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|Genres||Krautrock, psychedelic rock, experimental rock|
Brainticket is an experimental krautrock band from the early ‘70s known for its use of exotic instruments and jazz-inspired compositions. The band continues to perform concerts and release albums in the 2000s.
Brainticket was founded by Joel Vandroogenbroeck, a Belgian who grew up studying classical piano before switching to jazz. He received the Art Tatum prize as “youngest jazz pianist” at the age of fifteen, and toured around Europe and Africa including performances with the Quincy Jones Orchestra at the World Exhibition in Brussels and the RAI symphony of Rome. By the late 1960s, Vandroogenbroeck was still playing jazz but he found new inspiration in German krautrock artists Amon Duul II, Can and Tangerine Dream. Under the influence of these groups, Joel and guitarist Ron Byer recruited drummer Wolfgang Paap and formed the trio that would become Brainticket. The group’s 1971 debut album Cottonwoodhill featured British vocalist Dawn Muir. Cottonwoodhill immediately ran into controversy for its association with psychedelic drugs. Much to Vandroogenbroeck's disgust, the album came with a warning label that insisted you should "only listen once a day to this record. Your brain might be destroyed,” which led to the album being banned in several countries including the USA.
Following the death of Bryer, Vandroogenbroeck moved to Italy and met an American woman named Carole Muriel. A pair of Swiss musicians, guitarist Rolf Hug and bassist Martin Sacher, followed and the group released 1972’s Psychonaut. The album has been described as more accessible and song-oriented than its predecessor while still maintaining a unique and progressive sound
A rock opera collaboration, Orfeo9, with Academy Award winning film composer Bill Conti (“Rocky”) followed before Vandroogenbroeck began work on a new Brainticket album based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The new album, Celestial Ocean, told the after-life experience of Egyptian kings traveling through space and time, from the desert land to the pyramids. Released in 1973, the album was hailed as the definitive Brainticket experience.
Vandroogenbroeck then made a series of recordings for the German label Coloursound, who supplied ambient and mood music film and TV documentaries. Such titles as Industrial Retrospect, Computer Blossoms, Mesopotamia Egypt and many more emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and one of these sets, 1980’s science fiction themed Biomechanoid, included artwork by famed designer H.R. Giger.
Two more Brainticket albums followed—Adventure in 1980 and Voyage in 1982—before Vandroogenbroeck disbanded the group.
Vandroogenbroeck resurrected the Brainticket name for the 2000 album Alchemic Universe. He teamed with Cleopatra Records to release the first ever Brainticket box set, The Vintage Anthology 1971-1980, a 4-disc compilation containing the complete first three albums along with several rare recordings.
In August 2011, a newly formed Brainticket lineup, led by Vandroogenbroeck, toured with progressive-rock band Nektar, which had Brainticket performing their very first American concert on August 17, 2011, at B.B. King's in New York City.
With more interest in Brainticket’s music than ever, another tour is planned for 2013 with founding Hawkwind member Nik Turner. Slated to accompany Vandroogenbroeck for this outing are Jürgen Engler of the German industrial band Die Krupps and Nicky Garratt of the British punk band UK Subs.
The band is also scheduled to perform at the 2013 SXSW Festival.
|2015||Past, Present & Future|
|2011||Live in Rome 1973|
|2011||The Vintage Anthology 1971 - 1980|
- Ben Smith, "Brainticket", in Peter Buckley (ed.) The Rough Guide to Rock. 2003. London : Rough Guides. ISBN 1843531054 (p. 135)
- Sleevenotes to Cottonwoodhill CD reissue