the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V04I14 - 04152001
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happy birthday to us
On Monday, April 16th, Brainwashed dot com turns FIVE YEARS OLD!!! Over the last half-decade we've grown to house tons of bands, labels and other cool shit. We'd like to thank all of our contributors, all the cooperative bands and labels and of course the readers. If nobody bothered do you think we would? Thanks again for all the support, a fifth-anniversary commemorative shirt should be available soon for anybody interested in supporting our crack cocaine habits.

Another Pink Departure
Frank Verschuuren, a.k.a. Frankenstein a.k.a. Frankie Pett has gone to Hollywood. The producer and touring sound engineer has left the Legendary Pink Dots after being in the band for almost six years. Says Verschuuren, "I feel it's time for me to move on the newer things." Raymond Steeg will be taking his place, re-joining the band. Frank continues, "I wish him and the band all the luck and success."

more cex than you can handle
Cex's STARSHIP GALACTICA CD-EP is out on 555 this week. Featuring the hits, "Intro," "Cex Can Kiss My Soft, Sensuous Lips," and "Hi Scores," plus a really embarassing picture of Cex on the cover with flames around him.


joey ramone, dead at 49
Singer Joey Ramone (born Jeffrey Hyman) lost his battle with lymphatic cancer on Sunday afternoon. While the UK punk movement sported an almost uniformed short hair, anti-establishment messy look, over in NYC the Ramones chose a route of the long hair with dark glasses look and no decorative messages on their backs. Sure, it was NYC punk and they helped put the disgusting CBGB's club on the map (along with the popularity of Blondie, Talking Heads and others), but their charming blend of rock ideals (4 chords and songs about sniffing glue and teenage labotomies) helped make their tunes some of the biggest rock'n' roll youth anthems. In the career that approached three decades, the group never changed their look and always held true to their guns. .

have a sad day
Harvey Ball, inventor of that little yellow smiley face died this past Wednesday after a short illness. The Worcester, Massachusetts man invented the face for the internal use by an insurance agency in Massachusetts back in 1963 for a mere $45. Unfortunately he never registered a trademark on the design, popularized in the late 1960s and early 1970s by gracing millions upon millions of buttons. He will be missed but his legacy lives on. :-(


arab strap, "the red thread"
Exactly 57 minutes. Ten songs. Slightly sinister. Very sensual. Damn depressing. Though the title refers to the Eastern supposition that each of us is connected to our one, true love by an invisible cord, 'The Red Thread' unravels a fascinating and devastating mess of frayed relationships and tattered egos. It's like watching a violent movie spectacle: you can't help getting sucked in, as much as you believe in real life you'd turn the other way. Aiden Moffat's lyrics, often muttered or tossed off in a thick Scottish accent, grow gradually decipherable with each listen.
With pleasure and curiosity and perhaps a bit of distaste one can slowly piece together his narratives in searing flashes of desperate sex, deception, and fragility. Most tracks start in a mode of trashy minimalism: the ceaseless chug of a chintzy drumbeat, Moffat's ragged and mumbled croon, a few acoustic chords from guitarist Malcolm Middleton (plus the occasional squeal of his fingers sliding across the frets)... "Scenery" inches forth from such beginnings, trimmed by a slender, high-pitched keen of feedback. Moffat sings, "And on the way here, I swore to myself / I'd fuck whoever I please," and suddenly a lush wash of strings and guitar slices in. "The Devil-Tips" sometimes sounds a bit between [the London] Suede (glistening guitar arpeggios, meandering piano, and just the right drench of reverb) and My Bloody Valentine (some amazing rushes of distortion here, but used sparingly). The repetitive groove of "Long Defective" reminds me of beats on the Fall's recent 'The Unutterable'. A few synthesizers add extra color, while Moffat confesses the discovery of his lover's sex diaries and his ensuing nausea and paranoia. On these and other tracks, plenty of adjectives spring to mind: narcotic, erotic, sleazy, seedy-it's a great album. Overall, a glittering prism of misery as beautiful as it is dirty and desperate, both delicate and raw. - Diane Lewis


KANDIS, "1996-99"
Kandis is the first of at least three monikers to date for electronic artist Jens Massel, his releases as Kandis, Senking and Fumble making up the bulk of Karaoke Kalk's 5 year deep back catalog. This digipacked disc collects 14 tracks from the four 12"s spanning 1996-1999, which seems to be the year Massel retired the project. Honestly, it doesn't much matter which name he uses as the differences among and quality of the music of each is negligible. There is an inherently sublime playfulness and charm to all of Massel's work - a sort of slow motion techno pop constructed of reverberated bass beats, melody and percussion blips and various other neat sounds like steam hiss and electric discharge. The German title "ruckenschwimmer" warrants mentioning as it means 'jerk floats', according to BabelFish. "Dilldop" is one of the most basic tracks but it comes in three drastically different versions. "Treasure Island" really takes its time to explore a sea of liquid pops and spacious bass. "Waiting" is bright and up beat and surprises, on first listen, by adding a male vocal low in the mix. "Set Tecker" breaks ranks somewhat with a beat less intro series of growls.. "Luna Corona" is in the same cheery, childish spirit as much Kraftwerk. "Moving" also has male vocals, more up front in the mix, and takes on a bit of a Tikiman/Rhythm & Sound, Chain Reaction styled dub feel. And "Outro" gracefully wraps things up with a gentle bass swell and poly rhythmic groove. All in all I'm duly impressed with Kandis, start to finish, more so than the Senking and Fumble discs which have a few boring/bad tracks. A new Massel album, moniker t.b.a, is due out soon ... - Mark Weddle


"Did You See" is the third various artists compilation from Surrey, UK based label deFocus. As the title implies, this disc collects tracks you might have missed from already released deFocus albums and singles, as well as a few tracks from the two v/a 12"s "Do You See" and "Two You See". Six artists - Lackluster, Aphelion, CiM, +one, John Tejada and Esem - produce a dozen tracks interspersed with cute half minute 'intervals' by CiM. Their work is very reminiscent of the more sublime moments in Warp's 'Artificial Intelligence' electronic mood music series of the early '90s. Lots of space-y pads, warm melodies and mellow beats. In fact, the aural aesthetic of these artists is so similar it almost sounds as if all the tracks could have come from a single one of them and a single rack of gear. But that's more of an observation than a complaint really. Aphelion's "Click" rolls with a driving, funky drummer rhythm. CiM bring in some scratching and mild funk hop grooves. Lackluster's "Ix Pen" is the most, well, lackluster of the lot while the 'brothomstates remix' of "Suntrap" steps up and out with rapidly sequenced synth notes and beats. And Jon Tejada's "Disappear" adds a bit of jazz and house flavor. All in all a nice selection. I still dig this sound nearly a decade after I first discovered it. It's good to hear someone continuing to explore it ... - Mark Weddle


Ulver continue to expand beyond and free themselves of their metal roots with this, their 5th full length album, the subtitle referencing an imaginary film that this music provides the soundtrack for. The past few releases ("Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" and the "Metamorphosis" EP, all on Oslo's Jester Records) have already proven their music to be wide-ranging, elegantly produced and cinematic and epic in scope, but "Perdition City" concentrates even further on subtle and dramatic intensity, atmosphere and decay. Strains of John Zorn's "Naked City", Vangelis' "Blade Runner" and John Barry soundtrack are present as emotive piano, strings, saxophones, electronics and the sounds of the city permeate much of the seamlessly flowing 53 minutes. The first few tracks open the album with fluid juxtapositions of all the elements, including big live drums and passionate vocals (in English, a presence on about half the album). "Hallway of Always" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" couple distorted synth swirls with heavy, somewhat hip hop rhythms. "The Future Sound of Music" drastically switches from quiet piano motif to a full on bass and drums assault. "Dead City Centres" is the most outright jazzy with a smoky swing and climactic narrative. And "Nowhere/Catastrophe" closes the album as the most structured 'song' with a crushing vocoded bass/synth chorus being the focal point. Superb. Ulver's music is genuine regardless of what genre they're dipping into or what direction they choose to tread. Also included on the disc is a near 4 minute mpg video clip for "Limbo Central (Theme from Perdition City)" (from the preceding EP) full of Revelations quotes and treated car ride visuals. Ulver will begin recording their new EP "Silence Teaches You to Sing" soon ... - Mark Weddle


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


Atlon Inc. - Main Things CD/3xLP (Force Inc., Germany)
Cex - Starship Galactica CD EP (555 of Leeds, UK)
Kit Clayton - Live On Shortwave Radio CD (Phthalo, US)
Daedelius - HerÍs Is > (Sic) CD (Phthalo, US)
Future Pilot AKA - Beat Of A Drum 7"/CDEP (Domino, UK)
ISAN - Salle d'isan 12"/CDEP (Morr Music, Germany)
Lupine Howl [ex-Spiritualized] - The Carnivorous Lunar Adventures Of... CD/LP (Beggars Banquet, UK)
Libyrinth - Dizzolve A Diamond CD (Phthalo, US)
Major Force - Re-Return Of The Original Artform 12" (Mo'Wax, UK)
Orbital - Funny Break two 12"s/two CDEPs (ffrr/London, UK)
Patcha Kutek - Lomito Saltado CD (Beta Bodega, US)
Sense - Melancholica CD-R (Neferiu, US)
* Sistol [Vladislav Delay] - Sistol CD [ltd reissue] (Phthalo, US)
Spike - Operation Binary LP (Rice & Beans/Beta Bodega, US)
Various - Dub Auder 2xCD [with Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players, Luke Vibert, Isabel Waidner vs. Monophone, Creature, Pole, Muslimgauze, Bowling Green, Summit, Surya, V-Neck, Wheel, Subculture Soundsystem, Beam-UP, B.R.K (featuring Brian Eno), Bedouin Ascent, Freeform, David Kristian, Fibla, Force Of Angels, Sugerglider (Black Dog remix), Gay Biker, Blam Blam, The Lorax, Icarus, Kansascityprophets, Si{cut}db, Bovaflux] (Law & Auder, UK)
Various - High Density #2 12" [with Pole, Freeform and Spring Heel Jack] (Law & Auder, UK)

Alton Inc. - Main Things CD (Force Inc., Germany/US)
Tinsel - The Lead Shoes CD (Keyhole Records, US)
Transglobal Underground - Yes Boss Food Corner CD (Ark 21, US)

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 site,
since release dates can and will often change.

The first 20 minutes you are just staring, without a clue of what's going on in these simultaneously projected movies which fit to four parts of the screen. The director switches the viewer's attention in various combinations (of 4) making it more sharp. So that at one moment you are realizing that the puzzle is partly solved and that your perception has just been rebuilt to suit the movie's unusual stream: it was shot without montage in real time with four cameras.
EBTG's "Single" follows after Mahler's 5th symphony Adagietto only to finish it with a ridiculous DJ's version of an old russian folk song "Poljushko, Pole". But within this seeming chaos the structure, plot and characters are building.
The most interesting thing happens when you walk out of the cinema finding yourself in a state of incredible lightness and your perception (which got used to that complicated 4-dimensional scheme) frees and allows you to get reality more real. This is a magical movie. - Andrei Bakhmin


cowboy bebop
Enough of my reviews have come over the Brian for most of you to realize one thing: my reviews suck. So before I fumble to explain what makes Cowboy Bebop great, trust me on this one fact: Cowboy Bebop is the single greatest story-telling feat of the late-twentieth century.
I finished watching the 26-episode anime series for the second time yesterday and realized that people who dismiss anime as crap were missing out on a gem. Anime has been pretty much dismissed by western-culture as sexist, violent and mindless. And with some of the crap that reached our shores in the early-90's, yes, some of it does fall under that category.
But then there are masterpieces such as Neon Genesis Evengelion, Lain and the entire Miyazaki/Ghibli catalog.
And then there's Cowboy Bebop.
Most of the 26 episodes seem like stand-alone stories that could be watched on their own. And each one could stand on it's own. But all 26 together stand together as a work that I can only compare to Alan Moore's Watchmen as hinting at a larger, deeper picture.
It's hard to describe the show without it coming off as a "I've seen this before" type of sci-fi show. Only they never once spell things out for you, only hint at what's going on. No voice-over explaining how star-travel was allowed by an advanced gate system, or how an accident with one of the gates has rendered the Earth almost-uninhabitable. Instead you have to watch several episodes to get this. You've already heard this story before. Because that doesn't matter. Only the characters matter. By telling their story, does the world they inhabit get populated.
Each of the five protagonists have their own story. And none of their stories gets unfurled the way you would expect from the medium. Most of the story isn't even told, only left for you to guess at.
It's a story about alienation, even among friends. It's a story about how you can't walk away from your past, no matter how many times you stated that you can. It's about how we all know we belong somewhere, even if where we belong doesn't exist. One eye sees the past, one eye sees the present.
Oh, and do not watch the dubbed version if you have a chance. I decided to check out some of the dub on the final episode and none of the emotion came through.
The movie is due out in Japan this summer. I may have to take a trip there just for the opportunity to watch it on the big screen. Guess I'll have to learn Japanese, too. - Thomas Guttadauro


Muffin Films
Who doesn't like muffins really, when you think about it? Well, some Californian girl with too much time on her hands has devoted herself to making various Muffin Films and posted them all over her website.

Since some missed it last week, here it is again. It works this time.


what's in a name?
Fave recent contemporary name-checking songs:

  1. Kid 606, "Matmos are the A-Team of Electronica"
  2. Low, "John Prine"
  3. Doldrums, "godspeed you young actress!"
  4. Chicks On Speed "Panasonic Rip-Off"
  5. Lesser, "Markus Popp Can Kiss My Redneck Ass"
  6. Kid 606, "Luke Vibert Can Kiss My Indie Punk Whiteboy Ass"
  7. Cex, "Cex Can Kiss My Soft, Sensuous Lips"
  8. Trans Am, "Alec Empire is a Nazi/Hippie"
  9. Jessica Bailiff/the.dithering.effect, "Your Sounds Make Patterns in My Eyes (for Stars of the Lid)"
  10. V/Vm, "There's a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He's Merzbow"


Subject: Happy Anniversary

Looks like it's that time of year again......just wanted to say Happy Anniversary and thanks for always being here. I take you for granted and I apologize for doing so. I know it was just a joke, but music would not be as fun without Brainwashed. The new website design looks great!

Thanks for the note and for the love.

Subject: thank you!

I stumbled onto your MBM pages looking for something else. You have made my day with your Colin James ( Jolly James, Diceman, et al. ) discography. To make a long story short I have been searching in vain since 1993! I bought "This Is Techno Volume 6 (UK)" and was blown away when I heard "Supervisor Error" by The Diceman. I wanted more! I eventually was led astray and procured a bunch of Richard James ( Aphex Twin, et al. ) titles that never did much for me. Until this very minute I thought they were one in the same!

Please, tell me were I can buy the Vivatonal Colin James stuff. I had all but given up - your website has rekindled my hope that there is indeed more of this stuff out there. Is there perhaps a mp3 archive somewhere? I mean this stuff is impossible to find...


Chris Miller answers, "I really don't know much about him [Colin James] other than what I have there in the discography. As he was a member of MBM [as `Gregg Retch'] for a duration of time, I thought it was important to catalogue his output as well. I also knew about the confusion because of The Diceman alias, so I co-wrote a FAQ about it at"

Subject: (no subject)

Hey, just needing to listen to the full version of MBM's "I am Electro" and "I am Organic".

What CD are they on or how can I get a copy of those?

Thanks alot for your help

They're both on 'Original Fire'.

Subject: BUMMER

I was kind of disappionted by your April fools joke, it would have been way funnier if you didn't update for another week or so. I imagine most of the people that were on the fence about it being a joke or not would have been panicked, and that would have made for some really interesting email. Well at least I know now that you all are sharp but not cruel (at least to the followers).

Keep it up!

Have you kicked a puppy today?

Subject: Push! Push! Struggle! And blah!

I remember buying Trompe Le Monde & Nevermind on the same day (the day they were released) and being really quite surprised that I ended up playing the Nirvana album more. It had catchier tunes!

And what about the recycled Killing Joke riff... Eighties = Come As You Are and In Bloom = lightersinthe(h)air should've been ditched in favour of Aneurysm and Even In His Youth anyway.

Pixies had better riffs and certainly had better lead guitar lines but Nirvana appealed more to the metal crowds and had one insanely catchy tune in 'Teen Spirit'. More girls would've probably opted for a snuggle in Kurt's jumper than a cuddle from Black Francis, and that always counts for something in the hormonally fickle world of rock pops fandom!

I don't think it's fair to blame Nirvana for the commodification of 'alternative' - eventually all these genre identifiers become debased and take on new meaningless meanings. 'Indie' used to mean 'on an independent label' but in the UK it has now come to denote watered down Beatles or Buzzcocks plagiarism.

The thing is that people who have a clue know this and it doesn't change a damn thing when it comes down to good music made by innovative artists. It just means people might have to make a bit more effort to search things out.

This is where the website 'Brainwashed' comes in handy!
It hardly matters what gets played on the radio anymore when there is such a wealth of diverse music online.

- Graeme Rowland

You're right on many points in your letter, and, upon research it was discovered the release of Nevermind predates the release of Trompe le Monde. But semantically it would have been correct as, "months after the release of Trompe le Monde, grunge popularity became yadda-yadda-yadda,..." Thanks for the note, thanks for reading, thanks for your contributions.
Your points would make great topics on the discussion board!


aggression will never die
MERZBOW: Spiral Honey
TEAR GARDEN: To Be An Angel Blind, The Crippled Soul Divide
ALEC EMPIRE: No Safety Pin Sex
THE GRID: Swamp Thing
TORTOISE: Millions Now Living Will Never Die
THE SHAMEN: Greatest Hits
COIL: Astral Disaster

an anonymous reader in the United Kingdom who's return address says "GodDamnedKommies".

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed Skull Crushers
PO Box 7 / Arlington MA 02476 / USA
© 2001 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.
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