Brainbox — Mythology
(Centertainment, 1972/2013, 3CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-30For most, and certainly for myself up until I was enlightened by this three-disc set, Brainbox was just some band that Jan Akkerman and Pierre Van Der Linden were in before the formation of Focus, and their one self-titled album (and especially the side-long track “Sea of Delight”) received some occasional airplay on US underground FM radio in the early 70s. That’s only a small part of the story, though, and this three disc set tells the whole Brainbox story, including all the singles, b-sides, demos, and the aforementioned long player, up until original singer Kaz Lux and several other band members quit the group in the early 70s, leaving the band’s manager to build a new band around remaining bassist Andre Reijnen. Of course by that time Akkerman and Van Der Linden were already long gone, now making waves with Focus. All the material from the eponymous LP is here, although some of its songs are split amongst the first two discs in the set, amid the band’s many singles, presented in mono and stereo versions when both exist. Some of the band’s best work is from the period after Akkerman left, when new guitarists Rudy de Queljoe, and later John Schuursma stepped in to take his place, creating a five-piece Brainbox with two guitarists. The 1971 de Queljoe penned instrumental “Mobilae” (presented in both single and demo versions) has to be one of the finest pieces the band ever produced. But there are many more gems to be found here among these three full length discs, including alternate versions of singles and album tracks (including a 29-minute version of “Sea of Delight”) and much more. With a 20-page booklet with exhaustive liner notes and many rare photos, Mythology is the definitive historical artifact covering the best years of this unsung band.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more