Exposé Online banner

Brainticket — Alchemic Universe
(Hologram HOL 2001, 2000, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01

Alchemic Universe Cover artAlchemic 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Brainticket

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Paga Group - Gnosis – Paga today is: Bernard Paganotti, former monster-zeuhl bassist with Magma and Weidorje, Klaus Blasquiz, former Magma lead vocalist on all their best albums, Bertrand Lajudie on keyboards, and new...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues