwhelmed with composition. On the album's opening track, "We Come in Peace," Conn tries to graft idiotic lines like "We are your friends, we come in peace/We brought our guns to set you free" onto the same Boston-style classic rock mold that made his last album The Golden Age so hilarious and memorable. Other tracks attempt poor imitations Bobby Conn's myriad other influences. Their only entertainment value lies in trying to identify which artist Conn is badly impersonating: the title track is Yes' "Heart of the Sunrise," "Relax" takes its cue from Prince, and "Home Sweet Home" is a piss-poor facsimile of Hunky Dory-era Bowie. "Bus #243" is a lone bright spot, a rollicking song that deserves a better place than this record in which to thrive. Then, suddenly and without warning, Conn summarily loses the plot, dropping his theme for four full tracks before attempting to regain it with the final track. I really hate it when artists refuse to follow up properly on their own stated goals. - Jonathan Dean


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.


Jason Anderson - New England CD (K Records, US)
Crispy Ambulance - The Powder Blind Dream CD (LTM, UK)
Dynarec - User Input CD/LP (Delsin, The Netherlands)
FZV - Enclosure 12" (Ai, UK)
The Holy Kiss - Rising 2x7" (GSL, US)
Kraftwerk - Aérodynamik 12"/CDEP (EMI, UK)
LAL - Warm Belly High Power CD (Public Transit Recordings, Canada)
* Material - Bustin' Out 12" [reissue] (Ze, France)
Minus 8 - White 12" [mixes by Big Bang and Tweak] (Compost, Germany)
Shitmat - KillaBabylonKutz CD/2xLP (Planet µ, UK)
Sixtoo - Box Cutter Emporium 12" (Ninja Tune, UK)
Various - Six Degrees 100 CD (Six Degrees, UK)
:wumpscut: - Bone Peeler 2xCD (Betonkopf Media, Germany)
Xela - Tangled Wool CD/LP (City Centre Offices, Germany/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.

The Winter Music Conference is an annual event for Miami, during which a cavalcade of artists, promoters, DJs, producers, and label personnel descend on the city for two solid weeks of trade shows, artist showcases, label parties and orgiastic, drug-addled debauchery. During WMC season, all the club promoters attempt to trump each other by staging unique live events at local venues featuring the dance scene's hottest live acts and DJs. This year, I headed down to Miami for The SoHo Lounge's two-night event hosted by the DFA and Flyer Magazine, which promised to include live performances by !!!, The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Gonzalez and Russom, The Juan Maclean and Mu. The crowd was a typical Miami mix of hipster cokeheads, nouveau riche, international clubbers, Latino scenesters and a brand new cadre' of Vice City-playing indie kids clued into the non-revolution of dance-punk. The SoHo Lounge encompasses several rooms with renowned DJs spinning simultaneous sets, the largest room reserved for live performances.

Friday's first live act was LCD Soundsystem, coming exactly one year after the DFA's James Murphy unveiled the live act at last year's WMC. Listening to LCD's various singles and EPs, the music doesn't sound as if it would lend itself particularly well to the live arena, but Murphy and company do an incredible job of creating a dynamic live performance. "Beat Connection" is a long, slowly evolving dub-disco track that slowly gathers momentum before exploding into a loud barrage of nervous beats and Murphy's confrontational screams. It might be intentional or it might be the venue's limited sound system, but the wall of distortion created by LCD's tribal precussion, bass slaps and synthesizer squalls vibrated the entire club, focusing attention on the hypnotic, reverberating groove. Murphy played fast and loose with the lyrical rants of "Losing My Edge," improvising a stream of hilariously sarcastic verbiage, name-dropping Black Dice and telling the audience just how hard he works to make sure they have good music to listen to. The Rapture was next with a brief but pitch-perfect set. The band has gotten progressively better over the four performances I've witnessed — rhythms more complex, blasts of saxophone skronk, and songs are joined together with gently evolving dub bridges and sparkling synthesizer arpeggiations.

Saturday night was not well attended, a lot of clubbers having left to attend other events featuring populist acts like Underworld and Paul Van Dyk. !!! took the stage, their sound checks and warm-ups evolving unannounced into their set opener. Somewhere in the club, a fire alarm was tripped, but !!! didn't miss a beat, improvising right along with the shrill siren. Luckily, the venue did not ignite into a red-hot fireball like the Great White show in Rhode Island. Even if it had, I think I would have tried to catch as much of !!!'s killer set as I could before heading for the emergency exits. Their performance ended with a 20-plus minute interpolation of "Me and Giuliani Down By the Schoolyard," a politically-charged funk song that turned the perplexed, ecstasy-fueled dancefloor into a mash of spasticated jiving. A set by The Juan MacLean traced strange connections between late-70's leftfield disco and late-80's acid house, holding it all together with elastic bass and funhouse-mirror echoes.

Every room of the SoHo Lounge was consistently bumping with celebrity DJs, their myriad sets attempting to erase barriers and connect the postmodern dots between early-90's rave culture, 80's-retro, Moroder-esque disco and the newer wave of Berliniamsburg dance-punk. It was not at all strange to hear The Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers" rubbing shoulders with Wink's "Higher State of Consciousness," fading into Was (Not Was)'s "Wheel Me Out," funneling out into a Walter Gibbons mix of Arthur Russell's "Schoolbell/Treehouse." When disposable culture is this deliciously eclectic, it's hard not to be seduced. - Jonathan Dean


Results from last poll:


Please, somebody, tell us what this one really means.

Hello Cthulu
Because cats and squids go together like, oh, hell, this doesn't make any sense either.


we're number 1!, we're number 1!

Subject: you're number 1

The words "tortoise," "coil," "brainwashed," and "godspeed" are not uncommon words in the English language, however, did you ever notice that brainwashed's websites come up #1 in Google when you type them in. Even "trans am" which is a car for fuck's sake comes up to your web site.

"throbbing gristle" goes without saying and effectively keeps their 'official' (crap) website down at number three.

You rule! (or somebody at google must like you)


Subject: no subject

are you trying to make my head explode? Why don't youu ever review some good music like Xtina or Britney?

Justin is HOT!!!!

Try again.

Subject: EFA

is that an early april fools joke on brainwashed?


Subject: efa

Sorry, I'm just not shedding any tears over that.

Let's hope World Serpent isn't far behind.

Be nice. Some of our best friends are being swindled as we speak.

Subject: Re: Jon W.'s commentary about the demise of the recording industry

Historically, small entertainment purchases such as music and film tickets go UP during economic downturns. As an example, the amount of money spent on entertainment during the great depression era is staggering. The concept of blaming the economic downturn for entertainment corporate layoffs is yet another way for them to avoid their responsibility.

Otherwise, nice job.

Theater during the Great Depression was cheap. CDs aren't so cheap these days. When CDs were introduced approximately two decades ago, the average LP went for anywhere between $6 and $9. In 2004, the price of manufacturing and distributing a CD is less than the price was to manufacture and distribute an LP 20 years ago, however, list prices are around $18/$19 in places. CD purchases are hardly cheap or as affordable as theater in the Great Depression.

Subject: poll

I was mighty pissed that in your poll for Let Me Touch Him you failed to recognise the fantastic vocal ability of Little Evelyn... What was her occupation one can only wonder....

Subject: stuffin martha's muffin

You forgot Leona Helmsley. She's actually at the same lockup they're sending Martha to.

Good call.

Subject: RSS

I don't remember if this has been addressed before, but does the brain have an RSS feed?


Subject: radio radio

I listen to Brainwashed Radio at work everyday, all day....i would go out of my mind with it....but anyway, I hear a band called NUMBERS alot....and i have looked for them on-line, but can't seem to find any info on them....can you give me any? do they have any releases i can purchase or any info i can get on them?

thanks for your help, and thanks for keeping me sane at work!

Most of Numbers' music is available through Tigerbeat 6 - All the music played on Brainwashed Radio is available through them (since we host the tb6 website). Thanks for listening.

Subject: Jonathan Dean

When read Jonathan Dean's review of the NON dvd.

I wanted to check out who he is, so I whent to the people list on brainwashed, read what was there and clicked the link to, what I thought was his homepage (?) ( but, this is just my guess though, this did not take me to a homepage about Jonathan Dean, not unless he makes porn and is a girl who likes to insert large objects various places

He wishes.


sponsor, donate, or buy from brainwashed
Click here to find out how you can help keep The Brain going. Every penny helps.


don't make me smack you for admitting you own an ipod
bark psychosis -shapeshifting
tv on the radio - blind
lilys - tone bender
pluramon - hello shadow
arovane - minth
static - disquiet
spiritualised - the ballad of richie lee
tarantel - popul vuh
murcof - ulysses
manitoba - cherrybomb

Richard Grant, Australia, who says these are tunes his "iPod is sick of playing."

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed Hobgoblins
P.O. Box 7 / Arlington MA 02476 / USA
electronic mail

Click here for other issues