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Brainticket - Adventure CD (album) cover





3.86 | 36 ratings

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5 stars Public service announcement: If you own the CD reissue of Adventure on Purple Pyramid, you're actually hearing Voyage, and that same applies to the CD of Voyage, you're actually hearing Adventure. So the review here goes to the actual album Adventure. I bought the CD of Voyage (or so I thought) in 1997, not too long after it came out, and I was certain it came out in 1976, it really had that cool mid '70s vibe going on. No year of release was included anywhere, except 1997 when the CD came out. Then I bought Adventure on CD in early 1998, and it did clearly state it was recorded between May 1979 and January 1980, so I thought Adventure came after Voyage. Wrong! Adventure came first, in 1980, Voyage next, in 1982, but the reason I thought Voyage was first was I didn't realize the mistake that those albums were accidentally switched. So in this review, pretend I'm reviewing the CD to Voyage (since those bonus cuts left me speechless). Years later I was able to acquire the original LPs of Adventure and Voyage, which totally confirmed the rumors I heard about those CDs.

After Celestial Ocean, it was pretty clear Brainticket seemed to have vanished. Joel Vandroogenbroeck put out a solo album in 1978 called Images of Flute In Nature, but in 1979, he resurrected Brainticket with Barney Palm (from the previous two Brainticket albums, Celestial Ocean and Psychonaut) with two German musicians, Hans Deyssenroth and Wilhelm Seefeldt. I really don't understand why this phase in Brainticket's career is frequently maligned. To me, I simply felt they were going the progressive electronic route, and I really feel fans of progressive electronic will get more out of it than the Krautrock wanting a Cottonwoodhill or Celestial Ocean. The album starts off with this weird electronic circus sounding stuff, then it suddenly cuts off, then there's a bunch of gamelan and strange percussion, plus the sound of some wooden rasp and a wind up toy (presumably teeth on feet), electric piano, clavinet and Moog kicks in. Here it has that very mid '70s feel (hard to believe it was recorded in 1979 and 1980!), almost like RInder & Lewis' incidental music to In Search Of... (although warning: Rinder & Lewis were associated with disco, although the incidental music on In Search Of... was clearly progressive electronic). There's amore tripped out part next, with that strange circus music appearing again. Then side two (if you own the LP, that is) starts off rather slow with strange use of noise synth filters, clavinet and electric piano, before the flute kicks in, and a great Moog solo starts, before that ends with some bizarre use of flute, and a more tripped out calm part, with electric piano, clavinet, and Moog. I really think this album is truly underappreciated, in fact it left me spellbound. When I discovered that what I was hearing was Adventure, not Voyage (because of the CD), I was more blown away this dated from 1980, not 1976. Joel Vandroogenbroeck seemed a bit resistent in going along with the times (given Joel Vandroogenbroeck was already over 40 in 1980, you can't imagine him being fond of Elvis Costello or any other new wave act of the time). At a time when "Turning Japanese" by the Vapours and the Clash's London Calling (it was released at the end of 1979, but it's more of a 1980 album) were the big thing in 1980, Brainticket releases an album that's far more in tuned with mid '70s aesthetics, even the vibe sounded so 1976 that I couldn't believe it was actually recorded between May 1979 and January 1980).

Now the CD (that is, Voyage) includes three bonus cuts. I really wished I knew where they came from. I know that throughout the 1980s and even into the 1990s, Joel Vandroogenbroeck had released a ton of library music albums on the Coloursound label. Of course, those albums weren't available to the general public, and it wasn't until the coming of the Internet that people even became aware of these albums. But it appears that these bonus cuts did not appear on any of theses albums. "Skyline (Analog 1970)" was not recorded in 1970, but sounds more in tune with Adventure (or Voyage, if you have the CD). It even sounds like the same lineup. I really like how it starts with this droning synths, the flute and clavinets kick in, before the string synths and percussion kick in, before calming back down, to the droning synth that started it. This really left me spellbound, I only wished this was available at the time it was recorded. "Underworld Paths" sounds more contemporary, like mid to late '80s, perhaps early '90s, this is one I can't totally tell when it was recorded, it could be anywhere between 1985 and 1992. By this point it's obvious Joel Vandroogenbroeck didn't have any trouble with adapting to the digital technology of the time (compared to Adventure and Voyage which were very stuck in the '70s despite their early '80s origins). There's some Native American influence, with ambient synth and slap bass. It clearly sounds like a Joel Vandroogenbroeck solo piece. "Nebula" also sounds like from the same time period but hard telling, this one's much more ambient and minimalist.

For years I had been confused by this era of Brainticket, but after buying the original LPs, the confusion is totally cleared. Really I feel this era of Brainticket is underrated and worth checking out!

Progfan97402 | 5/5 |


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