The Brain
  a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V03I35 - 10082000


Best wishes go out to Tom the Fish and Jen Deforge who got married last weekend in Vermont. It was due to this party of the century that THE BRAIN slipped a week. A world tour of Finland is in the planning process.

Panacea is back in the USA and trekking around doing both live performances and spinning tunes. For details on the venues, check out the website.

Details of "Crystal Mass" are now being collected at the LPD website. The Tear Garden features members of Legendary Pink Dots and Skinny Puppy. "Crystal Mass" is the 5th full-length release of original material as The Tear Garden and hits the stores on October 24th.

Starting Tuesday 17th October, The Horse Hospital presents: AETHER, a series of evenings of improvised music with The Amal Gamal Ensemble:

    Stephen Thrower (Cyclobe/Coil/Identical)
    David Knight (Arkkon/Shock-Headed Peters/Danielle Dax)
    Gavin Mitchell (Franko B/Identical)
    Karl Blake (Shock-Headed Peters/Lemon Kittens)
    Orlando (Alabama 3/Identical)
Doors open at 7.30pm. Aetheric transmissions begin without warning. Tickets: 5 (members)/6 (non-members). The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, London WC1. For more information, call 020 7833 3644 or e-mail

To honor the release of the new V/Vm CD, "Sick Love," the butcher has given 10 exclusive tunes in MP3 format for the web site. Hours of love to download at your convenience!

This month's issue of THE WIRE magazine features an interview of Jon Whitney by The Wire editor Rob Young. Stay tuned to brainwashed as we will run an audio interview of Rob Young by Jon Whitney!!!


No really, she's laughing with you... With all the sneaky charm of a car commercial that leaves you inexplicably in tears, this latest romp from People Like Us serves up the emotional complexity of, say, the complete works of Proust, crammed into bite-sized snacks for the easily distracted. In some sense Vicki Bennett's work could be seen as companion volumes to Neil Postman's incisive mid-eighties critique "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business". Her assemblages of found samples and oddball artifacts, punctuated by peculiarly catchy little synthpop interludes, are populated with all the random and irrelevant crap with which most of us are bombarded daily, skillfully crafted into preposterously pointless exchanges and easy-listening jingles which slyly undermine the intention and substance of their original forms. Bennett has an uncanny ability to transform the trivial, ephemeral, boring and banal into deliciously naughty indictments of our media-saturated culture. In this her work is not unique; artists like Negativeland explore similar territory, and it could even be said that mockery and pastiche, as hallmarks of the post-modern, have become something of a staple gesture. What is truly singular and surprising about her work, given its penchant for deconstruction, is simply its overwhelming gentleness towards its subjects. Never smugly clever or bitter, Bennett's real human warmth manifests in the strangest places, moving what would otherwise be searing sarcasm towards a genuinely fun and good-natured laugh at ourselves. Ultimately it is her kindness that gives her work both its distinctiveness and its effectiveness: while her commerical Muzak jingles at times lead you to believe you are being lulled into a bludgeoning, her manipulations and surreal juxtapositions are never cruel, offering instead an uplifting glimpse into the possibilities of meaningful communication within (or despite) a sea of chitchat, of real emotion inside the sentimental, and ultimately of an ennobling critical method which is engaged, insightful and diabolically effective without being condescending or overly self-confident. "Thermos Explorer", her ninth solo album, is my favorite PLU to date. Each listening finds me singing along and grinning like an idiot. Why is listening to this so much fun? It's like having a sleepover with your hilarious best friend, where everything they say makes you giggle-behind all the music is the irresistably sweet Vicki Bennett, and you just can't help but like her. - Thomas Olson


  • due soon

What a boring album. And not boring in the good way, like Philip Glass' fun with monotony or Low's sublime minimilist architectonics or even Stephin Merritt's clever zen-inflected loop songs (see his glorious THE HOUSE OF TOMMORROW ep) that prove repetition can be a dircet path to pop nirvana. Rather, Sea and Cake's new disc is all about the non-event: nothing happens, and nothing ever will happen. And as you sit there like a character in some existential vaudeville skit, listening to its tastefully tedious keyboards and drums and noodly guitars and breathy, indistinct vocals < for what seems like an eternity < you'll suffer in paraysms of boredom. And wonder why the hell anyone who likes music actually likes this stuff. If this is the alternative to alternative rock, I think i'd rather listen to the air conditioner. Just say "NON!" to OUI. John McEntire fans will want to check out the fine new Aluminum Group album, PELO, which shows his skills as performer and producer to a fine advantage. The Navin boys have abandoned their fey, soft-rock ways for electroplated dance tracks, and McEntire is a definite asset. - LD Begtol


  • due soon

I'm not sure what possessed me to order this cd considering my recent overindulgent purchase of a "Merzbox" 50 disc box set, but I'm sure glad that I did. "Live at Radio 100" is a limited edition of 500 that comes in a neat silver and blue carton box with slip off top. It features a single 42 and a half minute track that documents a live performance for the Dutch pirate radio show "Earbitten". Masami Akita (aka Merzbow) mans a turntable and electronics and is joined by Bara on turntable and some bizarre vocals, Reiko on theremin and 'guest' Radboud Mens on turntable. This unique DJ team spin a non-genre specific assortment of records (the only one I can positively identify being Louis Armstrong), sometimes simultaneously, and carve it up with swathes of sound effects and electronic noise. The result is, yes, noisy and chaotic, but much of it is quite subdued with a trance like atmospheric quality reminiscent of Throbbing Gristle's "In the Shadow of the Sun" soundtrack. A sense of humor also prevails too through the eclectic choice of sound sources and the way in which they are obliterated. Overall "Live at Radio 100" is very entertaining and listenable, especially by Merzbow standards. I'm somewhat surprised at how 'musical' the piece sounds considering it's a live collaboration. I hope there's more stuff like this in the Merzbox, which I've yet to seriously delve in to. Now ... where's my aspirin? - Mark Weddle


  • due soon

Dan "The Automator" Nakamura is one half of Handsome Boy Modeling School and well known for his production duties in various collaborative efforts. "A Much Better Tomorrow" takes the 1996 "A Better Tomorrow" EP, remasters it and fleshes it out with previously unreleased tracks from the same era into an inexpensive full length cd. If you're a fan of the Dr. Octagon LPs with Kool Keith, then this is a must have as 6 of the 11 tracks are from the same sessions and feature Keith in his Sinister 6000 alter ego. Nakamura's varied approach to hip hop deftly weaves together samples and laid back, big ass, jazzy beats as backdrop for rhymes on all but two tracks. Keith ditches the silly medical mumbo jumbo here in favor of old skool silliness and braggadocio. Neph the Madman and Poet handle the MC duties on a track apiece and DJ Q-Bert adds scratches to another. This may be 4 years old - an eternity in the world of hip hop - but it doesn't sound dated. Dan is the man. An even cheaper EP with just the new tracks is also available from for those who already own the original EP. How cool is that? - Mark Weddle


  • due soon

On their self-titled 1998 debut, oRSo sounded alot like Tom Waits and Rex (for which oRSo's frontman Phil Spirito is/was bassist) in collusion with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, all tripping barefoot through an Appalachian twilight. It was all very beautiful and strange, and altogether an excellent start. But their new record is miles ahead down the path. And there's nary a shred of indie rock on it -- it's all banjos and tenor guitars and weird keyboards and looped noises and lots and lots of gorgeous strings. And lots of songs in waltz time (shades of Rex's fine WALTZ album). More and more, oRSo feels like a real band, with Ben's and Gillian's contributions ever more organic and integral to the project. LONG TIME BY is a slice of pure heaven served warm on the back porch, with some fresh cream on the side for extra yumminess. There is nothing more satisfying than this homemade confection -- wrought with magic and love, fraught with mystery and despair. - LD Begtol


  • due soon

Perhaps with this wonderfully fun new album John Wesley Harding will transcend the Elvis Costello comparisons once and for all. The influence is still there in the form of clever, wordy lyrics, eccentric and extravagant pop gestures, and a richly emotive delivery. But Harding's sense of humour is infinitely warmer and more inviting that Costello's sardonic hauteur ever was. And Harding lacks the layer of schmaltz that too often made Costello's work unbearbly bathetic. ST. ACE has sexy ballads like "After the Fact," soaring powerpop in the form of "You in Spite of Yourself," and serious silliness in tracks like "Humble Bee" and "Old Girlfriends." The cheery incest subtext of "Bad Dream Baby" would make both Edward Gorey and Roy Orbison shudder in their coffins. Harding's cheeky "Goth Girl" will make you want to slip into some tattered velvet, smear your mouth with black lipstick and go out prayer-dancing just like you did all those years ago. - LD Begtol


  • due soon

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.


Add N To (X) - Plug Me In 7"/12"/CDEP (Mute, UK)
Aspen - Sugar/Spice 12" (Emanate, US)
* Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of the Bewilderbeast CD (XL/Beggars Banquet, US)
Broadcast - Extended Play Two 12"/CDEP (Warp, UK)
Capitol K - Island Row CD/2xLP [limited UK-only release - to be reissued worldwide via XL in 2001] (Planet , UK)
Cex - Role Playa LP (555, UK)
Richard Chartier - Series CD (Line, US)
Chix 52 - Give Me Back My Man 12" (Chicks On Speed, Germany)
Delerium - Silence 12"/two CDEPs (Nettwerk, UK)
Dirty Beatniks - Whores Freaks Saints & Angels 12"/CDEP (Wall Of Sound, UK)
DJ Vadim - Your Revolution 12" (Ninja Tune, UK/Canada/US)
* Doves - Lost Souls CD (Heavenly/Astralwerks, US)
Jeremy Dower - Sentimental Dance Music for Couples CD (Plug Research, US)
The Freight Elevator Quartet - Becoming Transparent CD (Caipirinha, US)
The Freight Elevator Quartet - Exasperation 12" [mixes by Kit Clayton, Datach'i and Federspiel] (Caipirinha, US)
Gamma - Black Atlantian 12" (Big Dada/Ninja Tune, UK/Canada/US)
Laurent Garnier - Greed 12" (Mute, US)
Geiom - Cut & Pressed 12" [mixes by Infant, Bauri and Geiom] (Neo Ouija, UK)
HiM - Our Point of Departure CD/LP (Fat Cat, UK)
Hood vs. Duo 14 - remix 10" (555, UK)
Hynek - Hynek 12" (Fauna, Sweden)
Imperial Floral Assault Unit - Imperial Floral Assault Unit CD-R (Crunch Pod Media, US)
King Cobb Steelie - Mayday CD (Ryko/Palm Pictures, US/Canada)
Heiko Laux - Sensefiction Remixed CD [mixes by Surgeon, Johannes Heil, DJ Slip, Alter Ego and more] (Kanzleramt, Germany)
Tim "Love" Lee - Just Call Me Lone Lee CD (Tummy Touch, UK)
Francisco Lopez - Untitled #104 (Alien8, Canada)
Denver McCarthy - Rise and Shine CD (Statra, US)
MD - Applesap CD (Merck, US)
Mekon - Relax With Mekon CD/2xLP (Wall Of Sound, UK)
Molasses - Trilogie: Toil and Peaceful Life (Fancy/Alien8, Canada)
Nightmares On Wax/Various - DJ Kicks CD/2xLP (Studio K7, Germany)
* Nigo - Ape Sounds CD/2xLP (Mo Wax, UK)
Persona vs. Control Panel - My Future is Not Yours CD-R [ltd to 200 copies] (Simulated, US)
* Photek - Solaris CD (Science/Virgin, UK)
Pimmon - In Conjola Mode 7" (Bad Jazz, UK)
Pisstank/LSR - split 7" [on yellow vinyl] (555, UK)
Quiet Celebration - Quiet Celebration CD (Noh Poetry/Gazul, US/France)
Radio Boy - Machine Drilling For Oil 12" (Accidental, UK)
Radiohead - Kid A CD/2x10" (Parlophone, UK/US/Canada)
The Sea and Cake - Oui CD/LP (Thrill Jockey, US)
Peel Seamus - Shifting Gears 12" (Delsin, Netherlands)
Space Raiders - Laying It Down 12" (Skint, UK)
Starfish Poll/Various - Lymph Three 12" (Lymph, Belgium)
Stereo De Luxe - Glamorama CD/LP (Bungalow, UK)
Spaceship Eyes - Of Cosmic Repercussions CD (Noh Poetry/Hypnotic, US)
Steward - Horselaugh On My Ex CD (555, UK)
Subarachnoid Space - These Things Take Time CD (Release, US)
Surreal Madrid - We're Going to Vegas, Baby! 12" (Fused & Bruised, UK)
Sykes - I Witness CD (Iris Light, UK)
Terre Thaemlitz - Selling 7" (Bottrop-Boy, The Netherlands)
Themroc - The Frozen EP 12" (Wall Of Sound, UK)
Emiliana Torrini vs. Smith & Ludlow and Stromba - E-RMX 3 7" (Fat Cat/One Little Indian, UK)
Town and Country - it all has to do with it CD/LP (Thrill Jockey, US)
Various - 10.02 EP 12" (Moving Shadow, UK)
Various - Battery Sentinel 2 2xCD (Crunch Pod Media, US)
Various - Cookin 5 2x12" (Good Looking/Cooking, UK)
Various - Cottage Industries CD [with Clatterbox, Geiom, Phonem, Herrmann & Kleine, Bauri and more] (Neo Ouija, UK)
Various - Cues Hip Hop Shop Vol II CD/LP (Stray, US)
Various - Owasso Night Atlas CD (Infrasound, US)
Various - Smakfull Elektronik LP [with Arovane, Plod, Bauri, Spinform and more] (Saundart, Sweden)
Various - Stray From The Pack CD/LP (Stray, US)
Various - Variious 2xCD [ltd to 1000 copies; with Taylor Deupree, John Watermann, Kevin Drumm, Roel Meelkop, Pimmon, *0, Richard Chartier, Voice Crack and more] (Intransitive, US)
Sven Vath - L'Esperanza Remixes 12" (Club Culture, Germany)
Cristian Vogel - Whipaspank 12" (Mute, US)
The Wee DJs - They Take 12" (Gassoline, UK)

Anjali - Lazy Lagoon 12"/CDEP (Wiiija, UK)
Magic Mike - Journey (Era Of Bass Pt 2) CD/2xLP (Mo Wax, UK)
Gary Numan - Pure CD (Eagle, UK)
James Plotkin/Pimmon - split 12" [ltd to 1500 numbered copies] (Fat Cat, UK)
Red Snapper - Our Aim Is To Satisfy Red Snapper CD/2xLP (Warp, UK)
David Sylvian - Everything & Nothing 2xCD/3xCD [anthology with lots of reworked/remixed and previously unreleased tracks - 3xCD version is limited] (Virgin, UK)
Emiliana Torrini vs. Antenna Farm and Motion - E-RMX 4 7" (Fat Cat/One Little Indian, UK)
Various - Plus 8 Classics: 1990-1997 2xCD (NovaMute, UK)

Komet - Rausch CD (12K, US)
Slicker meets The Aluminum Group - Immediate Action #6 12" (Hefty, US)
Various - Plus 8 Classics v1: 90-92 CD (Plus 8/Minus, Canada)

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


The place smelled of goths when I got in, but I'm assuming that was incense burning from the stage rather than perfume because it didn't smell of goths by the time Foetus was on. Low stage lighting, moving through the performance from purple to green to red, made the low-hanging bulbs, which were pulsing irregularly as if being strangled of current, lit the band and their equipment dimly as if in a dungeon laboratory—a subtle but atmosphere-enhancing device.

They opened with "Something", followed by a new track, "Higher Beings Command," which involved a lot of plonking about on marimba by Tom Edwards (Spiritualised). Then, amazingly, "Titan Arch". I think everyone was gobsmacked that they were finally seeing Coil play their songs live. The first RFH concert was an impressive sustained sound piece, but pretty abstract; tonight it was much more Coil as a band, playing the pop songs you love. I really hope they continue playing live, and in this vein. That said, this performance was made slightly bizarre by the (presumably intentional) humour of a sequence of slides showing what I believe were baby sloths!

Then Balance announced a song from 'Horse Rotorvator,' and again mentioned their curse on Stevo for stealing that record and 'Scatology.' I hoped for "Ostia", but we were given to "Blood From The Air". However, it was no disappointment—possibly the highlight of the night. Balance remarked how strange it was to finally be singing these songs. And it was strange to be hearing them too.

They followed up with a really impressive version of a new track, "I Am The Green Child", in a slightly heavier and darker form than on the 'Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil' CD sold in the foyer.

What followed, if anything, is a blur now, but it wasn't long before the final section, which seemed to be announced as "Constant Shallowness Leads To Evil", and was a noisy, evolving piece like the original RFH performance, but much more violent. Balance dedicated it solemnly to presumably deceased friends and to David Tibet.

The visuals went into overdrive at this point. There was an incredible film of a complex, cloudy undulating red and yellow circular image which was accompanied by a hellish, deep red light show which became more and more extreme as the music did. As they started, Balance screamed "louder, louder" several times, and got his demand. As the music developed, so did the light show, with several overhead strobes blasting the red light away, followed by the vertical strip strobe lights that I recognized from the first RFH performance. As the strobes took over, you could just about read "God Please Fuck My Mind For Good" and "Colour, Sound, Oblivion" being flashed up on the screen. A bit of metal bashing too. It seems likely the final piece was based in part on "Tunnel Of Goats", the last fifteen or so tracks of the 'Constant Shallowness' CD, which I'm listening to now. (After about one full listen I'd say this was much more essential for Coil fans than 'Queens...'.)

Overall, it was an excellent night mixing the best of Coil's old and new material. Less mysterious than the first RFH gig, but more involved with both music and visuals, and more like I had always imagined seeing Coil live would be. - Andrew Shires

Suffice it to say that Saint Etienne have never been bashful about their status as one of the original prime purveyors of retro bliss pop. Even in venturing into a new sonic direction with arrangements by post-Krautrock darlings To Rococo Rot and The High Llamas' Sean O'Hagan on their most recent album, Sound of Water, the band's music remains as charming and catchy as ever. So, unlike many artists who prefer not to play older material in favor of the newer, Saint Etienne's set list embraced a number of their oldest (and most beloved) hits. Rousing renditions of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," "Like a Motorway," and "Nothing Can Stop Us Now," were performed to the delight of the audience alongside new songs "Boy Is Crying," "Heart Failed (In the Back of a Taxi)," and "Sycamore" from Sound of Water. Unfortunately, this was the slight downside of the performance: the band seemed to opt for a set list that was heavy on the crowd favorites, at the expense of some of their better material. But, then again, isn't that what pop bands are all about? Also noteworthy was the use of back-up singers clad in hip-huggers, playing tambourines and cowbells, and engaging in perfectly-rehearsed 60s dance moves. Something that would be nearly laughable in other bands was well-suited to the kitschy cuteness Saint Etienne is known for. They did an excellent job in entertaining their fans, which presumable was every intention of the band for this tour. - Jessica Tibbits


The sequel to the seminal, shocking and subversive compilation "Apocalypse Culture" is of somewhat biblical proportions; indeed, that most misunderstood and indigestible of all books is repeatedly refried to as a point of comparison by the cover blurb. The rather unlikely host of latter day saints contributing to this volume includes Colin Wilson, Michael Moynihan, Boyd Rice, Peter Sotos and Parfray himself. As can be expected, the book is in much the same vein as its predecessor; a study of the most extreme and unpalatable aspects of human experience and behavior. Terrain covered, and mapped out not in sensationalist gloom but in unforgiving light, is primarily a lovely land of cannibalism, pedophilia, child murder, necrophilia, racial hatred and scatology. Transgression is the order of this (fatal) day, even if its contributors may be unwitting to an uncertain degree, as the words of Darwin, the mentally retarded, and anonymous psychopaths drift into a disconcerting context. Taboos are (at the very least) stamped upon. Thought crimes are committed. But I very much doubt if the creators of, and contributors to, this work care in the slightest who this sort of thing will shock. (And shocked you may well be, despite how liberal, jaded, or cynical you consider yourself.) Shock is not the objective. Instead, "Apocalypse Culture 2" serves to illustrate not only that this behavior exists, but also that in certain quarters it is celebrated and let flourish. In short, a disturbing, enlightening, essential and inspirational read. And I use none of these words lightly. - Brian Conniffe


Thanks to the folks over at Chisenhale, Werd Perhect is now available. Go to and click on the spinning thingy... What a waste of time!

Subject: constant shallowness. . .

Dear Brainers,

The old Coil news said that Coil are going to release a new album after their Royal Festival Hall gig. However, the new news faintly mentions a CD, but they didnt name it. Is this the same CD? It was so dramatically described by John Balance that I feel strongly compelled to have it.

Sorry for any confustion. "Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil" was initially available only at the gig but is now being distributed worldwide by World Serpent. It is available.

Subject: Shallowness..Review?

Please wise us up to this release.. I've heard all sorts of stuff about it like there's 23 tracks on the actual CD. But there are only SIX titles listed. Noisy and more musickal, in what way? Horse Rotorvator? Hellraiser? MerZbow? AuBe?

A review and sound samples are due shortly here on THE BRAIN. Hopefully next week. Sound samples will be up on the Coil website this week with any luck.

Subject: Tortoise Discography

I found your discography because I was looking for a listing of the production/remix work done by John mcIntyre & Bundy Brown.......You wouldn't happen to know of a site that lists them?

Otherwise, nice site.

Thanks for the compliments, while those are great ideas (both have been tossed around before), the task seems to be a bit much as there's so much work from either of them. Keeping up with it would be difficult too.

Subject: junk mail


i'm tryin to rid my life of junk mail

can u help

If we knew, we'd be rich...

Subject: radio

Hello dear friends,

Hurray for Brainwashed radio

Keep on doing what you do best

Thanks again

Thanks for listning! Glad you enjoy it.

Subject: label question


I just saw my label (Bottrop-Boy) mentioned in the new records section, and I would like to ask the following:

I've tried to get in contact with an American distributor for my singles, but nobody seems to be interested enough to reply. Would you happen to know a good distributor for electronica 7" singles in the US?

This my release schedule so far:
b-boy 002: DAT Politics 7"
b-boy 003: Terre Thaemlitz 7"
b-boy 004: Nobukazu Takemura 7"

Those all sound like excellent releases. I wish I had good advice for you but in my experience the US distributors are terrible with about one or two exceptions. What'll most likely happen is that you won't get anything out to the folks in the USA, spend a long difficult time selling them and watch them all sell on auction websites years from now at 10x the price you were charging for them. And where will you be? You might not have broken even with your costs by then.... Shitty, shitty, shitty business we're all in.

Subject: nice to see ya!

Wow - just got my first subscription copy of The Wire (normally I just pick them up) after 3years on the Coil list I finally get to see your face!
Congrats on the coverage - they didn't say enough about how spesh the Brain is however!

Thanks! You're pretty spesh too! Thanks for writing.

Subject: Annie Anxiety

Hi I'm looking for any Annie Anxiety albums, but cant find any. Are they all out of print or what, do you know any stores that do carry any of her music? Any info helpful.

They are indeed all out of print right now, but look around at used places online and do searches. They do pop up frequently in searches.

Subject: just a tiny question...

What is Edward Ka-Spel's birth date? I don't need a year, just the month and day..I'd really appreciate it.

January 23rd.


VENGABOYS - cheekah bow bow
BOBBY CRUSH - double decker party
SUGARBABES- overload
SHAKIN STEVENS- green door
DR DEATH- injected with a poison
- James Kirby, V/Vm

  © 2000 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.

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