Any album that comes with the warnings ‘After listening to this record, your friends may not know you anymore’ and ‘Only listen to this once a day. Your brain might be destroyed!’ has gotta be worth a spin. After falling under the influence of Amon Düül II, Can and early Tangerine Dream, Joel Vandroogenbroeck – a Belgian expat living in Switzerland – formed Brainticket and issued this, their debut album, in 1971.
His former life as a jazz musician strongly flavours the Brainticket sound, a bizarre brew of psych, jazz and funk that comes on like themes from 70s cop movies on acid.
To intergalactic grooves and trippy guitar solos, add some deliciously fruity flute, whacked-out vocals and a welter of sci-fi electronics, stir in some disorientating sound effects, stream-of-consciousness babble and bake yourself for several hours, et voila! Your brain will indeed be destroyed.
Vandroogenbroeck still tours with a version of Brainticket, so it’s not too late to catch a ride in the space-rock rocket. 1972’s Psychonaut and 1974’s Celestial Ocean are arguably better-realised efforts, but Cottonwoodhill is where the madness started and it remains a landmark release.