Brainticket — Alchemic Universe
(Hologram HOL 2001, 2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01Alchemic Universe is more or less the work of Joel Vandroogenbroeck (recording under the name of “Mystery Hologram A-U-rchestra”), with some spoken vocals by Carole Muriel. The text, by Lance Banda, tends to the new-agey (“Where have I been all my life?”). The keyboards combine digital and analog sounds, and the programmed percussion parts vary widely, from conventional drums to highly processed noises. There’s even a brief interlude of cocktail piano accompanied by strange sound effects in the second track, “Transformation of a Stream.” While Brainticket would certainly have to be classified as electronic music, it doesn’t sound much like current electronica – there are no endless arpeggios and thumping kick drums here, though an occasional quick edit or 32nd note fill shows awareness of current trends. There are definite nods to space rock (with echoing swoops and tinkles), new age (with silky pads of chords, breathy flute melodies, and philosophical-sounding narration), progressive (with complex multipart arrangements) and experimental (with some lengthy sections of knob-twiddling). The recording is very clear and expansive, avoiding the sterile, contrived sound of many one-man-band projects. Vandroogenbroeck has an interesting take on the keyboard solo artist category, and my only real complaint is that there are a few of the analog effects jump out of the mix a bit too harshly.
Related artist(s): Brainticket
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more