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Brainticket - Psychonaut (1972) review

Brainticket - "Psychonaut"(Esoteric Recordings, 2010)

European psychedelic rock scene was shining and growing during the seventies. Brainticket is one of those bands, who`s influence was very high during the development of psychedelic rock music in Europe. The band was formed by jazz pianist Jöel Vandroogenbroeck, who was influenced by artists like Amon Düül II  Can and Tangerine Dream. Together with guitarist Ron Byer and drummer Wolfgang Paap they were the first formation of Brainticket. Accompanied with additional musicians, they released their first album “Cottonwoodhill”, in 1971. Shortly after, Bryer passed away and Vandroogenbroeck moved to Italy, where he met new collaborators and musicians.
Powered with new band formation, consisting of: Jane Free (lead vocals, tbilat, tambourine, slide whistle, sounds), Jöel Vandroogenbroeck (organ, piano, flute, sitar, sanze vocal, rumors, generator, arrangements), Rolf Hug (lead guitar, acoustic guitar, tablas, vocals), Martin Sacher (electric bass, flute), Barney Palm (drums, percussion, strange sounds) and Carole Muriel (additional vocals) band released their second, probably the most successful album – “Psychonaut” in 1972.
Opening with chilled-out, psychedelic tune “Radagacuca”, which starts off with some trippy organ and echoed flutes is one of the best examples of how band wanted to make this album sound totally opposite and less electric than their debut. Seven and a half minutes of absolute relaxation of entering into the atmosphere of “Psychonaut” album. It gently crosses to “One morning” - epic psychedelic song, composed and performed in the best manners of flower-power generation. How the sounds of nature and rain are combined with piano and percussions reflects the thriving production of this album and this beautiful song about mind-opening and life insights.
“Watching You” is probably the most hard rocking track Brainticket ever recorded. Raw sound of drums and guitars with heavy solos are fantastic background for Jane Free`s aggressive but neat vocal. If you ever watched movie “Almost Famous”, it will probably take you there, as the song represents the golden age of sex, drugs and rock `n roll. Fourth song “Like a Place in the sun” with spoken and sang vocals is a pure progressive masterpiece, that band recorded. Hippy-trippy sounding “Feel the wind blow” is nice, aid-back acoustic tune, beginning with people talking (and probably smoking something). Outstanding wave of relaxation.
“Coc`o-Mary"`s flute riff reminds of "Black Sand" from their previous LP. The instrumental has good Jethro Tull style vibe, placed at the end of the album to finally blow your mind out with good jam and inspiring sounds, creating psychedelic atmosphere.

This album is not as extreme and crazy as the previous, without long-lasting hypnotic tunes, that makes it less psychedelic. However it is more acceptable musically wide, because band`s experimentation has already began with their debut. “Psychonaut” is the part of band`s tradition to make each album sound unique and different, than any other they recorded.
This Brainticket`s experimental release is not only a “must-have” album for any "krautrock" admirer, but surely for all classic rock fans who enjoy good and intelligent albums, and who`s souls are being fed by great music.

Review made by Andrija Babovic/2013
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