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Brainticket - Cottonwoodhill CD (album) cover





3.80 | 178 ratings

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4 stars Producing the kind of freaked-out sounds that makes most other psychedelia seem tame and mundane in comparison, European outfit Brainticket are often bracketed under the far-reaching 'krautrock' banner, though truth be told any categorisation is missing the point. Led by Belgian flautist Joel Vandroogenbroeck and featuring members from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, Brainticket's debut 'Cottonwoodhill' was issued on the Germany Bellaphon label(home to the likes of Nektar) in 1971, encompassing a multi-coloured mixture of disparate elements ranging from ethnic folk, raga-rock, experimental sound collages, warped jazz, metallic fuzz-pop and retro-electronica. It's a decidedly mixed bag of tricks, yet a surprisingly potent one too featuring a wonderfully distinct sound that takes several listens to truly appreciate, yet appreciate you will once you have adjusted your ears to the jerky rhythms, cosmic effects and warped soundscapes that make up this singular slice of hardcore European psychedelic eclecto-rock. The trick seems to be simply a case of throwing virtually every musical idea in the pot and seeing what happens, with brazen, feedback-drenched proto-punk passages('Black Sand') melded somewhat skilfully onto grazing rock riffs('Brainticket Part 1') and occasional moments of celestial calm'(Brainticket Part 3'), only with tabla's, sitars, anaogue synths, exotic percussion, demented guitar solo's and odd, moaning vocals(if you can call them that) thrown in for extra brain-frying effect. Imagine bedroom alien-rock architects Chrome jamming with freak-folk exponents Comus whilst Kraftwerk are having an epileptic fit in the corner, and you may just get an idea of what Brainticket are about. One of those albums(and groups) that needs to be heard to (dis)believed, it doesn't get more adventurous or bizarre than this.


stefro | 4/5 |


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