Brainticket: Past Present & Future

Ticket to ride the post-acid cosmos.

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With its mind-frying freakouts, Brainticket’s 1971 debut album Cottonwoodhill stands as an all-time psych classic.

This latest album is presented as ‘Krautrock’, which might have been true when classically trained jazz pianist Joel Vandroogenbroek started out. However, as later albums showed before he retired the name in 1982, there was more stirring here as he forged his strain of cosmic jazz-prog. Now he’s re-emerged as a sophisticated new creature on this first Brainticket album since returning in 2011. Vandroogenbroek has surrounded himself with different line‑ups on every Brainticket album. Co-conspirators here include two new female singers and UK Subs guitarist Nicky Garratt, mixed by Die Krupps’ Jurgen Engler. The sound on tracks such as the 20-minute-plus Dancing On A Volcano is rich, dense and multi-textured, straying into vibrant early 70s-style psych-prog, while flutes and sitars drape the hallucinogenic Reality Of Dreams. Only the motorik of Riding The Comet could be called Krautrock, but boxes should be irrelevant when dealing with such widescreen, multi-hued visions.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!