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Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom

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Brainville picture
Brainville biography
Founded in 1998 - Renamed as "Brainville 3" - Disbanded in 2007

BRAINVILLE was created as a supergroup, when DAEVID ALLEN (SOFT MACHINE, GONG, and other numerous projects, including solo ones), HUGH HOPPER (SOFT MACHINE, solo career), PIP PYLE (GONG, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, NATIONAL HEALTH (to name only a few), solo career) joined forces with a producer, musician, composer (among many other things) MARK KRAMER, also known professionally as KRAMER, who had collaborated with literally tens of groups and artists, including works with DAEVID ALLEN, HUGH HOPPER, and JOHN ZORN, within the realm of Prog.

The group toured the UK and the USA in 1998, and all this resulted in an album called "The Children's Crusade", released in 1999. The album is said to be dedicated to Stanley Kubrick, and is reported as a psychedelic jazz-rock album.

After that a group was reduced to a trio; they continued to appear live. In 2004 the live album called "Brainville: Live in the UK was released. A typical Canterbury album, it shows utmost musical skills and energy (despite the age of musicians), being a wonderful performance.

After the sad PIP PYLE's passing away CHRIS CUTLER (HENRY COW, ART BEARS (among the others), solo career) was recruited. The band is still (right for the moment - 2007) active, it tours under the slightly different name -BRAINVILLE 3 - now.

Recommended for all the Canterbury scene likers

::: Fassbinder:::

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BRAINVILLE discography

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BRAINVILLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.85 | 10 ratings
The Children's Crusade

BRAINVILLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Live In The UK
5.00 | 1 ratings
Trial By Headline
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in NYC '98

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BRAINVILLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Children's Crusade by BRAINVILLE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.85 | 10 ratings

The Children's Crusade
Brainville Canterbury Scene

Review by YourJefa

3 stars Alright, so this is actually a band formed by the monsters of Canterbury Scene and that supposes that this album should be a whole masterpiece but clearly it is not.

Sometimes it gets close to the classic Canterbury sound but in general it's the least similar to that sound; what we have here is more similar to some different kind of Prog bands like Bark Psychosis, Kayo Dot or even Maudlin of the Well. The music is very distorsioned, heavy but still with all of this I believe it is a very good album.

If you try to compare this album with some of the classics of Canterbury Scene you are going to be very disappointed but if you listen to it just like a random band and try to not think that Daevid Allen, Pip Pyle, Hugh Hopper and Mark Kramer are in fact the musicians behind it, you can actually get very satisfied with this album.

What I'm trying to say here is that this is actually a very good album if you are NOT expecting to hear the classic style of Canterbury Scene albums by the seventies.

Just three stars for this baby.

 The Children's Crusade by BRAINVILLE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.85 | 10 ratings

The Children's Crusade
Brainville Canterbury Scene

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars BRAINVILLE was one of the many so-called Canterbury supergroups and with the bigwigs like Daevid Allen of Gong and Soft Machine, Hugh Hopper also of Soft Machine and Pip Pyle of Gong, Hatfield & The North and National Health, it's impossible to phrase it otherwise. The band was rounded out by the addition of Mark Kramer who was a bassist and producer and cohorted with many bands including New York Gong, Shockabilly, Bongwater and Dogbowl just to name a few. On the band's one and only studio album THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE, he handled keyboards as well as production duties.

While the band officially existed from 1998-2006 they only managed to squeak out this sole studio recording in 1999 with a few live albums to follow under the moniker BRAINVILLE 3 which signified the new lineup of Allen, Hopper and Chris Cutler on drums. This band and album has been somewhat a blip in the canon of the prolific musicians involved and remains a rather unappreciated obscurity in the massive sprawling list of releases that these Canterbury stalwarts participated in during their decades long careers.

If one is to expect the usual Canterbury jazz-fusion technical workouts laced with lyrical whimsy and intricate instrumental workouts then i'm afraid you've come to the wrong project from any of these performers. THE CHILDREN'S CRUSADE, while having clear references to Daevid Allen's stint in Gong as well as having jazzy periods of Canterbury recognition, is much more in the noise rock and avant-garde camp with a larger than life fuzz bass in modern times more associated with drone metal bands like Earth and Boris rather than anything that came from the most beloved subgenre of progressive rock.

With eleven tracks clocking in over 51 minutes, BRAINVILLE are just plain weird with angular janglly melodic meltdowns, completely freaked out glissando guitar psychedelia and lots, let me repeat, LOTS of distortion drenching the entirely album like a Sonic Youth festival at Guitar Center. The compositions are not laced with those quirky and charming pop hooks either but are rather nothing more than instrumental freeform jams with extended passages into a total breakdown of form although at least one of the instruments, usually the percussion remains somewhat rhythmic while the guitar and bass have a free for all in hyperactivity.

While mostly instrumental, vocals do occur from both Allen and Kramer but the majority of the album is a tribute to noisy fuzz- driven fantasies. When Allen's vocals are at the helm, the Radio Gnome Trilogy era does come to mind in the over-the-top trippiness of it all but the fuzzed out freakouts are more akin to his work with the Acid Mother's Temple on the 2004 Gong release "Acid Motherhood," which was a more structured and accessible style obviously derived from this completely unhinged improv session called BRAINVILLE.

I doubt many will appreciate this from the Canterbury crowd but for those who love chaotic noise with hints of melodies struggling to coalesce as if everyone involved is heavily sedated and struggling to find reality, then this will surely find a place in your thumb's up category since the drive is relentless and the muddled murkiness of it all points more to atonal masters such as Glenn Branca and no wave bands like DNA rather than the Canterbury resumes of the musicians involved. Very much for the open-minded and adventurous noise lovers but for traditional Canterbury-ists, you'd best give this one a miss.

 The Children's Crusade by BRAINVILLE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.85 | 10 ratings

The Children's Crusade
Brainville Canterbury Scene

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Big names, big mess.

Big names like Daevid Allen, Mark Kramer, Hugh Hopper and Pip Pyle should guarantee a good result. Well, the jury is still out on that one.

For those of you who regard GONG as not avant-garde enough, Brainville is the answer. This is GONG taken to the extreme and beyond. Just without the good ideas and melodies. Brainville's music is mostly atonal and based on some beastly torture of bass guitars, drums and guitars. Into the mix, they have added some sound effects. In one instance, a BEATLES song is being played in the background with some bass running over it. This album is avant-garde/RIO all over and very little Canterbury Scene like NATIONAL HEALTH and CARAVAN. Yes, it is a psyched out GONG album to a certain extent with some HENRY COW and PINK FLOYD thrown into this stew too.

The end result is not good. Well, it is not for me and I can only write a subjective review of this album. i do not like it. I think it is too atonal. I cannot excactly find the references to Jazz either. There are some good stuff here, but they are far between. This is not for me.

2 stars.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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